Carolina Marin came back from a 19-21 first game loss against to earn a semi-final berth and effectively a World Championship medal, a first for her and for her country Spain. In another match, P. V. Sindhu also managed to stage a comeback after suffering an identical 19-21 first game loss thereby earning a medal for the second consecutive year.
By Emzi Regala. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)
Tai Tzu Ying and Carolina Marin (pictured), seeded 8th and 9th respectively, were evenly matched in their first two games. It was perhaps the confidence that Marin earned from her previous night’s victory over Wang Yihan that propelled her to see the end of the tunnel, as she outplayed her Chinese Taipei opponent in the final game of the rubber match to win 19-21, 21-19, 21-11.
P. V. Sindhu (pictured) is proving to be Wang Shixian’s World Championship stumbling block. Not only did the two face off in the Worlds quarter-finals for the second consecutive year, but the outcome too was the same, the lower seeded Indian emerging on top after a gruelling battle contested in 1 hour and 26 minutes. P. V. Sindhu faces-off with European Champion Carolina Marin to determine who will get the better coloured medal.
Where her younger compatriot thrives, Saina Nehwal falls. Although Saina Nehwal showed feisty fighting spirit, she yet again failed to proceed further and has once again fallen a few steps short of a World Championship medal, bowing out in two games after scoring 16 points each time. A solid performance by 1st seed and world #1 Li Xuerui, backed with an equally solid game plan, sent the 7th seed Nehwal packing home in what would become the shortest women’s singles match of the day at just 46 minutes.
Another suspense-filled match was that of Japan’s Minatsu Mitani and Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun. All seemed to go on Sung’s way after a convincing first game victory, but the Japanese shuttler found her rhythm in the second game, hitting the lines with precision. Sung and Mitani thrilled the crowd with their heart-stopping decider that ultimately went in Mitani’s favour 9-21, 21-18, 22-20. Mitani will go against the world #1 Li Xuerui in the semi-finals.
In the men’s singles, Lee Chong Wei cruised past Wang Zhengming with ease, while his most likely challenger Chen Long barely held on against strong opposition from Son Wan Ho before winning 21-14, 12-21, 21-17. Lee will feature against home favourite Viktor Axelsen (pictured) while Chen will contend with Sugiarto in the semis.
All 3 doubles disciplines were remarkably almost free of upsets in the quarter-finals, the only three involving matches between compatriots, in a way. Korea’s Lee So Hee / Shin Seung Chan beat the higher-ranked Jang/Kim, while Liu/Bao beat Lu/Huang in the mixed. The victory of Ko Sung Hyun / Shin Baek Cheol (pictured) over Malaysia’s Hoon/Tan, on the other hand, set up an all-Korean semi-final in the men’s doubles.