I'm still a work in progress, says Sourabh

Newly-crowned Russian Open champion, Sourabh Verma, says he needs to improve his strength to compete consistently on the international circuit.

Former national champion Sourabh Verma pulled off a come-from-behind win over Japan’s Koki Watanabe in the summit clash at the Russian Open.   -  Ranjeet Kumar

Newly-crowned Russian Open champion, Sourabh Verma, says he is still a work in progress and needs to improve his strength to compete consistently on the international circuit.

“I’m progressing but still have to improve certain areas in my game,” Sourabh told PTI after winning the men’s singles title at the Russian Open.

“Next for me is Asian games and I’m already working on my strength, which will help me to continue playing in the circuit and do well.”

The 25-year-old Indian, a former national champion, on Sunday overcame World No. 119 Japanese Koki Watanabe 19-21, 21-12, 21-17 in the finals to clinch the USD 75,000 BWF Super Tour 100 tournament.

READ| Sourabh wins Russian Open, Kuhoo-Rohan finish runner-up

“Today’s match was quite tough and I am happy that I could win. This is my first win of the season and it will boost my confidence,” said Sourabh, who had won the All India senior ranking tournament in Bangalore last month to make the cut for the Asian Games squad.

“Today the shuttle was slow compared to the last three days. I couldn’t find the rhythm in the first game. Actually, I started the match from the difficult side, from where I was having difficulty in spotting the shuttler due to the white background.

“Same happened to my opponent in the second game and I knew that I can come back in the second game.”

The 25-year-old from Dhar, who clinched the Chinese Taipei Grand Prix Gold and finished runner-up at Bitburger Open in 2016, had suffered an ankle injury and was out of action for two months.

After regaining fitness, he made a comeback in New Zealand and Australia but made first round exits in both the events after losing narrowly in the three games.

“I started the year pretty well and confident but after Swiss open, I injured my ankle during a practice session and then my physios Arvind Nigam, Anuja Dalvi helped me getting back on court again,” he added.

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