Taipei: Local hope Chou Tien Chen has shocked two-time Olympic gold medalist No.4 seed Lin Dan of China to headline a big day of upsets in the semi-finals of Chinese Taipei Open on Saturday.
Chou survived a three-set thriller to defeat Lin 21-19, 18-21, 21-16 in 77 minutes. Chou fought back from 14-18 deficit, and managed to seal the winning point in the first set after he caught Lin Dan off guard by luckily rolling the shuttlecock across the top of the net to Lin Dan’s side. Lin Dan then reclaimed the second set with 21-18. Chou took a commanding 13-3 lead over the Chinese in the decider, but Lin Dan fought back superbly, closing on Chou with 16-17. The Taiwanese recomposed himself to reel off the next four points to cruise to victory.
World No. 1 Chen Long demolished an in-form Wei Nan 21-18, 21-9 in the other men’s singles semi-final, to set up a final clash against Chou Tien Chen on Sunday. Chen Long holds a 5-0 career record against Chou Tien Chen.
No. 5 seeds Fu Haifeng/Zhang Nan crushed world No. 1 pair Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong 21-16 in a one sided first set of their men’s doubles semi-final match. Trailing 11-16, Fu/Zhang lifted their game on a high-speed phase, rallied from behind to claim the second set 21-18.
Unseeded men’s doubles pair Gideon Markus Fernaldi/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia produced a display of aggressive and confident badminton to blow away compatriots No. 3 seeds Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan 21-19, 21-17 to reach the final.
In women’s singles, Wang Yihan pulled off an upset on Saturday, beating No. 1 seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 22-20, 21-18. Wang Yihan will square off with her Chinese compatriot Li Xuerui in the final of the Chinese Taipei Open, after the No. 2 seed Li recorded a 21-17 21-14 victory over local player Tai Tzu Ying in just 33 minutes. The two Chinese finalists have met 11 times previously, of which Wang won six of the matches.
Indonesians Nitya Krishinda Maheswari/Greysia Polii of Indonesia eased past No. 1 seeds in women’s doubles Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi 21-12, 21-16 to face second seeds Luo Ying/Luo Yu of China in the women’s doubles final on Sunday.
Interestingly, Shin Baek Choel would have to battle his normal men’s doubles partner Ko Sung Hyun in the mixed doubles final on Sunday, after the Korean pair Shin Baek Choel/Yoo Jung Chae defeated Ronald Alexander/Melati Daeva Oktaviani 21-18, 21-10, while Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na eliminated another Indonesian pair Praveen Jordan/Debby Susanto 22-20, 21-15 in their respective semifinal matches.