Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan won a thriller to enter the Men’s Doubles semi-finals at the Dong Feng Citroen Badminton Asia Championships 2015 today.
The Indonesians (featured image) were given a thorough workout by Liu Xiaolong/Qiu Zihan. The third seeds from China had two match points in the decider; Ahsan and Setiawan saved both and took the match on their second opportunity, 21-18 11-21 24-22, in 70 minutes.
They face another Chinese pair in the semi-finals. Cai Yun and Lu Kai won an even longer match against Japan’s Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda. The final game was a neck-and-neck battle all the way, with the Japanese missing two opportunities to close it, before Cai/Lu prevailed 21-13 17-21 23-21 in 79 minutes.
In the other half, top seeds Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong (Korea) had a surprisingly easy result over China’s Chai Biao/Hong Wei, 21-10 21-14, while Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang, also of Korea, eased past Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa.
It was a good day for China in Women’s Singles as former champions Wang Yihan and Li Xuerui made the semi-finals. Li overcame a deficit against India’s PV Sindhu, 11-21 21-19 21-8, while Wang Yihan overpowered defending champion Sung Ji Hyun (Korea) 21-18 21-15.
Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying stopped world No.1 Saina Nehwal (India) in three hard-fought games, 16-21 21-13 21-18, while Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon decimated Korea’s Bae Yeon Ju 21-13 21-9.
The Men’s Singles semi-finals will be an all-China affair. Defending champion Lin Dan had few problems against Japan’s Sho Sasaki, 21-17 21-13, while World champion Chen Long was similarly dismissive of Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen, 21-10 21-11. Young guns Wang Zhengming and Tian Houwei also enjoyed straight-games wins over Malaysia’s Chong Wei Feng and Korea’s Son Wan Ho respectively. Wang plays Lin in the semi-finals and will hope to beat him for the first time in six matches.
There were no surprises in Women’s Doubles, with China booking three semi-final places. It will be up to Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi (Japan) to prevent a Chinese victory; the top seeds dismissed Korea’s Lee So Hee/Shin Seung Chan 21-14 21-12 and next face Yu Yang/Wang Xiaoli, who outgunned Thailand’s Puttita Supajirakul/Sapsiree Taerattanachai. The other semi-final will see Ma Jin/Tang Yuanting against Luo Ying/Luo Yu.
Mixed Doubles top seeds Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei conceded a walkover to Kenichi Hayakawa/Misaki Matsutomo. The Japanese take on Hong Kong’s Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah, winners of a thriller over Indonesia’s Praveen Jordan/Debby Susanto, 14-21 21-15 22-20.
Familiar foes Xu Chen/Ma Jin (China) and Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir face off in the second semi-final.
For the day’s results, click here.
Text by Dev Sukumar | Badmintonphoto