Shi Yuqi to meet Lee in final

Shi Yuqi to meet Lee in final

Lin Dan knocked out

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Ratchanok Intanon
Ratchanok Intanon

BIRMINGHAM — Defending champion Lin Dan was eliminated by Chinese teammate Shi Yuqi, who will play top-ranked Lee Chong Wei in the final of his first All England Open.

Shi, 12 years younger than Lin at 21, beat Lin 24-22, 21-11 in the semifinals Saturday.

Earlier, Chong Wei overcame Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan 10-21, 21-14, 21-9 in an hour.

A new women’s champion will be crowned Sunday.

Ratchanok Intanon, the former world champion from Thailand, lost her only previous appearance in the final in 2013, while top-ranked Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan has made it for the first time.

Ratchanok beat Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, considered a future world champion, 22-20, 21-16. Yamaguchi, who beat Ratchanok at the Olympics, led late in both games.

This marks Ratchanok’s first final since April, when she became the first person to win three Superseries events in three weeks. Those titles in India, Malaysia, and Singapore lifted her to No. 1 for the first time. But the wheels fell off after that, and she endured early exits at the Asia Championships, Olympics, and Superseries Finals.

Ratchanok beat Tai in India and Malaysia during her great run, but Tai won their match at the Superseries Finals to cement the year-end No. 1 ranking.

Tai overcame Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea 11-21, 21-14, 21-14 in an hour. Tai was more aggressive in the second game and gradually pulled away, and in the decider led 4-0, 8-3, and 16-8.

On Friday, Intanon won the last 10 points to overcome Olympic and world champion Carolina Marin 22-20, 13-21, 21-18 in a remarkable quarterfinal.

India’s challenge ended when Pusarla Sindhu and Saina Nehwal lost in quarterfinals.

In the men’s section, Lin was given a right scare by Viktor Axelsen, the Dane who beat him in the Olympic bronze-medal match. Axelsen smashed Lin in the first game 21-8 but became nervous and forgot his game plan. Lin, slow to warm up, finished him off 21-14, 21-15. — Agencies

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