Six-time champion Lin Dan suffered a surprise defeat to debutant Shi Yuqi in an all-Chinese semifinal at the All England badminton championships here on Saturday.
Lin's exit means that a much-anticipated final between him and world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia will not take place. The two super stars in the sport met three times at the Olympic Games, with Lin winning the finals in 2008 and 2012 and Lee taking the semifinal in Rio last year.
Lee, bidding to lift the trophy for a fourth time, needed three games to topple Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei 10-21, 21-14, 21-9 in his semifinal clash.
Lin, 33, was very disappointed after the defeat, although he did not want to accept that fact that it is time to pass the baton to a new generation because the 21-year-old Shi's victory was all but convincing.
Lin raced to take the first five points, before Shi found second gear to get back into contention. From there, it was a neck-and-neck battle until the very end of the opener, with Shi eventually prevailing 24-22.
But in the second game, it was a one-sided story as Shi took complete control from the very first shuttle.
The world No. 10 won 21-11 to book his spot in his maiden All England final.
"It was a good game and I'm very happy because it's my first time at the All England and I beat Lin Dan and have made it to the final," he said.
"I consider myself very, very lucky and the team supports me and tries to help me develop so I have to reward them."
There will be European representation in just one final on Sunday as Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen progressed in the women's doubles, easing past Jung Kyung Eun and Shin Seung Chan of South Korea in straight games.
They will now play Chang Ye Na and Lee So Hee of Malaysia in the final, after they defeated Chinese duo Bao Yixin and Yu Xiaohan 21-18, 21-18.
Their victory came after home favorites Chris and Gabby Adcock were eliminated in the mixed, for their second semifinal finish in successive years.
The Adcocks were quick to take the opening game in their contest with fifth seeds Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong, but, after the Chinese pair levelled the scores in the second, they were unable to battle back despite holding match point, falling to a 19-21, 21-12, 22-20 loss.
Lu and Huang will face Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh in the final, with the Malaysians overcoming Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino en route to the title tussle.
The women's singles title will be played between Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand and top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei after they defeated Akane Yamaguchi and Sung Ji Hyun respectively.
In the men's doubles final, it will be a Chinese versus Indonesian battle after Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen prevailed over compatriots Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan in two games.
Their rivals will be Indonesian tandem Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, who defeated Danes Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding.