Singapore shuttler Liang Xiaoyu did not get the fairy-tale finish she was hoping for at the Thailand Open, losing 11-21, 14-21 to South Korean Sung Ji Hyun in the women's singles final on Sunday.
The 19-year-old looked tired and nervous against the in-form world No. 7, who also won the Korea Open two weeks ago.
Playing in her first final on the Badminton World Federation circuit, the Singapore Sports School graduate could not maintain her stunning form from the semi-finals a day earlier, when she upset top seed and former world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 22-20, 13-21, 21-17.
In the final, the world No. 120 fell to Sung in 37 minutes at the Thunder Dome in Nonthaburi.
Singapore chief coach Chua Yong Joo said: "It was a good run from Xiaoyu to go all the way to the final. There, it was a gauge of how far away she still is from the top players.
"She has the potential to be like them one day, especially if she works on her defensive skills."
Liang reached the quarter-finals at this year's SEA Games on home soil, and was a part of the Singapore team that claimed an unexpected mixed team bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year.