Roundup: 2018 BWF World Championship sees top seed exodus on Day 5

Saturday, 2018-08-04 00:19:25
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Danish star shuttler Viktor Axelsen fails to defend his title in Nanjing. (Photo: Badminton Photo)
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Friday was not a good day for reigning world champions as four top seeds ended their journey at the 2018 BWF World Championships in Nanjing, China one after another.

Tai Tzu Ying was the first world no.1 to leave the stage as she suffered a 21-18, 7-21, 21-13 loss to China's no. 6 seed He Bingjiao and saw her incredible 31-match winning streak gone.

He, 21, will face Carolina Marin in the semifinals after the Spaniard claimed an easy victory against India's Saina Nehwal 21-6, 21-11.

Danish star shuttler Viktor Axelsen was edged out by China's Olympic gold medalist Chen Long, 21-19, 21-11 in an hour, failing to defend his title in Nanjing.

Although Axelsen showcased his powerful attacks with jump smashes from time to time, his faults gave Chen too many chances that the two-time world champion was more than willing to seize.

Chen Long's rival in the semifinals will be compatriot Shi Yuqi, who clinched a 16-21, 21-15, 21-18 comeback victory to edge out Chinese Taipei's Chou Tien Chen.

Things were level in the first game until Chou broke the deadlock by winning seven points in a row at 14-11 down and quickly wrapped up the win.

Shi had a steadier performance in the second game, leading from start to finish to extend Chou to the decider in which he bounced off from 15-7 down and celebrated with a loud roar, knees on ground.

Defending champion Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan, the only Chinese duo survived the round of 16, were the third top seed to be knocked out as they lost to Indonesia's no.5 seed Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu 23-21, 23-21 after squandering five game points.

In the men's doubles, top duo Gideon and Sukamuljo was stunned by Japan's no.5 seed Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda 21-19, 21-18, their second defeat this year in 28 matches.

Although lower-ranked, the Japanese duo led the match in the majority of time. Even though the world no.1 levelled the game at 20-20 after winning seven consecutive points, their errors cost them the victory.

Kamura and Sonoda will fight no. 14 seed Chen Hung Ling and Wang Chi Lin for a place in the final. The Chinese Taipei's duo upset no.4 seed Takuto Inoue and Yuki Kaneko, 21-11, 17-21, 21-13.

The only top seed that survived the quarterfinals is China's Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong. The pair stormed to a 21-17, 21-10 win over Indian duo Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa.

Elsewhere, Japan's title contender Kento Momota eased into the semifinals with a 21-12, 21-12 win over India's Sai Praneeth B. India's no. 3 seed Pusarla V. Sindhu seed knocked out Japan's defending champion Nozomi Okuhara in straight sets to book a semifinal clash with Japan's Akane Yamaguchi, who bested China's Chen Yufei 21-13, 17-21, 21-16.

Xinhua