Indian shuttler Sourabh Varma gave a fantastic fight but eventually went down to Indonesian 15th seed Simon Santoso in the men’s singles final of the $120,000 Malaysia Grand Prix Gold on Sunday.
Despite leading a large chunk of the match, the eighth seeded Indian went down 21-15, 16-21, 19-21 in a marathon encounter which lasted an hour and nine minutes at the Stadium Perbandaran Pasir Gudang here.
After sharing the first two games, the decider turned out to be a neck-and-neck affair. Though the Indian opened up a big 9-4 gap at the start of the third game, former World No.3 Santoso clawed back to equalise at 10-all.
Santoso then slowly gained a 16-13 advantage but World No.43 Varma won the next three points to level the game. The duo shared the next four points between themselves but a superb bodyline smash helped Varma take a 19-18 lead.
However, the Indonesian showed grit in the dying moments of the match to clinch the next three points to bag the Grand Prix title.
Earlier, in the first game it looked like Santoso would win as he was leading 12-5. But Varma staged a remarkable comeback to win 16 of the next 19 points to take home the game.
The Indonesian World No.56, however, dominated the second game from the start and did not allow Varma any room and clinched the third game in a tough battle.
This was Santoso’s second win in as many meetings over Varma. The last time they met was at the 2012 Indonesia Open.