World champion Yamaguchi powers into Badminton Asia semis

Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi hits a return against Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand during their women’s singles quarter final match at the Badminton Asia Championships in Muntinlupa, suburban Manila on April 29, 2022. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines (AFP) — Top seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan surged into the Badminton Asia Championships semi-finals after fighting back to defeat Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong on Friday.

Sixth-seeded Pornpawee romped to the first game 21-9 but the title-holder recovered to win the next two 21-15, 21-17 and wrap up the quarter-final in 55 minutes in Manila.

Yamaguchi will play India’s P.V. Sindhu in the last four after the fourth seed overcame China’s fifth seed He Bingjiao 21-9, 13-21, 21-19 in a tough 76 minutes.

Sindhu has the edge going into their tasty clash on Saturday having beaten the current world champion in 13 of their 21 previous meetings.

There was better luck for He’s compatriot Wang Zhiyi after she defeated Taiwan’s Wen Chi-hsu to book her spot in the other semi-final in the Philippine capital.

In a quarter-final between two unseeded players, world-ranked 16 Wang was a convincing 21-19, 21-9 winner in 34 minutes.

Wang will play either South Korea’s second seed An Se-young or eighth seed Sayaka Takahashi of Japan.
© Agence France-Presse

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