Bitburger Open: Mixed fortunes for Indian shuttlers on Day 1
The Bitburger Badminton Open kicked off at Saarbrucken, Germany on Tuesday with mixed fortunes for Indian shuttlers on the opening day. The Verma brothers – Sourabh and Sameer were successful in entering the men’s singles second round but Siril Verma and Subhankar Dey fell in their opening hurdles of this Grand Prix Gold tournament.
Sourabh Verma has been in great form of late and won his maiden Grand Prix title at the Chinese Taipei Masters last month. He continued to impress as he needed just 20 minutes to brush aside the challenge of Austrian qualifier Rudiger Gnedt, 21-16, 21-11.
He has a tough task up next with the 14th seeded Chinese Xue Song being his second round opponent.
His younger brother, Sameer, who is seeded 12th, was equally good on Day 1. He thrashed German qualifier Alexander Roovers, 21-11, 21-11 to set up a meeting with Finnish shuttler Eetu Heino.
The Verma brothers now remain the last two Indians standing in the men’s singles main draw.
Rising talent Siril Verma, who reached the final of the Russian Open in October, had a tough assignment in the first round as he met the sixth seed Ihsan Maulana Mustofa. The experienced Indonesian prevailed over him, 21-17, 21-16 in 30 minutes.
Subhankar Dey too met with the same fate even though he put up a gritty fight against the fifth seed Jonatan Christie. The Indonesian eventually beat him, 21-19, 21-18.
Besides the aforementioned names, Kamaldeep Singh was the only Indian name who featured in the doubles action on the opening day. He endured mixed fortunes as he qualified for the men’s doubles event but could not do so in mixed doubles.
In men’s doubles qualifying, he and Yogendran Krishnan of Malaysia eked out a narrow 21-12, 16-21, 21-19 win over the Austrian-Malaysian combine of Wolfgang Gnedt and Woon Kok Hong. Singh’s luck ran out in mixed doubles qualifying where he and his Malaysian partner Zhi Qing Lee lost 10-21, 21-16, 14-21 to the German duo of Bjarne Geiss and Eva Janssens.