Lucknow: Unseeded Saurabh Verma had to be satisfied with a runner-up finish at the Syed Modi Memorial India Open Grand Prix Gold as he lost the severely fought final to earlier World and Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat on Sunday.
The unseeded Indian was locked in a strong battle with the second seed Hidayat till the end of the men’s singles acme clash, which he lost 15-21, 18-21 in 46 minutes.
Ranked 72 in the world and on his unveiling season on the senior international circuit, Saurabh short of the defending champion Hidayat to limits, but who had the final snort.
Saurabh, who beat three higher-ranked players, Tommy Sugiarto, Yun Hu and Suppanyu Avihingsanon, while travelling to the final, had confessed 8-2 lead but Hidayat scored 6 points in a row to draw equivalence and moved neck and neck till 13-13.
Sourabh, who won the Bahrain International Challenge this year, had also achieved the quarterfinals of TATA Open India International Challenge, Thailand Grand Prix Gold and Indian Super series.