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Sourabh falters

Johor Bahru: India’s Sourabh Verma went down fighting in the final of the Malaysian Grand Prix Gold here on Sunday.

The 21-year-old squandered a one-game advantage to lose 21-15, 16-21, 19-21 to Simon Santoso of Indonesia in one hour and nine minutes.

The world No. 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 No. 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.