Bitburger Open: Sourabh falters in final

It was Sourabh Verma's third runner-up finish this season after the international challengers at Belgium and Poland.

sourabh verma

Sourabh Verma went down 19-21 20-22 to World No. 16 Shi Yuqi in 45 minutes.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Shi Yuqi stopped Sourabh Verma's brilliant run in the Bitburger Open beating him 21-19 22-20 to clinch the title here on Sunday.

It was Shi's second consecutive title after his French Super Series triumph last week. The World No. 16 took 45 minutes to defeat Sourabh, won the Chinese Taipei Open last month.

It was Sourabh's third runner-up finish this season after the international challengers at Belgium and Poland.

Sourabh, who is on a comeback trail after being on the sidelines due to elbow and knee injuries almost throughout last year, had come into the finals of the USD 120,000 tournament with a 0-1 record against the Chinese, who had beaten him in a gruelling three-game match early this year at the Syed Modi International Championships in January.

The Indian fought back from 6-9 to grab a 13-10 lead at one stage and kept his nose ahead till 18-16 when Shi reeled off four straight points to turn the tables.

In the second game, Sourabh was 9-7 ahead but once again the Chinese marched ahead leading 14-10. Sourabh equalled the scores at 15 with a jump smash. But with a brilliant net play, Shi raced to 17-15.

Sourabh then made it 17-17 and took the lead at 19-18 when Shi’s smash got buried at net. But another great net play helped the Chinese make it 19-19. But the Chinese, who beat Sourabh's brother Sameer to enter the final, held his nerve to ensure a titleless tournament for the Verma brothers.

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