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Monday, September 25, 2023

Badminton Olympic champion Chen reaches semifinals at All England Open


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Birmingham: Olympic champion Chen Yufei of China fought hard to reach the women’s singles semifinals at the All England Badminton Open here on Friday.

Chen, 25, played a seesaw match against Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in the Birmingham Arena. The fourth seed eventually saw off her Indonesian opponent 24-22 and 23-21 after 56 minutes.

“The match was as tough as what the scoreline showed,” said Chen. “Maybe there were fewer rallies because of the wind, but it still had a high demand on my concentration.”

Chen will face Japanese Akane Yamaguchi as the defending champion and world No. 1 beat China’s Wang Zhiyi 21-19 and 21-12 earlier in the quarterfinals.

“She plays her shots at a very high speed during the rallies and she does quite well in both attack and defense,” said Chen, who lost to Yamaguchi in the semifinals at last week’s German Open.

“I will put the result aside, and I would like to learn something from her by playing against her,” said Chen. “But I will definitely try my best and restrain her performance.”

The women’s doubles top seeds Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan of China suffered a bitter loss to South Korea’s sixth seeds Kim So-yeong/Kong Hee-yong 19-21, 22-20 and 24-22.

“I made too many mistakes,” the 25-year-old Jia rued. “We had chances to win the second game and we tried to adjust when we were behind in the third game. But I made too many unforced errors, which was the main reason for our loss today.”

In the men’s singles, China’s Shi Yuqi beat teammate Weng Hongyang 21-9, 21-16 to set up a semifinal clash with Malaysian fourth seed Lee Zii Jia.

The 2021 champion Lee eliminated seventh-seeded Japanese Kodai Naraoka 21-9, 10-21 and 21-13. The other semifinal will be played between Anders Antonsen of Denmark and China’s Li Shifeng.

China’s Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong eased into the mixed doubles semifinals by beating Japanese duo Yuki Kaneko/Misaki Matsutomo 21-13, 21-11. The Olympic runners-up Zheng and Huang will lock horns with Rehan Naufal Kusharjanto/Lisa Ayu Kusumawati of Indonesia on Saturday.

Both semifinals in the men’s doubles will be played between Chinese and Indonesian pairs.


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