Chinese Taipei GPG: Sourabh Verma crashes out; Siril Verma, Harsheel Dani advance
The Indian badminton contingent had mixed fortunes on the opening day of the Yonex Open Chinese Taipei 2017 as fourth seed Sourabh Verma crashed out but 14th seed Harsheel Dani, 15th seed Abhishek Yelegar and 16th seed Siril Verma advanced to the second round of the Grand Prix Gold tournament.
The top Indian shuttlers have opted to rest after the back-to-back Superseries events that ended last Sunday. The biggest Indian hope – the 35th ranked Sourabh, however, could not capitalise on his chances and went down 19-21, 20-22 to Malaysia’s World No. 108 Lee Zii Jia in 40 minutes.
This was Verma’s first tournament since the Thailand Open where he had lost in the pre-quarter-finals.
14th seeded Harsheel Dani put up a fine performance and needed only 24 minutes to dismiss the challenge of Hong Kong’s Lee Chak Wai, 21-12, 21-14.
Dani will be facing Korea’s Ha Young Woong, who eked out a tough 24-22, 21-23, 21-13 victory over Kan Chao Yu of Chinese Taipei.
15th seeded Abhishek Yelegar, in contrast, faced stiff resistance from Malaysia’s Yu Ming, Adam Lau. The Indian came back from a game down to notch up a 20-22, 21-14, 21-10 win in 47 minutes.
Yelegar’s next opponent is Korea’s unheralded Seung Hoon Woo, ranked only 873rd.
16th seeded Siril Verma held his nerve for a thrilling 21-11, 10-21, 21-19 win over local hope Wei Chi Liu in 50 minutes.
He will next take on World No. 383 Chia-Hao Lee for a place in the pre-quarter-finals.
There were five other Indian losses and a walkover aside from these results. Harshit Aggarwal suffered a heart-breaking defeat when he was edged out 17-21, 21-16, 21-19 by Malaysia’s Yu Leong, Alfred Lau.
Hemanth Gowda was easily beaten 13-21, 10-21 by the 10th seed Hsueh Hsuan Yi. Joining him on the sidelines was Siddharath Thakur, who lost 16-21, 16-21 to the 13th seed Suppanyu Avihingsanon of Thailand.
Kartikey Gulshan Kumar exited after a 19-21, 19-21 loss to Chinese Taipei shuttler Shih Kuei Chun in 43 minutes.
Rahul Yadav Chittaboina gave a walkover to En Chia Chang while Ankur Sangpang Rai bowed out 18-21, 12-21 to Huang Da Wei in the qualifying rounds.