Mumbai: Indore youngster Saurabh Verma caused a flutter in the first round of the men`s singles of the Tata Open India International Badminton Challenge by overcoming his fancied Thai rival Suppanyu Avihingsanon in three hard-fought games here on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old Verma, a trainee at the P Gopichand academy in Hyderabad, won the long-drawn out battle against last week`s India Open runner-up with his tireless retrieving game 21-13 18-21 21-16 in one hour.
The Indian youngster looked well set to clinch the match in straight games when he led 16-14 in the second after having bagged the opening game before the Thai player fought back to win the game and force a decider.
But the extra effort seemed to have worn out Suppanyu as Verma again started to return whatever was fired at him before clinching the decider to advance to the second round meeting with Indonesia`s Tene Andre Marteen.
Suppanyu had beaten India`s Arvind Bhat and this tournament`s top seed Alamsyah Yunus in the quarter and semi final before losing to top seed Dionysius Rumbaka of Indonesia in the men`s singles final of the Indian Open at Hyderabad.
The tournament was robbed of its sheen when second seeded Indian Ajay Jayaram pulled out with a back injury that he had sustained in the Hyderabad event.
Jayaram trailed 0-3 against Indonesia`s Arif Ramadhan when he conceded the tie. Men`s third seed Anand Pawar has withdrawn from the tournament citing exhaustion after being forced to spend 60 hours while returning to India because of the flight cancellations in Europe due to freezing weather conditions.
Fourth seed Bhat and sixth seed Anup Sridhar kept the host country`s flag aloft with straight-game win in the first round. Bhat shut out compatriot and qualifier Rohan Castelino while Sridhar despatched Malaysia`s Misbun Ramdan.
India`s Aditya Elango, who made it to the quarter-finals of the Indian Open, gave a tough fight to Malaysia`s up and coming player Abdul Latif Mohammed Arif before losing in three games.
Elango, who lost in the semis to Rumbaka at Hyderabad, went down 22-20 14-21 20-22.
Indian qualifier Nigel D`Sa also went down fighting against Riyanto Subagja 21-14 20-22 11-21.
Women`s singles (1st round): Rawinda Prajongjai (THA) bt Saili Rane (IND) 21-7 21-9; Sanyogita Ghorpade (IND) bt Kunnath Jaqueline Rose (IND) 21-15 21-18; Parssa Naqvi (IND) bt Rozina Akter (BAN) 21-10 22-20; Mohita Sahdev (IND) bt Shapla Aktar (BAN) 21-8 21-12; Hanna Ramadhini (INA) bt Bibari Basumatari (IND) 21-14 21-12; Tanvi Lad (IND) bt Pooja Shrestha (NEP) 21-9 21-7; Gayatri Vartak (IND) bt Alina Sultana (BAN) 21-15 21-11; Sayali Gokhale (IND) bt Mudra Dahinje (IND) 21-13 21-13; S Sanyal (IND) bt Nagshala Tamang Devi (NEP) 21-5 21-8; Febby Angguni (INA) bt Sampada
Sahastrabudhe (IND) 21-16 21-15; Neha Pandit (IND) bt Dulali Hulder (BAN) 21-5 21-10; P C Thulasi (IND) bt Christina Maria Elfira (INA) 21-19 21-13. 2nd round: Ratnasari Fransiska (INA) bt Rawinda Prajongjai (THA) 21-17 21-14.
Men`s singles (1st round): Yunus Alamsyah (INA) bt Aditya Prakash (IND) 3-1 Ret.; Goh Soon Huat (MAS) bt Oscar Bansal (IND) 21-7 21-9; Wong Zi Liang Derek (SIN)  bt Zainuddin Iskandar Zulkarnain (MAS) 21-12 22-20; Riyanto Subagja (IND) bt Nigel D`Sa (INA) 14-21 22-20 21-11; Tene Andre Marteen (INA) bt Guaranshu Chopra (IND) 21-12 21-12; Sourabh Verma (IND) bt Suppanyu Avihingsanon (THA) 21-13 18-21 21-16; Anup Sridhar (IND)  bt Misbun Ramdan Misbun (MAS) 21-19 21-15; K Nandagopal (IND) bt Mayank Behal (IND) 21-16 21-7; Abdul Latif Mohamad Arif (MAS) bt Aditya Elango (IND) 20-22 21-14 22-20; Tommy Sugiarto (INA)  bt Daniel Gouw (USA) 21-6 21-9; Lim Fang Yang (MAS) bt Enayetullah Khan (BAN) 21-10 21-11; Arvind Bhat (IND) bt Rohan Castelino (IND) 21-17 21-16; Sagar Chopda (IND) bt Ai Wei Jian (MAS) 21-10 21-10; Stanislav Pukhov (RUS) bt Rhustavito Shesar Hiren (INA) 21-15 21-17; Lee Jian Jee (MAS) bt Prakash Jolly (IND) 21-17 21-16; Arif Ramadhan (INA) bt Ajay Jayaram (IND) 3-0 Ret. 2nd round: Stanislav Pukhov (RUS) bt Sagar Chopda (IND) 21-17 21-14.