Giant-killer Sourabh Verma stayed on course to become the first Indian men’s singles player to win a Grand Prix Gold title when he upset 16th seed Suppanyu Avihingsanon of Thailand 26-24, 21-17 to reach the India Open final here on Saturday.
The 21-year-old will take on second seed and former Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia, who got the better of Wong Wing Ki of Hong Kong 21-16, 15-21, 21-18. Last year RMV Guru Sai Dutt had reached the final of the GP gold meet but came a cropper against another Indonesian Yunus Almasyah.
The opening game went according to script with both players going neck and neck.
“By the end of the first game I was sure of winning here,” said the shuttler from Dhar, who had little trouble in pocketing the second game and the match. It was heartbreak for the mixed doubles combination of V Diju and Jwala Gutta as they were out of sorts and went down against unseeded Indonesian pair of Muhammad Rijal-Debby Susanto in 28 minutes.
RESULTS (of Indians): Men’s singles: Sourabh Verma bt Suppanyu Avihingsanon (THA) 26-24, 21-13. Mixed doubles: Muhammad Rijal-Debby Susanto (INA) bt V Diju-G Jwala 21-15, 21-12.