Sourabh enters second round of Chinese Taipei Open

TAIPEI, September 4: Former champion Sourabh Verma made a positive start at the $500,000 Chinese Taipei Open, progressing to the second round with a straight-game win over Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai in men’s singles on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old from Madhya Pradesh, the reigning national champion, overcame world number 44 Sakai 22-20, 21-13 in 38 minutes to set up a likely clash with top seed and local favourite Chou Tien Chen in the second round.
Sourabh, who won the Hyderabad Open last month, emerged as the only surviving Indian in the World Tour Super 300 tournament following the loss of women’s singles player Riya Mookerjee and women’s doubles pair of Aparna Balan and Prajakta Sawant in the opening round.
While Riya lost 21-19, 11-21, 13-21 to Thailand’s Supanida Katethong, Aparna and Prajakta suffered a 19-21, 23-21, 15-21 to local pair Cheng Yu-Pei and Juang Tz-Ren.
In the men’s singles match, Sourabh, who had clinched the title in 2016, erased 3-6 deficit to grab a slender 11-10 lead at the break. The Indian quickly pocketed two more points but the Japanese came back to hold a 15-14 advantage. (PTI)