Sourabh enters semis, Gurusaidutt, Thulasi exit Malaysian GPG

Johor Bahru: India`s Sourabh Verma advanced to the semifinals but it was curtains for R M V Gurusaidutt and P C Thulasi in the singles competition of the USD 120,000 Malaysian Grand Prix Gold at Pasir Gudang on Friday.

Eighth seed Sourabh overcame Chinese Taipei`s Tien Chen Chou 22-20 18-21 21-15 in a thrilling contest to set up a clash with Malaysia`s Wei Feng Chong, who showed the exit door to Gurusaidutt, in the last-four stage of the men`s singles competition.

In the other men`s quarterfinal, sixth seed Gurusaidutt went down fighting to Feng Chong 12-21 21-5 19-21 at Stadium Pasir Gudang.

Thulasi, too, failed to cross the quarterfinal hurdle as she was knocked out by Adrianti Firdasari of Indonesia 17-21 21-17 18-21 in 53 minutes, ending India`s challenge in the women`s singles category.

In the other quartersfinals played today, it was curtains for men`s doubles pair of Alwin Francis and Arun Vishnu, who lost to Malaysia`s V Shem Goh and Khim Wah Lim 18-21 14-21, while the eight seeded combo of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Siki Reddy were beaten by Indonesia`s Edi Subaktiar and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja 26-28 19-21 in the mixed doubles event.

In their first meeting, Sourabh was marginally ahead of his rival in the opening game and clinched it 22-20. In the second game too, Sourabh was leading 18-15 before Chen Chou hit a six-point rally to take the game to the decider.

Sourabh was more consistent in the final one to continue his sensational run. The 21-year-old has been in great form as he clinched three titles -- TATA Open, Austrian International Challenge and Iran Fajr International Challenge recently.

Meanwhile, second seed Chong did not face much trouble in pocketing the first game against Gurusaidutt. But the Indian made a strong comeback in the second as he gave away just five points in claiming the game to put the match in balance.

The third game, however, was keenly contested with Gurusaidutt quick to get off the block with a 4-0 lead. But the Malaysian soon levelled and went on take a slender advantage that he maintained till the end.