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Sourabh clinches title, Ashwini-Sikki pair loses
Reigning national champion Sourabh Verma capped an impressive week at the Hyderabad Open with a thrilling win over Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew in the summit clash to claim the men’s singles title here Sunday.
The 26-year-old 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 here.
“I am extremely pleased with my performance this week. I pulled out some crucial matches in the previous rounds and in the final as well I played well,” Sourabh said.
“I was leading in the second game after winning the first but I lost focus a bit and tried to quickly complete the match. My opponent also changed his game and it was difficult to come back. In the third game, I changed my strategy and it worked.”
Top seeds Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy, however, squandered an opportunity to register a maiden women’s doubles title, losing 17-21 17-21 to Korean combination of Baek Ha Na and Jung Kyung Eun in the summit clash.
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.The decider was a close affair as Sourabh and Kean Yew started on an even keel before the Indian grabbed a 11-10 lead at the interval.