India's Sourabh Verma suffered a heartbreak in the men's singles final of the Malaysia Grand Prix Gold as he went down fighting in a three-game thriller against Simon Santoso of Indonesia here on Sunday.
The 21-year-old from Madhya Pradesh squandered a one-game advantage to lose 21-15 16-21 19-21 to former world number three Simon in an energy-sapping one hour and nine minutes match at the Stadium Perbandaran Pasir Gudang.
The world number 30 Sourabh, who had recently clinched three titles -- TATA Open, Austrian International Challenge and Iran Fajr International Challenge -- played his heart out in his fourth final in as many months but it was the 15th seed Simon who had the last laugh.
With this win, the world number 56 Indonesian kept his unbeaten record intact against Sourabh. Simon had beaten the Indian in straight games in their only previous meeting in 2012 at the Indonesia Open.
Simon didn't take much time to get off the block, opening up a 4-2 lead and then extending it to 12-5. However, Sourabh soon found his rhythm back and slowly surpassed the Indonesian to reach 16-14. The Indian then reeled off five straight points to win the first game.
In the second game, Simon regrouped himself and surged ahead to a massive 16-6 lead. Sourabh once again started dominating the proceedings and narrowed it down to 15-18, before the Indonesian moved to enjoy five game point. The Indian saved one but Simon didn't give Sourabh any chance after that and roared back into the contest.
In the decider, Sourabh lead 9-5 initially but Simon clawed back at 10-10 before the Indian moved into the breather with a slender 11-10 lead.
After the break, the duo fought a fierce battle of supremacy with Sourabh breathing down Simon's neck. The eighth seeded Indian grabbed the lead at 19-18 but Simon once again wriggled out and then shut the door on his younger rival in the end.
2012 national champion Sourabh had come close to winning a Grand Prix title in 2011 when he had reached the final of the Syed Modi India Open.