Badminton: Hometown favourite Angus Ng wins his first Hong Kong Open title

Angus Ng stands on the podium during the award ceremony for the men's single final at the Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open badminton tournament in Hong Kong on Nov 27, 2016.
Angus Ng stands on the podium during the award ceremony for the men's single final at the Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open badminton tournament in Hong Kong on Nov 27, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

HONG KONG (AFP) - On the men's side, Hong Kong's Angus Ng nabbed his first superseries title after battling through a tough three-game scrap with India's Sameer Verma in front of a packed house.

The hometown favourite put on an aggressive display early with repeated whipping overheads and down-the-line winners, chalking up a 21-14 win in the first game.

But the 43rd-ranked Verma fought back with the relentless hustle of an underdog with nothing to lose in the second, as Ng appeared to falter under the pressure.

The 14th ranked Ng later regained composure in the third as his opponent struggled with unforced errors and lengthy rallies at the net that saw Verma grow visibly frustrated.

"In the third game I just forgot about what happened in the second," Ng told reporters after the 21-14, 10-21, 21-11 win.

The Hong Kong native rounded out his maiden superseries victory by uncorking leaping overheads coupled with dropshots, falling to his knees to celebrate after Verma whiffed the match point as thousands roared in approval.

"When I was younger I wished I could play in the finals of the Hong Kong Open in the future," said the 22-year-old Ng.

Verma, a relative unknown in the badminton world stayed humble following his improbable run.

"I was a little bit nervous," said Verma. "I didn't expect to reach the finals."