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Swiss Open: Sourabh Verma stuns Wong

Basel:National champion Sourabh Verma pulled off one of his career’s best wins with a thrilling victory over

Sourabh Verma

rising Hong Kong youngster, Wing Ki Wong, in the first round of the Swiss Open GP Gold on Tuesday. It turned out to be a good day for India, as three of their men’s singles players, including Verma, progressed to the second round.

The first round casualties were Guru Sai Dutt, who went down fighting to world No.4 Chen Jin, and Arvind Bhat, who was beaten by Dmytro Zavadsky of Ukraine. P Kashyap and Ajay Jayaram, in a desperate search for ranking points for a lone spot, were the other Indians who made the second round.

But the story of the day was Verma’s fine win over Wong, who is acknowledged as one of the players to watch out for, as he had beaten world champion Lin Dan in October and No.5 Chen Jin in March. It was a thrilling win which could’ve gone either way. After splitting the first two games on extra points, the third game was another tight affair. Both remained neck-and-neck until 16, and Verma then shot ahead with four successive points to hold match point at 20-16. Not one to give up, Wong held his own and inched close to take the next three points. Verma finally nailed the match and earned a second round date with No.13 seed Shon Wan Ho of Korea.

Meanwhile, P Kashyap had an unexpectedly easy win over Russian Stanislav Pukhov, winning 21-9 21-10, and Ajay Jayaram was equally dismissive of home contender Lukas Nussbaumer 21-9 21-12. The big surprise was Arvind Bhat’s defeat to Ukraine’s Zadavsky – the Indian fell 10-21 21-16 21-14. Jayaram next plays Pedro Martins of Portugal, while Kashyap takes on Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh, a player he’s beaten once before.

Meanwhile, in other contests today, Diju/ Jwala take on Shoji Sato/ Shizuka Matsuo of Japan; Saina Nehwal plays Sayaka Sato; Sindhu PV takes on Dutch veteran Yao Jie, and Rupesh-Sanave play the Dutch pair Ruud Bosch/ Koen Ridder. In the women’s doubles, Jwala/ Ashwini face the Japanese pair Shizuka Matsuo/ Mami Naito.

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