HS Prannoy, Sourabh Verma reach the quarter-finals of New Zealand Grand Prix

Seventh seed Verma pipped compatriot Parupalli Kashyap to secure his win.

HS Prannoy and Sourabh Verma moved into the quarter-finals of the New Zealand Grand Prix Gold in Auckland on Wednesday with wins in their respective third round matches. Both players had a tough road in reaching the last-eight, despite their individual scorelines reading different.

The fourth seeded Prannoy beat 10th seeded Wei Nan of Hong Kong 21-18, 21-19, overturning Nan’s early lead across both games. Prannoy and Nan were tied at 18-all in the first game, before the Indian took the game courtesy of three swift points. In the second game, Prannoy had two match points at 20-18, but Nan looked like he would mount a comeback as he got back the serve after winning the point at 20-19. However, Prannoy kept his calm to win the next point and the match.

In the quarter-finals, Prannoy will play the 11th seeded Lu Hsien Lin of Chinese Taipei. Lin defeated Dutch player Erik Meijs 21-16, 21-12 in their third round match.

Sourabh downs Kashyap

The highly awaited all-Indian contest between Parupalli Kashyap and Sourabh Verma saw the latter emerge victorious 21-18, 13-21, 21-16 to move into the quarter-finals of the tournament.

The seventh seeded Verma seemed untroubled against his 15th seeded opponent. In the opening game, he raced away to a comfortable 16-8 lead. However, Kashyap reduced the gap after winning five consecutive points to 16-13. The latter stages of the game had the opponents going neck-and-neck, before Verma won the game 21-18.

Kashyap took away the momentum from Verma convincingly in the second game as he levelled the match to take it to the decider. The final game once again swung Verma’s way, as he secured five match points.

Verma now awaits the winner between the 13th seeded Israelite Misha Zilberman and Hong Kong’s Cheuk Yiu Lee in the quarter-finals.

Sixteenth seed Siril Verma, however, bowed out of the tournament after suffering a straight games’ defeat to Chinese Taipei’s Chia Hung Lu in their pre-quarter-final match. The unseeded Hung Lu upset the Indian 21-13, 21-14 to take his place in the quarter-final.

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