Giant-killer Sourabh Varma played his heart out but had to be content with a runner-up finish at the Syed Modi Memorial India Open Grand Prix Gold as he lost the fiercely-fought final to former World and Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat, in Lucknow on Sunday.
The unseeded Indian was locked in an intense battle with the second seed Hidayat till the end of the men's singles summit clash, which he lost 15-21 18-21 in 46 minutes.
Ranked 72 in the world and on his debut season on the senior international circuit, Sourabh pushed the defending champion Hidayat to limits but it was the Indonesian, who had the last laugh.
Sourabh, who beat three higher-ranked players -- Tommy Sugiarto, Yun Hu and Suppanyu Avihingsanon -- en route to the final, had opened up a 8-2 lead but Hidayat scored six points in a row to draw parity and moved neck and neck till 13-13.
Sourabh fought hard and led 15-16 before the Indonesian reeled off five points on the trot to pocket the first game.
The second game again was a close affair as Sourabh refused to give in to the six-time Indonesia Super Series title winner. Scores were even 17-17 but Hidayat surged ahead by moving to 20-18 and then clinched the issue quickly.
Sourabh, who won the Bahrain International Challenge this year, had also reached the quarterfinals of TATA Open India International Challenge, Thailand Grand Prix Gold and Indian Super series.