Thursday 24 August 2017
Chen Yufei laid claim to the biggest win of her nascent career after causing the surprise of the day at the TOTAL BWF World Championships.
The 19-year-old Chinese hotshot knocked out women’s singles top seed Akane Yamaguchi at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena, a straight-games victory in which she was fully deserving of the success.
A girls' singles junior title winner at the Asia Junior Championships and the World Junior Championships, this result was perhaps not as big a shock as some may expect.
But the teenage ninth seed showed herself to be more than capable of handling the big occasion, now taking her place in the quarter-finals – where 2013 world champion Ratchanok Intanon awaits.
“I am very excited to have won against my opponent today. It was one of my main goals this year,” she said.
“I made some mistakes in the middle of the second game to go 14-11 down, but I managed to adjust myself to come back to my own strategy and I believe that is how I managed victory today.
“This is definitely the biggest win of my career so far.”
Meanwhile Lin Dan’s progression to the last eight was a far less convincing affair, having to battle past a resurgent Rajiv Ouseph in three gruelling games in Glasgow.
Englishman Ouseph had taken the opener 21-14 with the five-time world champion left rattled at the prospect of another tough battle if he wanted to progress.
That was exactly the situation that unfolded too, needing 72 minutes to wrap up the contest, leaving Wong Wing Ki Vincent as the next hurdle in the bid for a sixth title.
“In the first game, my opponent performed very well, because he played very quickly from the start,” said The Greatest.
“The difference in the score was so big, so I had to try my best from the second game. But I think my opponent did very well in the first game.
“Every match is the same, this one has finished now so I have to carefully prepare for the next one.”
Day four of the World Championships also saw success for Saina Nehwal, setting up a Glasgow glamour tie with home favourite Kirsty Gilmour - against whom she has never dropped a game in four meetings.
A 21-19 21-15 win over second seed Sung Ji Hyun formulated that outcome, defying the seedings to claim her eighth win over the Korean.
That was despite having to battle from a deficit in the first game, only seizing the initiative after the game hit parity at 19-19, while the second was also a nip-tuck battle which went in the Indian's favour.
“It was definitely a good match, I didn’t really want to think about the fact I was playing the world number two, I just wanted to play a point at a time,” she admitted.
“Of course it was at the back of my mind that I was playing someone who has been very consistent this season.
“I’m very happy that I recovered the lead she had, it was 17-13 or 18-14, I usually don’t do that.
“When you have a match point you want to get the feeling of finishing it, but when you’re down 17-13 you feel that half your match is done.”
Tickets still available for the Quarter and Semi finals!
Film and article by Sportsbeat.
History was made on finals day at the TOTAL BWF World Championships as Viktor Axelsen became the first European player to win men’s singles gold in 20 years.