Fuzhou: Playing in front of home crowd and in the semi-finals of a Super Series tournament on Saturday was an unfamiliar task for 19-year-old Gao Fangjie of China, especially her opponent on the other side of the net was reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain.
In less than 24 hours after she upset defending champion and Rio Olympic silver medalist P. V. Sindhu of India in the quarter-finals, Gao proved too hot to handle by the Spaniard, needed 61 minutes to outlast the No. 4 seed Carolina Marin 21-19, 21-19 in the semi-finals.
When asked about how she felt after beating both Olympic champion and runner-up in less than a day, Goa said: “Olympic champion and runner-up? I did really pay too much attention to that, I just tried to stay focused and play my best.”
“Playing well in only one tournament doesn’t mean anything, I am going to train harder to earn more points and more opportunities to be eligible for upcoming Super Series tournaments,” added Gao.
Gao will meet Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the final.
The No. 5 seed Yamaguchi took advantage of a drop in Ratchanok Intanon’s play to pick up a 21-14, 21-18 semi-final win against No. 8 seed Intanon in 42 minutes.
In women’s doubles final, No. 2 seeds Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan of China will take on No. 8 seeds Kim Hye Rin/Lee So Hee of Korea on Sunday.