Michelle Li storms into Macau Open final

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Michelle Li fights her way into the Macau Open final. (photo: AFP)
Michelle Li fights her way into the Macau Open final. (photo: AFP)

Macau: The 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Michelle Li of Canada continued her strong form on Saturday as she survived a tough battle against Ayumi Mine of Japan in the Macau Open semi-final that was played on Li’s 27th birthday.

The Canadian made a strong start against Mine and she quickly took the first set 21-15. However, Li struggled into the second set, when the top seed went down 8-21 to the Japanese in an error-filled game.

Li, managed to stage a 21-13 comeback on Mine in the decider to reach the Macau Open final and will now face No. 5 seed Han Yue of China on Sunday.

In women’s doubles, Malaysia’s women’s doubles Vivian Hoo/Yap Cheng Wen pulled off an upset to beat No. 4 seeds Nami Matsuyama/Chiharu Shida of Japan 21-16, 21-17.

Vivian Hoo who paired up with Yap Cheng Wen in September, will play another Japanese pair Misato Aratama/Akane Watanabe in the final.

Korea’s two former top men’s doubles pairs Lee Yong Dae/Kim Gi Jung and Ko Sung Hyun/Shin Baek Cheol have set up an all-Korean final on Sunday as both pairs have rediscovered their mojo by outlasting their opponents in the semi-final respectively.

Lee Yong Dae/Kim Gi Jung narrowly escaped the challenge from No. 5 seeds Lu Ching Yao/Yang Po Han of Taiwan, rolling through the Taiwanese pair 18-21, 21-8, 25-23 in a 77-minute battle.

Meanwhile, Ko Sung Hyun/Shin Baek Cheol kept their strong run going with a battling 21-14, 21-15 win over Chang Ko-Chi/Lu Chia Pin of Taiwan.

The men’s singles semi-final saw Korea’s 38-year-old veteran and No. 3 seed Lee Hyun Il was made to work hard before overcoming unseeded Sitthikom Thammasin of Thailand 18-21, 21-17, 21-4. Lee will square off another unseeded player Zhou Zeqi of China for the men’s title crown.

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