Gopi reaches Japan Open semis

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:27 IST

Pulella Gopichand survived another tough game, beating Wu Yunyong of China to reach the Japan Open badminton tournament semi-finals.

Tokyo:

Pulella Gopichand of India survived another tough game today, beating Wu Yunyong of China to reach the Japan Open badminton tournament semi-finals. Gopichand, who needed five games to beat both Indonesia's world champion Hendrawan and Korean Open winner Lin Dan of China, came through another five-gamer for a 7-8, 7-1, 8-6, 2-7, 7-5 victory in 47 minutes. Meanwhile, on the adjacent court, unseeded Keita Masuda became the first Japanese in 20 years to reach the semi-finals by beating Chinese fifth seed Bao Chunlai 8-6, 7-2, 7-1. Tomorrow, Masuda will challenge Asian champion Xia Yuanze, the top seed, who saw off fellow Chinese Chen Yu 8-6, 7-1, 8-7. Muhammad Hafiz Hashim of Malaysia, who shocked Gopichand during his defence of the All England tournament last month, failed to set up a re-match as he fell victim to a spirited Lee Hyun-Il of South Korea 7-4, 4-7, 3-7, 7-8. In the women's field, Zhang Ning knocked the last non-Chinese player, 1998 Asian Games gold medallist Kanako Yonekura of Japan 5-7, 4-7, 7-1, 7-5, 7-0 to set up a meeting with Dai Yun. Dai defeated 2000 Asian champion Xie Xingfang 7-2, 4-7, 3-7, 7-0, 7-5 while Zhou Mi defeated two-time Asian junior champion Hu Ting 7-4, 7-3, 7-3. Wang Chen pulled off the biggest win, beating world champion Gong Ruina 7-4, 8-6, 4-7, 3-7, 8-6. (PTI)

Topics : Badminton
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