Triple junior world champion Kunlavut, who appeared in his first ever semi-final at a World Tour Super 300 event, fended off five game points in the opener but Nishimoto was just too strong for the 18-year-old rising Thai star, winning their encounter 21-18, 21-13 in 47 minutes.
Kunlavut’s defeat capped off a disappointing week for the local stars as the teenager was the only Thai player to make it to the weekend’s play of the US$170,000 (approximately 5.1 million baht) tournament.
Nishimoto of Japan will take on third seed Angus Ng Ka Long in the final today (Jan 26). Hong Kong’s Long defeated second seed Shi Yuqi of China 21-18, 21-19 in the first semi-final.
The battle for the women’s single crown will be between top seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan and third seed An Se-Young of South Korea.
Yamaguchi rallied to defeat fourth seed Carolina Marin of Spain 14-21, 23-21, 21-18, while An had little trouble against Aya Ohori of Japan, winning their match-up 21-17, 21-14.
Ohori upset Thai second seed Ratchanok Intanon in the quarter-finals on Friday (Jan 24).
Top seeds Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan of China will face Baek Ha-Na and Jung Kyung-Eun of South Korea for the women’s doubles crown.
Chen and Jia won the tournament in 2017.
Huang Kaixiang and Liu Cheng of China will battle it out against Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi of Malaysia in the men’s doubles decider.
Huang and Liu cruised past title-holders Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong of Malaysia 21-15, 21-11. Ong and Teo defeated Lee Jhe-huei and Yang Po-hsuan of Taiwan 21-17, 21-17. Huang and his then playing partner Wang Yilyu won the tournament in 2017.
Fourth seeds Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Widjaja of Indonesia will meet sixth seeds Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith of England in the mixed doubles final.