Sourabh Verma wins Hyderabad Open title
Reigning national champion Sourabh Verma staved off a late surge from World No. 41 Loh Kean Yew to win the men's singles title at the Hyderabad Open Super 100 badminton tournament on Sunday. This was 44th ranked Sourabh's second international title of the season following his triumph at the Slovenia International earlier in the year.
With Sameer being crowned the champion last year and now elder brother Sourabh winning it, the trophy stays in the Verma family for two years in a row.
Sourabh made a fast start and raced ahead to a 4-1 lead in no time. The Singaporean pulled back a couple of points but the seventh seed soon wrested back control and built a 5-point advantage at 8-5.
Verma used his intelligence and swift footwork to soar to 11-4 at the mid-game interval, maintaining a safe distance from his opponent. Verma was soon ahead by a whopping nine points, stamping his authority throughout the game.
The Indian was in no mood to relent and inched ahead to 19-12 before converting his second game point to pocket the first game at 21-13.
Verma continued with his barrage of attacking strokes and refused to give an inch of space to the young Loh. After a huge 8-1 lead in the second game, there was a spectacular turnaround of fortunes.
Loh fought back brilliantly to take five points on the trot that Verma had no answer to and the score was soon tied at 10-10. Even though Verma was the one who was ahead at 11-10 at half-time, the undeterred Loh snatched the lead at 12-11 post-interval and soon increased it to 14-12.
In the face of the sudden onslaught, Sourabh spiraled into a slump and fell behind by six points at 13-19 in a surprising turn of events. Loh completed the comeback to grab the second game at 21-14.
The competitive third game remained on level terms till 4-4 after which Sourabh upped the ante to go up to 7-4. The lead kept changing hands until Sourabh kept his errors at bay to go up to 14-11. Steadily, the Indian kept adding points to his kitty and kept his composure till the end to reach match points at 20-15.
Loh saved one but Sourabh was successful in converting his second to finish the match in 52 minutes.