Guangzhou: Defending champion P V Sindhu's campaign in the year-ending BWF World Tour Final was all but over after the Indian lost to China's Chen Yufei 22-20, 16-21, 12-21 here on Thursday.
Just like in her campaign opener against Japan's Akane Yamaguchi on Wednesday, Sindhu squandered a game advantage to lose yet again in a one hour and 12 minute match, virtually bowing out of contention for the knockouts.
Trailing 17-20, Sindhu staged a dramatic turnaround to score five straight points and claim the first game.
However, the Chinese rallied to win the second game after a strong start.
Chen Yufei, who has been in rampaging form this season having won all six of her finals, including the All England Championships, carried the momentum into the decider and left Sindhu stunned with her wide repertoire of shots.
Coming into the match with a strong 6-3 head-to-head record, Sindhu struggled to match Chen Yufei initially, as the Chinese used her smashes to good effect and grabbed an 8-4 lead and then extended it to 16-12.
But the the reigning world champion turned it around superbly and clinched the opening game in 24 minutes when she sent the shuttle beyond Chen Yufei's reach.
The second game started on an even keel but from 7-7, Chen Yufei went into the lead and then managed a handsome seven-point cushion with the score reading 19-12 in favour of the Chinese.
With a drop shot, the word number two claimed the second game and restored parity. The second game also lasted 24 minutes.
A confident Chen Yufei was in her element in the decider and rarely gave the world number six Sindhu an opportunity to come back into the Group A match that lasted one hour and 12 minutes in all.
Sindhu will play He Bing Jiao on Friday but that could well be a dead rubber as far as her chances of progressing further are concerned....