India's P Kashyap put up a gritty performance before losing to world No. 17 Shon Wan Ho of Korea in a three-game thriller to bring down the curtains on the Indian campaign at the Yonex Sunrise India Open Super Series in New Delhi on Saturday.
Thirteen ranking points separated the two but Olympic bound Kashyap showed a lot of gumption during his 71-minute battle against the Korean before losing by a 14-21, 21-19, 16-21 margin at the Siri Fort stadium here.
Kashyap played long rallies and made some brilliant returns but he left enough opening for his rival to capitalise as the Korean lead 11-7 at the break. The Korean exploited the Indian's weakness and extended the lead to 18-11 before sealing it with a roaring smash from the mid-court.
In the second game, Wan once again opened up a narrow 4-1 lead. Kashyap tried to break Wan Ho's rhythm and caught up with the Korean at 10-10, much to the delight of the vociferous crowd, and then surged ahead 18-16 with a couple of cross-court smashes.
The Korean clawed back at 18-18 but he faltered at the fag end as Kashyap closed the game at 21-19.
In the decider, Wan Ho committed some unforced errors early on to allow Kashyap to lead 5-2 but he drew parity at 7-7 and with Kashyap faltering at the net, the Korean lead 11-10 at the break.
After the change of ends, Wan Ho extended the lead to 15-11 before moving on to 18-12, courtesy of unforced errors on Kashyap's part.
Kashyap did play a few splendid shots as well but in the end it was the Korean who had the last laugh.
In the other semi-final, World No. 1 and defending champion Lee Chong Wei was on course for his second consecutive title after notching up a 21-13, 21-7 victory over Chinese Taipei's Jen Hao Hsu to set up a clash with Wan Ho.
In the women's singles, world No. 8 and sixth seed German Juliane Schenk ended the giant-killing spree of Chinese qualifier Xiao Jia Chen defeating her 21-16, 21-13 in a 42-minute battle.
In the final, Juliane will take on the fourth seed Chinese Yanjiao Jiang after her semi-final opponent Xuerui Li of China pulled out citing an injury.
In other results, fifth seed Thai pair of Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam edged past the Chinese combo of Tao Jiaming and Xia Huan 21-19, 22-20 in 47 minutes to reach the finals.
They will take on second seeds Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia, who beat the third seeded Korean pair of Yong Dae Lee and Jung Eun Ha 21-7, 21-14 in another mixed doubles semi-final match.
In men's doubles, the Thai pair of Bodin Issara and Maneepong Jongjit saw off the Indonesian pair of Angga Pratama and Ryan Agung Saputra 21-15, 20-22, 21-15 in 48 minutes.