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Chinese Taipei Masters: Sourabh Varma produces comeback win to enter semi-finals

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Varma is the only Indian remaining at this tournament.

Sourabh Varma
Sourabh Varma overcame a stern test to reach the semis

Indian shuttler Sourabh Varma produced a remarkable display to come back from a one-game deficit and reach the semi-finals of the $ 55,000 Chinese Taipei Masters on Friday. The World No. 82 was put to a stern test by the 773rd ranked Japanese Kento Horiuchi who grabbed the first game, 11-7. Following that, the Indian stormed back for a 7-11, 11-1, 11-3, 11-7 win in 31 minutes.

Varma has a tough task up next as he faces the top seed and World No. 22 Hsu Jen Hao on Saturday for a place in the final. The Chinese Taipei player had a tough 6-11, 11-4, 13-15, 11-5, 11-9 win over Chun Seang Tan of Malaysia in his quarter-final match.

The 2011 national champion Sourabh had been the last Indian standing at this event after the early exits of his compatriots. While his brother Sameer, who was also seeded second, was upset in the second round, Shreyansh Jaiswal lost in the first round. Rahul Yadav Chittaboina too bowed out early after having to retire down 2-6 in the first game of his opening round match against Yang Chih Chieh.

Good form of late

Sourabh had been in good form of late and reached the final of the Polish International in September. He has given a glimpse of that confidence throughout his campaign at the Chinese Taipei Masters. 

En route to today’s quarter-final match, Sourabh had posted three wins in this tournament which also included an upset victory over the seventh-seeded Hashiru Shimono of Japan in the second round.

In the quarter-finals, Sourabh took some to settle into the match as Kento Horiuchi imposed himself early on. Through some excellent shot-making combined with exceptional defence, Horiuchi broke away from a 7-7 tie in the first game to grab the opener 11-7.

But Sourabh turned around the match from thereon in stunning fashion. He rampaged through the next three games and completely took the match away from the Japanese.  In the second game, Varma jumped out to an incredible 10-0 lead before slamming it shut, 11-1. 

The impressive run from the Indian continued and it was only in the fourth game that Horiuchi managed to give some resistance. As Varma edged ahead 10-5, Horiuchi tried to reduce the gap and made it 7-10 before the Indian clinched the win.


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