Vietnamese tears in Wuhan
Vietnam's Nguyen Tien Minh gave his best against Kento Momota - who is more than a decade younger than him - as the Japanese ace walked away with a 21-18, 2-8 win to reach the men's singles final for the second successive year.
Tien Minh, 37, however, believes it would have been a different story if not a twist of luck that denied him a place in the men's singles final.
The 24-year-old Momota, the defending champion, will meet China's second-ranked Shi Yuqi for the title. The second-seeded Yuqi won a hard-fought semi-final match against Chinese Taipei's Chou Tien-Chen 22-20, 21-18.
"I would have won my first game but luck was not with me. At 18-18 Momota broke a string in his racquet but the shuttle landed in my court, catching me off guard. That was the turning point for us...while Momota got his 19th point I was left stunned.
"I was in a position and confident of my 19th point but things happened the other way round. I dare say I would have won the first game.
"I may be 37 but fitness is not an issue for me. In the second game I was battling strong wind inside the stadium and had difficulty controlling the shuttle," said a disappointed Tien Minh, a three-time Olympian, who won the bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships.
Meanwhile, China's hopes of winning the women's singles title lie in the hands of fifth seed He Binjiao who plays Japan's third seed Akane Yamaguchi in the final.
Yamaguchi broke the hearts of the local fans when claimed a 15-21, 21-16, 21-17 win over top-seed Chen Yufei in an hour-long match while Bingjiao also needed three-games to subdue compatriot Cai Yanyan 8-21, 21-12, 21-17.
"Last year I finished runners-up but this year I am out in the semi-finals. It is disappointing for me in many ways. Yamaguchi returned all that I threw at her and in the end I grew tired," said a dejected Yufei, the All-England champion.
As for Yamaguchi, she is happy to entertain herself and the fans in every match.
"I always give my best in every match. Winning a title is a different story as far as I entertain myself and the fans in the stadium," said Yamaguchi.
The mixed doubles title is China's for the taking. Unseeded He Jiting-Du Yue upset top seeds and compatriots Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong 21-14, 21-18 while second seeds Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping stopped Thai fourth seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai 23-21, 21-10.