Unseeded Sourabh Verma's dour defence proved decisive against an all-attacking Yu Hun and carried him to the semifinals of the $120,000 Syed Modi India Open badminton championship here on Friday.
Sourabh's first-ever semifinal appearance in a Grand Prix Gold event came following a close 23-21, 21-19 victory over the seventh seed from Hong Kong in 50 minutes.
Later, unseeded Sameer Verma could not match his elder brother's exploits and went down 21-12, 21-13 against fifth seed Wing Ki Wong.
On Saturday, the 20-year-old from Dhar, in Madhya Pradesh, will play 16th seeded Thai Suppanyu Avihingsanon for a place in the final.
Diju-Jwala in last four
Third seeded duo of V. Diju and G. Jwala took their allotted spot in the mixed doubles semifinals with a straight-game victory.
Sourabh , whose previous best showings came this year in the Indian Open Super Series and the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold where he lost in the quarterfinals, managed to win the first game after providing a twist from 16-18 to enjoy two game-points.
Significantly, Sourabh won 19 points at the net to his rival's 12 and gained in confidence. Though Yun, a semifinalist of the Indian Open in April, bounced right back and stayed level till 21 before Sourabh forced two successive errors.
In the second game, Sourabh's struggled after Yun Hu showed better anticipation at the net. Trailing 9-15, Sourabh benefitted from some ‘soft' points from his rival and closed the gap to four points.
The decider appeared in the offing before Sourabh benefitted from a series of errors from Yun, who found it difficult to control the shuttle from this forehand flank. Sourabh won the last six points to script a dramatic finish.
The results (quarterfinals):
Men singles: Suppanyu Avihingsanon (Tha) bt Misbun Ramdan Mohmed Misbun (Mas) 21-15, 21-13; Sourabh Verma (Ind) bt Yun Hu (Hkg) 23-21, 21-19.
Taufik Hidayat (Ina) bt Yunus Alamsyah (Ina) 21-17, 11-21, 21-11; Wing Ki Wong (Hkg) bt Sameer Verma (Ind) 21-12, 21-13.
Women singles: Tsz Ka Chan (Hkg) bt Manupati Relaetrix (Ina)18-21, 21-13, 21-13; Inthanon Ratchanok (Tha) bt Juan Gu (Sin) 21-13, 21-19; Eriko Hirose (Jpn) bt Desi Hera (Ina); Porntip Buranaprasertsuk (Tha) bt Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) 21-18, 21-16.
Men doubles: Naoki Kawamae & Shoji Sato (Jpn) w/o Bodin Issara & Jonjit Maneepong (Tha); Yao Han Ow & Wee Kiong Tan (Mas) bt Rickey Karanda Suwardi & Muhammad Ulinnuha (Ina) 21-19, 21-17.
Andrei Adistia & Christopher Rusdianto (Ina) bt Peng Soon Chan & Aik Quan Tan (Mas) 21-15, 21-12; Hee Chun Mak & Soon Hock Ong (Mas) bt Ingo Kindervater & Johannes Schoettler (Ger) 21-17, 17-21, 21-16.
Women doubles: Miyuki Maeda & Satako Suetsuna (Jap) bt Deela Destiara Haris & Andini Suci Rizky (Ina) 21-17, 21-17; Vivian Kah Mun Hoo & Khe Wei Woon (Mas) bt Aparna Balan & Siki Reddy (Ind) 21-17, 21-5.
Shinta Mulia Sari & Lei Yao (Sin) bt Liu Ying Goh & Yin Loo Lim (Mas); 21-10, 21-18; Eei Hui Chin & Pei Tty Wong (Mas) bt Vita Marissa & Nadya Melati (Ina) 21-13, 21-17.
Mixed doubles: Sudket Prapakamol & Saralee Thoungthongkam (Tha) bt Danny Bawa Chrisnanta & Yu Yan Vanessa Neo (Sin) 21-13, 21-19.
Fran Kurniawan & Shendy Puspa Irawati (Ina) bt Peng Soon Chan & Liu Ying Goh (Mas) 16-21, 22-20, 21-14; V. Diju & G. Jwala bt Wai Hong Wong & Hoi Wah Chau (Hkg) 21-8, 21-16; Muhammad Rijai & Debby Susanto (Ina) bt Maneepong Jongjit & Savitree Amitapal (Tha) 21-16, 21-16.