Chinese shuttler Gao upsets Olympic champion Marin in China Open semis

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-18 20:18:43|Editor: Yurou
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By Sportswriter Liu Yang

FUZHOU, China, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Chinese rising young shuttler Gao Fangjie edged Rio Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain 21-19, 21-19 in the China Open women's singles semis here on Saturday,

The 19-year-old youngster, world No. 89, kept shaking down strong opponents for five straight rounds since qualifications. The dark horse knocked out world No. 2, Rio Olympic silver medalist Pusarla V. Sindhu of India in the quarterfinal on Friday.

It's her first encounter against Marin and she sealed the victory in one hour. With too many mistakes matching Gao, Marin seemed tired and tried to control the tempo, but failed to turn over the game.

"I did my best but not enough. There are a few things about the match I must analyze with my coach," said the Spaniard. "Gao is a tough opponent. I cannot tell more details but she plays really like Li Xuerui."

Gao is very excited to grab the semi win, and also happy to hear people's comment about her looking like the former Olympics champion Li.

"I hope I can play like her, not just looking. Right now I'm far behind. I asked Li for advice through wechat after every game. I need to move forward step by step."

From qualifications to the finals, Gao has made unbelievable achievements that rookies usually never dreamed of.

"I never expected to fight into the final. It was incredible! Both Marin and I scored points quickly and lost points quickly. I tried to keep calm and patient when she chased up the points," said Gao.

"My coach told me to attack her backhand and backcourt. I lost too many points on her forehands," added Gao. "My coach also told me to shout aloud like her to keep confident. One victory does not prove anything. I hope to win more by hard training, fighting more superseries."

Gao will fight for the title against Akane Yamaguchi of Japan.

In the men's singles, Rio Olympic champion Chen Long of China defeated world No. 3 Son Wan Ho of South Korea, 21-17, 10-21, 21-7. His final opponent will be world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark who beat Ng Ka Long Angus from Hong Kong, China, 21-12, 21-17 in the semis.

Chen lost the recent encounter against the Danish in the World Championships in August, but beat him in the semis of last year's China Open.

"I have won most of the encounters against Viktor (9-2), but as is seen to all, he is making progress very rapidly," said Chen. "Sunday's match will be very fierce and competitive and I'll stretch out 100 percent of myself."

Chen played into finals in 2015's and 2016's China Open, but failed to claim the title.

"I've been seeking methods to play better since I failed at worlds, so I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's final," Chen said with confidence.

China's fifth seed duo in mixed doubles, Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong, took down Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet from Hong Kong, China, 21-13, 18-21, 21-15. It is their second encounter after Macau Open. Both Zheng and Huang believed it seemed more difficult to beat them this time and the Hong Kong pair moved faster to push them uncomfortably.

"I played with Huang in CBSL games and this is our second BWF tournament after Macau. It is a new beginning for us. We need to improve the details in cooperation," said Huang.

The number two seed pair in the women's doubles, Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan from China won the game against their compatriots Du Yue/Li Yinhui, 13-21, 27-25, 21-15, securing one berth of final for China.