Sourabh Verma came up with yet another great show to keep the Indian challenge alive in the ongoing Chinese Taipei Open 2019 after a straight-game win over Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai in the men’s singles first round affair here on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old Indian shuttler overcame world number 44 Sakai 22-20, 21-13 in 38 minutes. Sourabh will now face local favourite Chou Tien Chen in the second round on Thursday.
Sourabh is the only Indian surviving in the tournament as women’s singles player Riya Mookerjee and women’s doubles pair comprising Aparna Balan and Prajakta Sawant lost their respective matches in the opening round on Wednesday.
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Riya went down 21-19, 11-21, 13-21 to Thailand’s Supanida Katethong. On the other hand, Aparna and Prajakta suffered a 19-21, 23-21, 15-21 loss to local pair Cheng Yu-Pei and Juang Tz-Ren.
Earlier, national champion Sourabh Verma beat Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew to win the Hyderabad Open title on Sunday. In a match that lasted 52 minutes, Sourabh beat world no. 33 Kean Yew 21-13, 14-21, 21-16 at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad. Ashwini Ponnappa-N. Sikki Reddy had to settle for silver in the women’s doubles final.
Sourabh raced to a 6-2 lead in the opening game and was lead 11-4 at the interval. He never took his foot off the pedal and took the first game comfortably. But Kean Yew kept him on his toes in the second. From 14-13, the Singaporean took five straight points and eventually took the game 21-14.
The third game also turned out to be a close affair and Sourabh held a slender lead 11-10 at the interval. After that, he managed to put some distance between him and his opponent to eventually win the Super 100 tournament.
He has earlier won Super 100 titles at the Dutch Open and Russian Open and had most recently won Slovenian International in May. Ashwini and Sikki could not quite find their pace in the final against Korean pair Baek Ha Na and Jung Kyung Eun. In a match that lasted 43 minutes, the pair lost 17-21, 17-21.