Reigning badminton world champion Viktor Axelsen put on a masterclass to beat Loh Kean Yew 21-17, 23-21 and progress to the semi-finals of the BWF China Open 2023, on Friday, 8 September.
A nervy start to the first game saw the lead exchange hands several times as both players committed unforced errors.
However, the starplayers eventually hit their straps, treating the capacity crowd to some mesmerising overhead smash winners, with the Dane finding greater accuracy to close out the game at the first time of asking.
Much was expected from 2021 world champ Loh, who seemed to have rediscovered his best form with two dominant wins in Changzhou going into this match, and the Singapore shuttler came out firing in the second game, at one stage needing two points to level the match, before saving several game points.
But No. 1 seeded Axelsen’s class eventually shone through and he sealed the fixture on his second match point.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion will take on Indonesian fifth seed Jonatan Christie in the semi-finals, who beat his compatriot Shesar Hiren Rhustavito 21-12, 21-17.
Earlier in the day, women’s singles top seed An Se Young overcame a tough challenge from People’s Republic of China athlete Han Yue to make the final four.
The Korean lost the first game which kicked her into top gear, sealing a come-from-behind victory 15-21, 21-15, 21-17.
Joining her in the semis will be Republic of China shuttler, and No. 4 seed, Tai Tzu Ying, who beat Rio 2016 Olympic champion Carolina Marin in another thriller 21-17, 10-21, 21-19.
Finally, women’s singles second seed Yamaguchi Akane eased into the semi-finals courtesy of a 21-15, 21-13 win over Denmark’s Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt.
Featured Image: The Star