Sun, Sep 23, 2012 - Page 20 News List

Taiwan’s Tai to face Hirose in final

AFP, TOKYO

Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan celebrates her win over Sung Ji-hyun of South Korea during their women’s singles semi-finals at the Japan Open badminton tournament in Tokyo, Japan, yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Eriko Hirose, the unseeded home hope who eliminated fourth seed Bae Yeon-ju of South Korea on Friday, pulled off another upset by beating sixth seed Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand 21-19, 21-13, yesterday to set up a women’s final against Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying in badminton’s Japan Open.

“I’ve never beaten her before, so I’m really happy to win today. My goal is to win a title in the Superseries. I have one more match to go. I’m going to concentrate on each point to win the title,” Hirose said.

Tai, the fifth seed, defeated second-seeded Sung Ji-hyun of South Korea 16-21, 21-13, 21-17.

In the men’s final, Lee Chong Wei will meet Thailand’s unseeded Boonsak Ponsana after the two-time champion breezed past Simon Santoso.

The top seed and Olympic silver medalist, winner in Japan in 2007 and 2010, needed just over 30 minutes to see off the third seed 21-7, 21-17 in a one-sided semi-final.

“Simon seemed not to play his best. He made too many mistakes, especially in the first game, so I just needed to play my game,” said Lee, 29, of Malaysia. “My next opponent tomorrow is also a veteran player. Currently, me and Lin Dan are leading the world, but I’m sure younger players will be coming up very soon.”

“I was completely beaten today,” Indonesia’s Santoso said. “I can read the course of his shuttle, but he was much more speedy and powerful. Hopefully, I can beat Lee and Lin Dan and win a big tournament like this.”

Lin, along with the rest of the China team, is not in Tokyo after they boycotted the tournament over a diplomatic wrangle.

Boonsak set up today’s showdown with Lee after he defeated the unseeded Hu Yun of Hong Kong 21-17, 17-21, 21-19.

“It was really tough. I’m very tired,” Boonsak said. “I attacked very well in the first game and put a lot of pressure on him, but I rushed too much to attack in the second game. In the final game, I tried to make a chance to attack. I was confident to beat him.”

Reflecting on his final opponent, the unseeded Boonsak said: “He plays very fast and controls the game very well. It will be very difficult. I lost to him many times, but I defeated him twice before. I will do my best.”

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