Ratchanok Intanon squandered a 18-14 lead in the deciding game away as she went down to Japanese old foe Akane Yamaguchi in the nail-biting semi-final of the BWF Dubai Superseries Finals on Saturday.
The world No 6 put behind a lackluster form in the second game to build a solid lead in the final game and was three points away from victory. But the Japanese put up a doggy fight, chasing down all shots to force unforced errors from the Thai.
Ratchanok lost seven points in a row and bowed out with a 21-17 12-21 19-21 defeat, failing to reach the final of the Superseries Finals for the first time. The match was over after 72 minutes of long exciting rallies.
Akane will wait a winner between title favourite Sindhu Pusarla of India and Chen Yufei of China for the Sunday’s final.