Sourabh enters the second round of the Chinese Taipei Open

TAIPEI: Former champion Sourabh Verma had a positive start with the $ 500,000 Chinese Taipei Open , advancing to the second round with a victory in the direct game over Japan Kazumasa Sakai in men's singles on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Madhya Pradesh player, the current national champion, beat world number 44 Sakai 22-20, 21-13 in 38 minutes to establish a likely confrontation with top favorite and local favorite Chou Tien Chen in the second round .

Sourabh, who won the Hyderabad Open last month, emerged as the only surviving Indian in the World Tour Super 300 tournament after the loss of individual players. Riya Mookerjee and the pair of female doubles Aparna Balan & Prajakta Sawant in the first round

While Riya lost 21-19, 11-21, 13-21 to Thailand's Supanida Katethong, Aparna & Prajakta suffered a 19-21, 23-21, 15-21 to local pair Cheng Yu-Pei & Juang Tz-Ren.

In the men's individual match, Sourabh, who had won the title in 2016, erased the 3-6 deficit to get a slim 11-10 lead at halftime. The Indian quickly pocketed two more points, but the Japanese returned to have a 15-14 lead.

Sourabh, however, kept his nose ahead at 18-16 & held two game points at 20-18. Sakai reeled off two points to draw level before the Indian marched ahead to seal the opening game.

In the second game, Sakai reached a 6-0 lead, but Sourabh changed the situation, jumping to a 9-8 lead before achieving a small 11-10 lead in the interval.

After the respite, Sourabh looked in a different area as he continued to accumulate points at will, even when Sakai collapsed.

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