Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying on Saturday crashed out of the BWF All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham, with South Korea’s Se Young-an denying the world No. 3 Tai a chance at a fourth All England title.
In a replay of their semi-final showdown last year, the world No. 2 Se again beat Tai, saving four match points in a thrilling deciding game to prevail 17-21, 21-19, 24-22.
Tai won the women’s singles title in Birmingham in 2017, 2018 and 2020.
In the three times the two superstars faced each other prior to Saturday, Tai, 22, had only come out on top once, when she beat Se 21-18, 21-12 in their 2021 BWF World Tour Finals semi-final.
Se was to play China’s Chen Yufei in yesterday’s final, after Chen dominated reigning champion and world No. 1 Akane Yamaguchi 21-17, 21-8 in 37 minutes, as the Japanese star appeared to struggle with a shoulder problem.
“I have no problem at all with my physical condition,” Yamaguchi said. “She was more in control.”
Se said she was excited to play in the final.
“Being able to play in such a prestigious final at my age, it’s something I can’t express,” the 21-year-old Se said.
In the men’s singles, Shi Yuqi dumped out world No. 4 Lee Zii Jia in their semi-final to set up a title clash with fellow Chinese shuttler Li Shifeng.
Shi battled back from 14-11 down in the opening game to secure an ultimately comfortable victory, 21-19, 21-13, over Malaysia’s Lee, who had been struggling with form heading into the tournament.
“This week I learned to believe in myself again,” Lee said. “I doubted myself a lot and whether I could come back again as a top player. I proved it here.”
Shi is aiming to win the title for the second time after his 2018 triumph.
Li reached his second World Tour final of the year by surviving a comeback from Denmark’s Anders Antonsen to win 21-11, 19-21, 21-18.
Li led 17-12 in the second game before Antonsen rallied to force a decider.
However, the world No. 14 secured victory with three straight points from 18-18 to book his place in yesterday’s final.
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