Two-time defending champion PV Sindhu stood just one win away from completing a hat-trick of titles at the Macau Open after she advanced to finals of the event with a gruelling three-game triumph over second seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan on Saturday.
World No. 12 Sindhu triumphed 21-8 15-21 21-16 in a contest which lasted an hour and three minutes to make the summit clash of the USD 120,000 event.
The two-time World Championship bronze-medallist, who is seeded fifth, Sindhu will next square off against the winner of the match between He Bingjiao of China and sixth-seeded Japanese Minatsu Mitani.
Sindhu was off to a fantastic start on Saturday as she pocketed the opening game in a mere 14 minutes.
But Yamaguchi did not let the Indian run away with it and roared back into the contest to claim the second game. The World No. 9 went neck-and-neck with the Indian till 15-15 before breaking away to draw level.
Sindhu raised her tempo in the decisive third game and raced to an 11-5 lead. Yamaguchi did claw back to reduce the margin but the Indian managed to do just enough to seal the issue in her favour.
With this, Sindhu avenged a loss that she had suffered at the hands of Yamaguchi in 2013 when the Japanese had knocked her out of the Japan Open with a 21-6 21-17 win.