Parupalli Kashyap of India has bowed out of the 2015 Yonex Open Japan. He was the last Indian left in the tournament and with his tame loss against Taiwan’s Chou Tien Chen, India’s challenge has ended. The Japan Super-series tournament has literally become the graveyard of seeded players. After Chen Long, Saina Nehwal, Ratchanok Intanon and several other seeded stars, who exited earlier, it was the turn of women’s top seed Carolina Marin and no.3 seed Li Xuerui on Friday. While the Spanish world champion went down fighting against China’s Wang Shixian, Li Xuerui lost to Japan’s rising star Akane Yamaguchi. The mayhem was not restricted to singles players alone since there were casualties in mixed doubles, men’s doubles and women’s doubles as well. In Saturday’s men’s singles semifinal China’s Lin Dan will take on Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia while Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen will play against Taiwan’s Chou Tien Chen. On the women’s side, the first semifinal will feature China’s Wang Shixian and Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi while in the other semifinal, 4th seeded Taiwanese Tai Tzu Ying will take on Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara.
On Friday, India’s Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap suffered a straight-game loss against Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan to end India’s challenge in the 2015 Yonex Open in Tokyo. The Taiwanese opened an early 5-2 lead in the first game and despite Kashyap clawing back; Chou regained the lead after 8-8. Afterwards, it was a one-way traffic as Chou took the first game with ease. Kashyap started the second game with a 4-2 lead but failed to sustain the pressure on Chou, who surged ahead with an 8-2 lead and kept enhancing the gap. Kashyap tried some last minute heroics and made the score 18-20 but the Taiwanese had the last laugh with a well-deserved 21-14, 21-18 victory in 41 minutes. Chou will now take on the formidable Chinese and no.5 seed Lin Dan for the place in Sunday’s final. In other men’s singles quarterfinals, Viktor Axelsen of Denmark defeated Korea’s Lee Dong Keun 23-21,21-17 and Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto crushed compatriot Ihsan Maulana Mustofa 21-10, 21-5 in 33 minutes. Axelsen and Sugiarto will vie for the other final spot on Saturday.
The fall of seeded players continued unabated on Friday with no.1 seed Spain’s Carolina Marin losing to China’s no.7 seed Wang Shixian in a three-game battle that lasted for 73 minutes. Marin won the first game 21-13 but the Chinese bounced back in the next two games to defeat the world champion 13-21, 21-19, 21-15. China’s no.3 seed Li Xuerui also lost her quarterfinal match to Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi. The Japanese star played brilliantly to score a 21-19, 13-21, 21-16 victory against the former world no.1 in a 57-minute match. For a place in the final, Yamaguchi will have to defeat China’s no.7 seed Wang Shixian. In other women’s singles quarterfinals, Taiwan’s fourth seeded Tai Tzu Ying outlasted China’s no.4 seed Wang Yihan 21-18, 17-21, 21-13 and Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara prevailed over compatriot and Saina Nehwal’s conqueror Minatsu Mitani 21-16, 18-21, 21-15 in an epic 83 minute match. The Japanese will play against Tai Tzu Ying in the semifinal on Saturday.
Other seeded stars, who fell in Friday’s matches were; China’s no.2 seeded mixed doubles pair of Xu Chen/Ma Jin, who lost 16-21, 17-21 to Korea’s Kim Gi Jung/Shin Seung Chan; Indonesia’s men’s doubles third seeds Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan, who were beaten by China’s no.5 seeds Fu Haifeng/Zhang Nan 21-9, 21-18 and women doubles no.2 seeds from China Luo Ying/Luo Yu lost to unseeded Koreans Chae Yoo Jung/Kim So Yeong 19-21, 14-21.
In other matches, women’s doubles fourth seeds from Denmark Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl defeated sixth seeds from Indonesia Nitya Krishinda Maheswari/Greysia Polii 21-19, 21-17; Japan’s men’s doubles sixth seeds Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa defeated Korea’s Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang 21-11, 21-18 and Denmark’s no.5 seeded mixed double pair of Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen defeated China’s no.4 seeds Liu Cheng/Bao Yixin 21-16, 21-12. In the day’s longest match, Japan’s women’s doubles team of Shizuka Matsuo/Mami Naito took 94 minutes before coming through against Korea’s Chang Ye Na/Lee So Hee with a score-line of 13-21, 21-16, 24-22.
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