Tokyo: Lin Dan and Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong were winners but reigning world champions in both men’s doubles and women’s singles – Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan and Carolina Marin were beaten in a day of upsets in the quarter-finals at the Japan Open on Friday.
No. 5 seed Lin Dan of China who defeated Lee Chong Wei two days ago, handily defeated Tian Houwei 21-14, 21-18 in 59 minutes in the men’s singles quarter-finals. Lin will clash with Tommy Sugiarto in the semi-finals. Indonesian Sugiarto needing less than 33 minutes to declare a 21-10, 21-5 victory over compatriot Ihsan Maulana Mustofa at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
In Saturday’s other men’s singles semi-finals, Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan will face Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.
Top men’s doubles Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong of Korea avoided the fate of so many other top ranked players, came through for a 21-14, 21-15 win over Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda of Japan on Friday. They will play Indonesians Angga Pratama/Ricky Karanda Suwardi in the semi-finals. Angga Pratama/Ricky Karanda Suwardi swept past Malaysian pair Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong 21-16, 21-13 in the quarter-finals to set up a showdown with the top Korean pair on Saturday.
Meanwhile, reigining world champions in men’s doubles Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan suffered a quarter-finals upset to Chinese pair No. 5 seeds Fu Haifeng/Zhang Nan, losing 21-9, 21-18 in 28 minutes.
Despite being heavy Japan Open favorites, world champion Carolina Marin pressed and fought but ultimately failed to escape the Japan Open quarter-finals against No. 7 seed Chinese shuttler Wang Shixian. Wang’s 13-21, 21-19, 21-15 victory was her first against the Spaniard in their fourth meetings this year. The women’s singles shuttler from China was defeated by Marin 17-21, 19-21 in the quarter-finals of World Championships last month. Wang will play 18-year-old Japanese Akane Yamaguchi in the semi-finals. Akane Yamaguchi shocked 2012 Olympic champion Li Xuerui in other quarter-finals with a hard-earned 21-19, 13-21, 21-16 victory.
Taiwanese shuttler Tai Tzu Ying delivered another fatal blow to the Chinese women’s singles department when the ruthless Tai knocked out No. 6 seed Wang Yihan of China 21-18, 17-21, 21-13 to seal a berth in the semi-finals. Tai is set to square off against Nozomi Okuhara next. Nozomi Okuhara put halt to Minatsu Mitani’s Cinderella Japan Open run on Friday by showing Mitani the exit door to prevail 21-16 18-21 21-15 in 83 minutes.