Sourabh Verma sails through to main draw of Hong Kong Open
Sourabh Verma won both his qualification matches in straight games to sail through to the main draw of the Hong Kong Open on Tuesday. The 26-year-old first registered a 21-15, 21-19 win against Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, before defeating Lucas Claerbout 21-19, 21-19 to seal his qualification.
Despite being ranked more than 40 places below the Indian, Lukas fought a close affair in Verma’s second qualifying match. The Frenchman led the score several times throughout the match but Verma dug deep into his resources on the crucial points to take both games 21-19.
Relatively speaking, his outing against Tanongsak, earlier in the day, was more comfortable. Tanongsak dealt blow-for-blow right from the get-go, with the match moving ahead on even footing. Although the player from Thailand led briefly at 8-8, Sourabh rallied back to get to the break a point ahead. From there on, he stayed ahead with ease and took the game by a seven-point margin.
Initially, the second game followed the same pattern as the first, with the Indian going into the break again with a one-point lead. Tanongsak was keen to make more out of the second game, fighting back to level the terms on four separate occasions — at 10-10, 11-11, 18-18 and 19-19 — but Sourabh clinched the final two points and sealed the win.