Sourabh Varma's spectacular run was stopped by a heart-shattering loss in the final of the Yonex-Sunrise Malaysia Grand Prix Gold Badminton at the Stadium Perbandaran Pasir Gudang in Johor Bahru, Malaysia on Sunday.
It was so near yet so far for Varma, who lost a close men's singles final against Simon Santoso. The 15th seeded Indonesian rallied back strongly to halt the giant-killing run of Varma with a 15-21, 21-16, 21-19 win in a match which lasted for 69 minutes.
The eighth seeded Varma did not have a sound start and was trailing 5-12 in the first game but staged a remarkable recovery to win the opener 21-15 by pocketing the next 16 points out of 19. The second game went to the 28-year-old Indonesian, who capitalized on some errors on the part of Varma to level the game scores 1-1.
Varma, world No. 43, was leading by a couple of points early in the decider but Santoso forced his way through with some sensational power game. At 19-19, world No. 56 Santoso claimed the next two points to end his title drought.
Varma, who had won three international titles this season, was disappointed and rued the fact that he could not finish it off.
"It was a tough match against Simon as he was playing different today from his regular game. I will take this as learning process and work hard on my game to give my best, to bring laurels to our country in the future," Varma told TOI on Sunday.
Varma, who could have became only the fourth Indian to win the GP Gold title after P Kashyap, K Srikanth and Arvind Bhat, admitted that he got some rough line decisions at the crucial stages of the match.
"I should have finished it off in straight games only. In the second game, I got some wrong judgments because of that he got a big lead. Then it was tough for me to come back from there in the second game. But in the third game it was all neck-and-neck. Towards the closing stages of the match, he got two lucky points which I think was the turning point of the match," regretted Varma.
The 21-year-old said it was not the end and will try hard to win the next tournament. "It's part and parcel of the game. I will win the next tournament," said Varma, an employee of ONGC.