Sourabh Verma stands tall for India in Vietnam Open

The 26-year-old won both his matches to continue his march in the competition

By Saurabh Shankar ·

Sourabh Verma is India's last remaining hope at the Vietnam Open after winning both his matches on Thursday to move through to the last eight of the competition in Ho Chi Minh City.

The second seed will now take on local player Tien Minh Nguyen in the quarter finals.

Siril Verma played superbly to down top seed Liew Daren of Malaysia, but the teenager could not then find a way past China’s Le Lan Xi.

Last Man Standing

After receiving a bye into the second round, Verma got the better of Japanese youngster Kodai Naraoka after two closely contested games in his first match of the tournament.

Sourabh was trailing 10-16 in the first game but rallied brilliantly under pressure to win it 22-20. The Indian, who won the Hyderabad Open last month, managed to replicate the same scoreline in the second game to set up a clash with Japan’s Yu Igarashi.

Igarashi gave the Indian shuttler a tough fight, never letting the gap between the two extend beyond four points in the first game. Ultimately though, it was Sourabh who triumphed as he showed greater application and experience to win the game 25-23.

In the second game again, Sourabh kept his cool under pressure as he went from trailing the game 0-8 to winning it 24-22. The 26-year-old will now take on local lad Nguyen Tien Minh for a semi final place.

Siril loses out

Playing the first game of the day, Siril Verma continued his fine form as he pulled off a major upset by eliminating top seed Liew Daren.

The 19-year-old Indian started off poorly and was always chasing the first game as the Malaysian took a 20-11 lead. Siril though managed to plug the gap as he picked up six consecutive points but ultimately ended up losing 17-21.

The resolute performance though reinvigorated the teenager’s confidence as he won a closely contested second game 21-19.

In the third game, both shuttlers were neck and neck in the first half, but Siril showed composure and quality beyond his years as he pulled away from the top seed, winning the match 17-21, 21-19, 21-12 to progress to the next round.

In the pre-quarters though, Siril was second-best by a distance as he went down 12-21, 15-21 against China’s Le Lan Xi.

While he was trailing from the very beginning in the opening game, Siril showed more promise in the second as he was almost level on points for the first half, but his opponent picked up five points on the trot to win the match in 32 minutes.

Doubles and Dey disappointment

Sourabh’s progress was the only silver lining for the Indian contingent today, as both Subhankar Dey and the men’s doubles pair of Sanyam Shukla and Arun George lost in straight games. Dey was downed 21-11, 21-17 by Malaysian Jia Wei Tan while the doubles pair lost 21-13, 21-11 to the Chinese Taipei pair of Lu Ching-Yao and Yang Po-han.