Sourabh Verma kept India’s hopes alive in singles competition with a clinical 21-18, 21-9 win over compatriot Ajay Jayaram in the men’s singles quarterfinal of the Hyderabad Open badminton championship at Gachibowli Indoor Stadium here on Friday.
The seventh-seeded Sourabh now happens to be the lone Indian across singles competitions in the championship.
From the start, Sourabh looked good and it was no surprise that he got the better of Jayaram with a far superior all-court game in the 36-minute match.
Earlier, in another men’s singles quarterfinal, Loh Kean Yew of Singapore continued his impressive run with a 21-11, 21-16 win over fifth-seeded Subhanker Dey.
Loh took an early 4-1 lead in the first game and though the Indian fought back well with his trademark jump smashes and some delectable net dribbles, Loh ensured that he was not really lagging too far behind coming up with some impressive cross-court returns.
Once again, Loh was too good in picking up the big smashes from the Indian and engaged Subhankar in quite a few rallies to set himself for the big points with the desired regularity.
Earlier, India’s premier women’s doubles combination of Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy stayed in the title-hunt with a 21-16, 21-15 win over fellow Indians J. Meghana and Poorvisha S. Ram.
It was certainly not a cakewalk for the more experienced pair of Ashwini and Sikki as the younger rivals put up a brave fight especially at the start of both the games. But, the inexperience of Meghana and Poorvisha proved to be a minus in crunch situtations.
There was disappointment in men’s doubles with Korean combine of Na Sung Seung and Wang Chan outslugging second-seeded Indian pair of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy 19-21, 21-11, 21-17. The Indian duo frittered away a comfortable 15-11 lead in the decider with an erratic display when it mattered most.
Men’s singles: Heo Kwang Hee (Kor) bt Kalle Koljonen (Mas) 21-10, 21-18; Loh Kean Yew (Sgp) bt Subhankar Dey 21-11, 21-16; Sourabh Verma bt Ajay Jayaram 21-18, 21-9; Iskandar Zulkarnain (Mas) bt Bai Yu Peng (Chn) 21-16, 12-21, 21-13.
Doubles: Lee Jhe-Huei & Yang Po-Hsuan (Tpe) bt M.R. Arjun & Shlok Ramchandran 21-19, 21-9; Min Hyuk Kang & Kim Jae Hwan (Kor) bt Huang Kai Xiang & Liu Cheng (Chn) 21-19, 21-17; N.A. Sung Seung & Wang Chan (Kor) bt Manu Attri & B. Sumeeth Reddy 19-21, 21-11, 21-17.
Women’s singles: Yeo Jin Min (Sgp) bt Pai Yu Po (Tpe) 21-16, 18-21, 21-19; Chaiwan Phittayaporn (Thai) bt Zhang Yi Man (Chn) 19-21, 21-16, 22-20; Porntip Buranaprasertsuk (Thai) bt Natalia Perminova (Rus) 21-14, 21-19; An Se Young (Kor) bt Benyappa Aimsaard (Thai) 21-17, 21-16
Doubles: Ashwini Ponnappa & N. Sikki Reddy bt J. Meghana & Poorvisha S. Ram 21-16, 21-15.
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