Taiwanese shuttlers Tai Tzu-ying and Chou Tien-chen reached the finals of the women’s and men’s singles respectively at the All England Open after toppling their opponents in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Tai, the second-seeded world No. 2, triumphed over eighth-seeded world No. 7 and defending Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain 19-21, 21-13, 21-11 in a match that lasted 62 minutes.
The Taiwanese badminton ace lost the first game, but turned things around in the next two games by sending Marin running from line to line with aggressive strikes and disguised pushes that forced the Spaniard to go long beyond the side and back lines.
With the latest win, Tai extended her head-to-head record against Marin to 9-6 and pocketed her fourth consecutive ticket to the All England Open final.
Tai was to play top seed, world No. 1 and defending champion Chen Yufei yesterday for the title, with all of the matches starting after press time last night.
In the men’s singles, first-seeded world No. 2 Chou had an easier ride to the finals after fifth-seed and world No. 4 Anders Antonsen of Denmark retired 26 minutes into the match due to an injury.
Chou was leading 17-14 in the first game when the injury occurred.
He rolled his right ankle in an attempt to receive a deep push into the right back corner.
Chou thanked organizers and badminton fans.
“I’m happy to win today and thanks to God and to the All England organizers, because this [COVID-19 pandemic] is a big situation and yet the people coming here to see us, so we need to show great attitude, so may God bless all the fans and the staff and coaches,” he told bwfbadminton.com.
Chou now enjoys a 7-1 head-to-head record against Antonsen, who beat Malaysian world No. 13 Lee Zii Jia 17-21, 21-13, 21-19 at the the Arena Birmingham.
With the prospects of an all-Danish final scuppered, Chou was to play Antonsen’s compatriot, second seed world No. 7 Viktor Axelsen, who was a runner up last year at the All England Open.
Taiwan’s campaign in the men’s doubles came to a halt as seventh seeds Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin fell to top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia in straight games 21-18, 21-13 in a semi-final that lasted only 35 minutes.
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