Kuala Lumpur: India's Sameer Verma put up a strong challenge before going down in three games to world No. 2 Chinese Shi Yuqi in the $750,000 Malaysia Open here on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old from Madhya Pradesh, who had lost to Shi Yuqi in the semifinals of the World Tour Finals in December last year, suffered a 20-22, 23-21, 12-21 loss in a 65-minute men's singles opening round match.
It was a close battle till 8-8 in the opening game before Sameer fell back 11-16. But he fought back to make it 20-20 before being pipped by Shi Yuqi.
The second game was no different as the Indian trailed 11-16before drawing level at 20-20. Even though the Chinese grabbed one match point, Sameer reeled off three points to take the match to the decider.
In the third game, Shi Yuqi jumped to a 9-0 lead and didn't allow the Indian to fight back.
Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy made a good start to their campaign in mixed doubles. The duo scored a hard-fought 22-20, 24-22 win over Ireland's Sam Magee and Chloe Magee.