Hong Kong Open: Sourabh Verma through to main draw

India's Sourabh Verma defeated Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk and Lucas Claerbout on Tuesday to progress to the main draw of the Hong Kong Open.

Sourabh Verma registered a straight games win against Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk. [File photo]   -  K.V.S. Giri

Sourabh Verma won both his qualification matches to qualify for the main draw of the Hong Kong Open on Tuesday.

In the first match, he registered a straight-games win against Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 21-15, 21-19 before defeating Lucas Claerbout 21-19, 21-19 to seal his qualification.

The match against Lucas was a closely fought affair, despite the Frenchman being ranked more than 40 places below the Indian. The pair exchanged leads through the match but the Indian dug deep when needed to take both games 21-19.

Earlier in the day, he had a more comfortable outing against Tanongsak. That match started on an even footing, with Tanongsak replying every time the Indian took the lead. Sourabh managed to get to the break a point ahead. At 8-8, the Thailand player briefly had the lead but Sourabh rallied to get back on level terms and then stayed ahead with ease, taking the game by a seven-point margin.

The second game was a more closely fought affair. The initial exchanges followed the same pattern as the first, with the 26-year-old going into the break again with a one-point lead. Tanongsak fought back drawing level on four separate occasions — at 10-10, 11-11, 18-18 and 19-19. But Sourabh held his nerve to take the final two points to seal the win.

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