The Indian shuttler Sourabh Verma booked his ticket for the men’s singles main draw of the Hong Kong Open following his victory in the two qualifying clashes in Hong Kong.
Saurabh saw off the challenges of Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk and the Frenchman Lucas Claerbout with the eventual scorelines of 21-15, 21-19 and 21-19, 21-19 respectively to advance into the main draw of $400,000 tournament.
In his first match of the qualification round, Sourabh was up against Tanongsak who was standing toe to toe with the Indian. Tanongsak had perfect replies whenever Saurabh took the lead.
However, Sourabh with his exhilarating pace managed to pip his opponent eventually and won the first game with a six-point margin.
The Thai player came back strongly and there were few moments in the second game where Sourabh seemed to be slightly under pressure. However, he managed to hold his nerves and although, the second game went really close at the end, it went in the favour of Sourabh.
Sourabh’s second match against Lucas, however, turned out to be an absolute nail-biter. The Frenchman, who is ranked more than 40 places below his Indian opponent, gave a really tough competition to Sourabh as the pair exchanged leads throughout the match.
However, Sourabh once again showed his mettle and managed to get better of his opponent in straight games, although both the games could have gone either way.
Later on Tuesday, the Indian shuttlers will open their campaign in the mixed doubles event, while Sourabh will be seen in action again as he will play his first round men’s singles match in the main draw of the tournament.
The other Indian men shuttlers, who will be seen in the singles action, in the Hong Kong open are World number 10 Kidambi Srikanth, B Sai Praneeth, Sameer Verma, H S Prannoy and Parupalli Kashyap.