Birmingham, Britain, Mar 9: Defending champion Shi Yuqi of China beat Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan in straight sets to reach the men's singles semifinals at the All England Open badminton championships here on Friday.
As the only Chinese player to remain in the men's singles draw, Shi, the second seed, took 37 minutes to rout the world number 10, 21-14, 21-7. The 23-year-old, who upset teammate Lin Dan last year to win the champion, will next take on former world champion Viktor Axelsen, who beat Jan O Jorgensen 23-21, 21-18 in an all-Danish affair.
Shi said he had not felt much pressure from Tsuneyama, who shocked six-time champion Lin in the first round. "I didn't think too much before the match," he said. "Everybody has his chance once he has come here. I just told myself to try my best."
The other semifinal will be played between top seed Kento Momota of Japan and Ng Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong, China. Momota ousted seventh seed Srikanth Kidambi of India 21-12, 21-16 while Ng saw off Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia 16-21, 21-14, 21-15.
In the women's singles, top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, bidding for a third successive title, also booked a place in the last four with a 21-15, 21-19 victory over eighth seed Saina Nehwal of India.
Third seed Chen Yufei from China entered the last four after beating South Korea's Sung Ji Hyun 21-12, 21-16. The other two players from China both crashed out in the hands of Japanese opponents, with sixth seed He Bingjiao beaten by fourth seed Akane Yamaguchi 21-16, 19-21, 21-12 and Li Xuerui losing to second seed Nozomi Okuhara 21-17, 21-14.
Chen will face Okuhara and Tai meet Yamaguchi in the semifinals on Saturday. XINHUA-UNI