Unseeded Wang Zhi Yi of China marched into the women's singles final after posting a hard-earned 10-21, 21-12, 21-16 upset win over second seed An Seyoung on Saturday in the SMART Badminton Asia Championships 2022 at the jampacked Muntinlupa Sports Center.

Wang will be up against top seed and defending champion Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, who bounced back from a first set loss to prevail over fourth seed Pusarla Venkata Sindhu of India, 13-21, 21-19, 21-16, in the other semifinal match.

Yamaguchi was up at 4-1 in the second set when the 2020 Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist rallied to wrest the lead at 15-13. While the Japanese regained her form to make it 19-17, Sindhu kept coming back but Yamaguchi played steadier to level the score at 1-set all.

The reigning world champion dominated the third set, taking a 14-8 lead which Sindhu trimmed at 12-15. Yamaguchi sustained her momentum to wrap up the match in 66 minutes.

Get the latest news
delivered to your inbox
Sign up for The Manila Times’ daily newsletters
By signing up with an email address, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

"Today's match is not so bad. I just kept my focus. I hope to play better in the final," said the 24-year-old Yamaguchi through an interpreter.

The victory improved her head-to-head record against Sindhu to 9-13. She lost to the Indian, 15-21, 21-15, 19-21, at the World Tour Finals in Bali, Indonesia last year.

In the mixed doubles category, top seeds Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong of China advanced to the final round when their fourth-seeded Indonesian opponents, Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti, retired.

Jordan complained of back pain after the first set which ended at 21-8 in favor of the Chinese tandem.

Zheng and Huang will meet the winner of the match between second seeds Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino of Japan, and third seeds Wang Yi Lyu and Huang Dong Ping of China.

Meanwhile, No. 1 seeds Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan of China defeated compatriots Du Yue and Li Wen Mei, 21-12, 21-17 to reach the final in the women's doubles category of this tournament organized by the Philippine Badminton Association and sponsored by MVP Sports Foundation, Robinsons Land and Premium Megastructues Inc.

The second final berth is being contested by unseeded Rin Iwanaga and Kie Nakanishi of Japan and fourth-seeded compatriots Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota.

The US$400,000 tournament will award US$30,000 and 12,000 Badminton World Federation ranking points to the singles champion, while the runner-up will get US$15,200 and 10,200 points.