Bitburger Open: Shuttler Sourabh Verma notches up straight-game victory to advance to final

Saarbrucken: Indian shuttler Sourabh Verma is just one step away from clinching his consecutive title after he notched up a straight-game victory over Denmark's Anders Antonsen to reach the men's singes final of Bitburger Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament at Saarbrucken.

File photo of Sourabh Verma. Twitter/ All India Radio News

File photo of Sourabh Verma. Twitter/ All India Radio News

The 23-year-old Indian, who had clinched the Chinese Taipei Open last month, defeated 15th seed Antonsen 21-15 21-18 in a 39-minute clash in the $120,000 tournament at Saarbrucken.

World No 57 Sourabh, who reached the finals in his last three tournaments in Belgium, Poland and Chinese Taipei, will take on fourth seeded and World No 16 Shi Yuqi in the summit clash.

The Chinese had beaten the Indian in a gruelling three-game match early this year at the Syed Modi International Badminton Championships in January.

Sourabh's younger brother and national champion Sameer Verma, seeded 12th, lost 18-21, 15-21 to Shi Yuqi in another semifinal match.

Sourabh dished out a gritty performance as he fought back from 3-6 and 8-10 down to grab 14-12 lead. Antonsen clawed his way back immediately but the Indian ensured he had the advantage as he pocketed the first game.

In the second game, Sourabh opened up a 10-7 lead but the Denmark shuttler drew parity at 15-15 and then grabbed a 18-16 lead. But the Indian reeled off five points to seal the issue in his favour.

Sourabh is on a comeback trail after spending almost a year on the sidelines due to elbow and knee injuries last year.

Published Date: Nov 06, 2016 20:10 PM | Updated Date: Nov 06, 2016 20:10 PM

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