Sourabh Verma Wins Hyderabad Open, Ashwini-Sikki Settle for Silver
Hyderabad Open: Sourabh Verma defeated Singapore's Loh Kean Yew to win the men's singles title while Ashwini Ponnappa-N Sikki Reddy lost to Korea's Baek Ha Na-Jung Kyung Eun.
Sourabh Verma won his second title of the year. (Photo Credit: Sourabh Verma)
Hyderabad: Reigning National champion Sourabh Verma capped off an impressive week at the Hyderabad Open with a thrilling win over Singapore's Loh Kean Yew in the summit clash to win the men's singles title on Sunday while Ashwini Ponnappa-N Sikki Reddy failed to cross the final hurdle and were condemned to a straight games defeat against their Korean opponents.
26-year-old Sourabh from Madhya Pradesh, who had won the Slovenian International in May this year, showed great composure as he outwitted World No. 44 Kean Yew 21-13, 14-21, 21-16 in a 52-minute final clash at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad.
Sourabh made a good start as he jumped to a 6-2 lead in the opening game, before grabbing a 11-4 advantage. The Indian kept moving ahead to comfortably pocket the first game to earn the bragging rights.
In the second game, Sourabh once again jumped to a 5-0 lead but Kean Yew clawed back at 10-10. The Indian held a slender 11-10 lead at the break but the Singaporean reeled off five straight points from 14-13 to eventually roar back into the contest.
The decider was a close affair as Sourabh and Kean Yew started on an even knell before the Indian grabbed a 11-10 lead at the interval. Sourabh then kept extending his distance from the Singaporean to comfortably shut the door on his rival.
Sourabh had won two Super 100 titles last year at the Dutch Open and Russian Open.
Ashwini and Sikki, on the other hand, could not keep their momentum going in the final and stumbled on the last hurdle against Korea's Baek Ha Na and Jung Kyung Eun 17-21, 17-21 in 43 minutes.
(With PTI inputs)
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