BIRMINGHAM: After falling short in the final last year, Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa made sure they gave themselves another shot at winning the prestigious All-England badminton championships.
Last year, Endo-Hayakawa made a superb run to the final only to lose to China’s Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan.
On Saturday, world No.2 Endo-Hayakawa nearly missed the ticket to the final as they fell behind against a fiery onslaught by South Korea’s Ko Sung-hyun-Shin Baek-cheol.
The second seeds however regained their composure to pummel the Koreans for a 16-21, 21-17, 21-13 win.
It was just rewards for the ever-consistent Endo-Hayakawa who have been ranked in the top four for the past two years.
And the pair who were German Open finalists last week, are definitely eager to win their first ever Superseries title on Sunday.
It will be a clash of the world’s top two pairs after reigning world champions Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan gave fellow Indonesians Gideon Markus Fernaldi-Markis Kido a badminton lesson in the other semi-final.
Ahsan-Hendra who have been hitting form, were just too strong in the 21-7, 21-12 win.
“We knew how they play from the videos and we were also helped by the fact that our opponents were not at their best,” said Ahsan.
“We are happy to go through to the final but we are staying focused as our opponents will be very tough.”
Meanwhile in women’s doubles, the versatile Ma Jin scaled new heights with yet another new partner – 20-year-old Tang Yuanting, as they outplayed Japan’s Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi.
Ma Jin-Yuanting won 21-17, 21-12 and will face compatriots and world No.1 Wang Xiaoli-Yu Yang in the final.