Defending champion Tai out of badminton’s Japan Open

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TOKYO, July 26 (Xinhua) — Badminton’s world No. 1 Tai Tzu-Ying of Chinese Taipei suffered a shock defeat in the quarterfinals of the Japan Open here on Friday, going down 21-15, 15-21, 22-20 to unseeded Canadian Michelle Li.

With the two players having won one set each, defending champion Tai made a strong start in the deciding set to lead 4-0, but later games saw Li gain the upper hand and close out the win.

After shutting down Tai’s title defense, Li now faces a semifinal tie against local favorite Nozomi Okuhara, who had a 16-21, 21-16, 21-19 comeback victory over Nitchaon Jindapol of Thailand.

The other semifinal sees China’s No. 2 seed Chen Yufei take on fourth-seeded Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, who has a 9-6 head-to-head advantage over her opponent, but lost in their most recent tie at the Sudirman Cup.

In the men’s singles, top seed Kento Momota of Japan survived a grueling 21-13, 20-22, 21-15 match against world No. 8 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia, to set up a semifinal tie with India’s B. Sai Praneeth. The other men’s singles semifinal will be between Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen and No. 6 seed Jonatan Christie of Indonesia.

The semifinals will be played on Saturday at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, which will host badminton and fencing events during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

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