LONDON — Shi Yu Qi dumped out world number four Lee Zii Jia in the All England Open semi-finals on Saturday to set up a title clash with fellow Chinese shuttler Li Shi Feng.
Shi battled back from 14-11 down in the opening game to secure an ultimately comfortable victory, 21-19, 21-13, over Malaysia’s Lee, who had been struggling for form heading into the tournament.
“This week I learned to believe in myself again,” said Lee. “I doubted myself a lot and whether I could come back again as a top player. I proved it here.”
Shi is aiming to win the title for the second time after his 2018 triumph.
Li reached his second World Tour final of the year by surviving a comeback from Denmark’s Anders Antonsen to win 21-11, 19-21, 21-18.
Li led 17-12 in the second game before Antonsen rallied to force a decider.
But the world number 14 secured victory with three straight points from 18-18 to book his place in Sunday’s final.
Reigning champion and world number one Akane Yamaguchi was surprisingly dumped out of the women’s event by China’s Chen Yu Fei.
The world champion slumped to a 21-17, 21-8 defeat in only 37 minutes as she appeared to struggle with a shoulder problem.
“I have no problem at all with my physical condition,” insisted the Japanese star. “She was more in control.”
Chen will take on South Korean world number two Se Young-an after a dramatic second semi-final against Taiwan’s Tzu Ying Tai.
Se saved four match points in a thrilling deciding game to prevail 17-21, 21-19, 24-22.
“Being able to play in such a prestigious final at my age, it’s something I can’t express,” said the 21-year-old Se. — AFP