Sourabh, Kuhoo-Rohan enter Russia Open final

Sourabh Verma will face Japan’s Koki Watanabe in the final on Sunday.

Sourabh Verma beat Mithun Manjunath 21-9, 21-15 in just 31 minutes to book Russia Open final berth.   -  AKHILESH KUMAR

Former national champion, Sourabh Verma, stormed into his first final of the season after defeating compatriot Mithun Manjunath in straight games at the USD 75,000 Russia Open Tour Super 100 tournament here on Saturday.

The 25-year-old Indian, who is on a comeback trail after recovering from injuries, beat Mithun 21-9, 21-15 in just 31 minutes to set up a title clash with Japan’s Koki Watanabe on Sunday.

The young mixed doubles pair of Kuhoo Garg and Rohan Kapoor also continued their impressive run to enter the summit clash after beating the Malaysian duo of Chen Tang Jie and Yen Wei Peck in a three-game thriller.

The second-seeded Indian combo notched up a 21-19, 11-21, 22-20 win over the unseeded Malaysian pair in 58 minutes. They will square off against Vladimir Ivanov of Russia and Min Kyung Kim of Korea in the finals.

Men’s doubles pair of Arun George and Sanyam Shukla, however, couldn’t cross the semifinal hurdle, losing 15-21, 19-21 to second-seeded Konstantin Abramov and Alexandr Zinchenko.

Sourabh, who had won the Chinese Taipei Masters and was runner-up at the Bitburger Open in 2016, made a rampaging start, breezing to an 11-5 lead at the break after opening up a slender 3-1 advantage early on.

The experienced shuttler continued his dominating run after the breather, moving to a 15-6 lead and 20-7 advantage before pocketing the opening game.

In the second game, Mithun grabbed a 6-4 advantage, before going into the interval with a slender 11-10 lead.

However, Sourabh soon turned the tables at 14-13, reeling off five straight points to eventually clinch the decider 21-15.