Former champion Sourabh Verma suffered a straight-games loss to world No 2 Chou Tien Chen in the men’s singles second round to draw curtains on India’s campaign at the $500,000 Chinese Taipei Open in Taipei on Thursday.
The 26-year-old, who won the Hyderabad Open last month, was no match for the top-seeded Chen, going down 12-21, 10-21 in a match that lasted 30 minutes.
World No 38 Verma, the 2016 winner, had come into the match with a 2-0 head-to-head record against Chen but that did not matter as the Taipei shuttler stamped his authority to knock the Indian out of the tournament.
The last time Verma and Chou faced against each other was way back in 2014 in the Malaysia Grand Prix Gold and a lot has changed since then as Thursday’s match showed a huge gulf in the quality of the two players.
Chou jumped to a 5-0 lead early on and held to a healthy 11-5 lead at the break. The Indian tried to make a comeback but he just could not find a way to extend the rallies with the Taipei shuttler pocketing the opening game comfortably.
In the second game, Verma took a 3-1 lead early on but the script changed quickly as Chou once again dominated the proceedings, marching ahead with quick burst of points. At the break, Chou led 11-4 and the gap kept increasing as Verma crumbled. Verma will next play at Vietnam Open Super 100 next week, before competing in Korea Open (September 24-29).