Chen Long to meet Axelsen in Australian Badminton Open final
Current world number one Chen Long of China will meet Viktor Axelsen of Denmark for an exciting men's singles final after both winning their respective semis at the 2015 Australian Badminton Open on Saturday.
Chen had fellow countryman Tian Houwei on the back foot for most of the match, forcing errors though shot precision and technical skill.
Chen's uncharacteristic unforced errors allowed Tian back in the second game, however the world number one proved too good, winning 21-14, 21-19.
An all Denmark semi-final saw world number 9 and local favorite Axelsen prove he belongs in the 2015 Australian Open final. His long reach and accurate shuttle placement saw him take another seeded scalp, this time third seed Jan Jorgensen in straight games 21-17, 21-15.
Spain's Caroline Martin screamed her way into Sunday's final, downing South Korea's Sung Ji Hyun in straight games. The power of the Spaniard's smash and some untimely errors by Sung helped her win the match 21-13, 21-14. She meets China's Wang Shixian who dismissed Bae Yoen Ju of South Korea in straight games in Saturday's first semi final.
Bae took early leads in both the first and second games, however Wang dug deep, stringing a series of consecutive points to win 19-21, 16-21.
The all China men's doubles semi-final of Liu Xiaolong/Qui Zihan and Liu Cheng/Lu Kai showed the Australian crowd what Chinese badminton is all about. Fast play, hard smashes and long, precise rallies saw the match last three games. In the end, the pairing Liu/Lu proved the better with fast, hyper accurate shots, winning 17-21, 21-11, 21-13. Liu/Lu will meet Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na of South Korea in Sunday's final.
Ko/Kim's opponents Liu Cheng/Bao Yixin of China let the game get away from them through unforced errors at the service net rallies. Liu/Bao fought back in the second with powerful smashes, however the Koreans managed to hold them off, winning 22-20, 21-18.
Despite their height advantage, the second seed Danish pairing of Christinna Pederson/Kamilla Rytter Juhl fell to Ma/Tang from China 16-21, 18-21. Some great shuttle placement by the Chinese pair coupled with unforced errors saw the Dutch go home early. Ma/Tang now meet fellow countrymen Tang Jinhua/Tian Qing in Sunday's final.
Tang/Tian took the battle to their opponents Misaki Matsumoto/Ayaka Takahashi of Japan early in the match taking the first game. The Chinese pair looked like they had the Japanese pairs number in the second, forcing the error in crucial long rallies. The gap widened to 19-14, however Matsumoto/Takahashi fought back sending the match to a third game. Tang/Tian wouldn't let that happen again showing their dominance over their court, winning 21-15, 19-21, 21-8.
The 2015 MetLife BWF World SuperSeries Australian Badminton Open champions will be crowned on Sunday.
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