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Tata Open: Easy win for Sourabh Verma, Lakshya Sen made to work hard

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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256   //    30 Nov 2017, 23:18 IST

sourabh verma
Good start for former champion Sourabh Verma

Top seed and former champion Sourabh Verma made a smooth progress into the second round as the sixth seeded Lakshya Sen overcame a mighty struggle for a first round win at the $20, 000 Tata Open India International Challenge in Mumbai on Thursday.

The 2013 champion Verma needed 42 minutes to dismiss the challenge of C Rohit Yadav, 21-17, 21-15. The World No. 49 Verma has come to this tournament on the back of a five-match losing streak. He suffered an ankle injury during training in Hyderabad and resumed competitive play only in November after a two-month hiatus.

Sen wins rematch of the India International Series final

16-year-old Lakshya Sen needed 1 hour 3 minutes to notch up a first round against a player, he beat in three games in the final of the India International Series last Sunday. World No. 139 Yee Han Chong of Malaysia bagged a tight opener, 23-21 and then kept up the fight till the end of the decider before the Indian pulled off the 21-23, 21-10, 21-18 win.

Second seeded Abhishek Yelegar emerged a 21-17, 21-12 winner over Kantawat Leelavechabutr of Thailand. Yelegar lost in the semi-finals of the India International Series to Sen last week.

Fifth seed Pratul Joshi beat Neeraj Vashist, 21-12, 21-13 while the eighth seeded Rahul Yadav Chittaboina too was equally impressive in his 21-16, 21-17 win over Abhyansh Singh.

Also read: Tata Open: Sourabh Verma seeks a return to form as Lakshya Sen aims to continue winning run

Seeds bow out in women’s singles

In women’s singles, top seed and former Indian national champion Rituparna Das swatted aside Shikha Gautam, 21-8, 21-16. South Asian Games champion Ruthvika Shivani Gadde, who is seeded eighth at this tournament, easily beat Purva Barve, 21-6, 21-12.

Second seed Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli came back from a game down to register a 15-21, 21-15, 21-10 win over Mugdha Agrey. 17-year-old Ira Sharma caused a big upset by stunning the fifth seeded Chua Hui Zhen Grace, 21-13, 21-12.

Sixth seed Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka and seventh seed Reshma Karthik also departed.

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Rankireddy and Shetty advance

Men’s doubles top seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty started the defence of their title with a 21-18, 21-16 win over qualifiers Wai Jun Wong and Mohamad Syazmil Idham Zainal Abidin. Second seeds and Indian national champions Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy prevailed over Hee Chun Mak and Tam Chun Hei, 21-11, 21-16.

Third seeds Arjun MR and Shlok Ramchandran and fourth seeds Anilkumar Raju and Venkat Gaurav Prasad were shown the door.

The women’s doubles top seeds Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram beat qualifiers Aparna Balan and Sruthi KP, 21-17, 22-20. In mixed doubles, second seeds Prajakta Sawant and Yogendran Khrishnan got the better of qualifiers Guang Liang Jason Wong and Putri Sari Dewi Citra, 21-17, 21-13.

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FEATURED COLUMNIST
A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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