Former Indian national champion Sourabh Verma carried on his rampage at the Russian Open 2018 as he caused a big upset to enter the semi-finals of this Super 100 tournament in Vladivostok, Russia on Friday. The eighth seed put up an emphatic display to show the door to the third seeded Misha Zilberman 21-14, 21-16 in just 36 minutes.
Next up for Verma is Mithun Manjunath in an all-Indian semi-final clash. The latter got the better of Malaysia’s Satheishtharan Ramachandran 21-18, 21-12 in another men’s singles quarter-final.
This is the 25-year-old Verma’s best performance in a while. The former Chinese Taipei Masters champion had been struggling with an ankle injury for a few months, that hampered his progress on the circuit last year.
Due to that, he played intermittently in the first few months this year. It was only since May that he has been playing regularly as he looks to get a few wins under his belt. The former World No. 30 has not dropped a game in the three matches that he has played to get to the semi-finals at the Russian Open.
Meanwhile, fifth seed Subhankar Dey’s run came to an end in the quarter-finals as he went down 20-22, 15-21 to the second seed Vladimir Malkov of Russia. Dey had begun his campaign with a win over the resurgent Ajay Jayaram.
India’s challenge also got over in women’s singles with twin defeats of Rituparna Das and Vrushali Gummadi. The former could not back up her upset win over the second seed and succumbed to a 17-21, 13-21 defeat to the unseeded Iris Wang. Gummadi was outplayed 9-21, 11-21 by Malaysia’s Yen Mei Ho.
The second seeded mixed doubles pair of Kuhoo Garg and Rohan Kapoor needed just 21 minutes to notch up a commanding 21-13, 21-9 win over Russia’s Andrej Loginov and Liliia Abibulaeva. The Indian pair has come to this tournament on the back of a runner-up finish at the Lagos International.