Nozomi Okuhara faces Carolina Marin in Japan Open semis

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Carolina Marin to play Nozomi Okuhara in Japan Open semis. (photo: AP)
Carolina Marin to play Nozomi Okuhara in Japan Open semis. (photo: AP)

Tokyo: The 2017 women’s singles World Champion Nozomi Okuhara’s run of strong form continued when the unseeded Japanese player battled past Zhang Beiwen of USA with a 21-16, 23-21 win on Friday.

Okuhara who is bidding to reclaim the Japan Open trophy on home soil, after winning it in 2015 will play the Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain.

Marin spoiled the home fans’ party for not allowing an all-Japanese semi-final when she clinched a convincing 21-18, 21-15 victory against No. 2 seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan.

“Playing Yamaguchi is never easy because she fights for every shuttle. I keep fighting the whole match because I want to show her my determination to win today,” said Marin.

Meanwhile, Yamaguchi was clearly disappointed after the loss.

“I was planning to play aggressively, but it didn’t go the way I wanted. On the other hand, it was Marin who was effective in attacking during the match.” said Yamaguchi.

China’s Chen Yufei will set up a semi-final clash with compatriot and No. 6 seed He Bingjiao in the other women’s singles semis.

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