Lee Zii Jia out of Bitburger Open, Zhang Beiwen through to final

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Zhang Beiwen of USA reaches Bitburger Open final. (photo: AP)
Zhang Beiwen of USA reaches Bitburger Open final. (photo: AP)

Saarbrucken: Denmark’s unseeded Rasmus Gemke halted Malaysia’s No. 14 seed Lee Zii Jia’s incredible run at the Bitburger Open after a one-sided semi-finals contest.The Malaysian couldn’t maintain concentration in the first set, making a lot of simple mistakes and giving away a lot of easy points. Lee was blown away by the Dane 21-11 after his uncharacteristically mistake-prone first game.

Lee seemed to regain the consistency and focus early in the second set. However, Lee was struggling again and suffered another poor play when he stayed stagnant at 6-2, allowing Gemke to slowly claw his way back into the set. Gemke clinch the match-point with 21-12 in the second set after Lee’s drop shot found the net. Gemke will meet No. 4 seed Hsu Jen Hao of Taiwan in the final.

Meanwhile, Hsu has to dig deep to see off Netherlands’ Mark Caljouw 21-15, 16-21, 21-14 in a 64 minutes thriller.

In women’s competition, No. 1 seed Zhang Beiwen of the United States cruised past unseeded Pai Yu Po of Taiwan in semi-finals to reach the 2017 Bitburger Open final.

Zhang dropped the first set to Pai 17-21, but fought back in commanding fashion by taking the next two games to beat Pai 21-6, 21-9 at the Saarlandhalle Stadium.

The top-seeded American will face No. 2 seed Nitchaon Jindapol of Thailand on Sunday, after the second-seeded Thai player beat China’s fourth-seeded shuttler Chen Xiaoxin 21-14, 21-16 in 40 minutes.

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