Vietnam Open: Sourabh Verma storms into final

The Indian shuttler defeats Japan’s Minoru Koga 22-20, 21-15 in the semifinals.

File Photo: Sourabh Verma (in picture) will face Sun Fei Xiang in the final on Sunday.   -  K. V. S. Giri

India’s Sourabh Verma defeated Japan’s Minoru Koga 22-20, 21-15 to progress to the men’s singles final at the USD 75,000 Vietnam Open, a BWF Tour Super 100 tourney, here on Saturday.

Sourabh, the second seed, overcame Minoru, the World No. 112, in a 51-minute semifinal clash. Sourabh will next take on China’s Sun Fei Xiang in the summit clash on Sunday.

Sourabh had beaten Minoru en route to his title win at the Slovenian International earlier this year. The reigning national champion had won the Dutch Open and Korea Open titles last year.

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“Through to the finals here in Vietnam open super 100 tournament with a victory over Japan’s Minoru Koga 22-20, 21-15. Will be playing against Chinese tomorrow (sic) for the title,” tweeted Sourabh after the win.

Sourabh fell behind 0-4 early on the opening game, but made amends quickly to grab a two-point advantage (11-9) at the interval. He reeled off three quickk points to make it 14-9 but Minoru slowly clawed back to make it 18-18. Minoru even held a game-point at 20-19 but Sourabh pocketed three straight points to win the first game.

Minoru marched ahead to a 7-2 lead in the second game, and enjoyed a three-point advantage (11-8) at the interval. He managed to keep his nose ahead after the break before Sourabh won five consecutive points at 12-14 to turn the tables. Sourabh, then, reeled off another four points to seal his place in the final.