Saurabh Verma stuns Tago to reach main draw of India Open

Making his way back to international circuit after a series of injuries, Indian shuttler Sourabh Varma today stunned former top 10 player Kenichi Tago of Japan in straight games to reach the main draw of the USD 300,000 India Open Super series.

Sourabh registered a 21-18 21-10 win over fellow countrymen RMV Gurusaidutt in the men’s singles round 1, before notching up a surprise victory over Tago 21-18 21-12 to reach the Round of 32.

In mixed doubles, new Indian pair of Manu Attri and Ashwini Ponnappa spanked Saurav Agarwal and Sraddha Tiwari 21-4 21-8 in round 1 and got a bye in the second round to reach the main draw.

In women’s singles, Rituparna Das, Ruthvika Shivani, Tanvi Lad and Anura Prabhudesai reached the main draw. However, Anand Pawar and PC Thulasi’s campaigns came to an end at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.

Anura will take on Rituparna, Tanvi Lad will clash with defending champion Saina Nehwal, seeded second, while Ruthvika Shivani will take on 2011 All England Champion, China’s Wang Shixian, seeded sixth.

“I was desperate for a big win like this. Both the matches against Guru and Tago were good wins and will give me a lot of confidence as I try to get back to the top this season,” Sourabh told PTI ahead of his main round match against Chinese legend Lin Dan.

“Last tournament I played was at Syed Modi last year and then I played in August and then again I was injured. After a few months I played TATA Open and I reached the finals. I took too much time to understand that I need to work on my strength and ever since I have been working on it.

“I will be playing at Senior Nationals at Mohali next. I will play the challengers and Grand Prix Gold. I am lucky to get an entry here and I want to make the most of it.”