Daihatsu Yonex Japan Open 2019: Michelle Li Topples World No. 1, Joins #TeamYonex Advance to Semifinals

Tokyo – In the biggest upset of the tournament thus far, Michelle Li (CAN) eliminated the normally unflappable World No. 1, Tai Tzu Ying (TPE) to earn her spot in tomorrow’s semi-finals. Li, currently ranked 14th in the world, had beat Tai only once in their previous 7 meetings, 5 years ago at the 2014 Yonex All England. Today’s match was a nail biter, as Li took the first game 21-15, only for Tai to return the favor point for point in the second. The lead swung back and forth between both women in the third game, netiher ceding much ground, until finally Li could celebrate the biggest win of her career, and first ever major semi-final appearance, 21-15, 15-21, 22-20 after exactly one hour.

Also in women’s singles, last week’s Indonesian Open Champion Akane Yamaguchi overcame longtime rival Pusarla V. Sindhu. Though Sindhu still owns their head-to-head record 10-6, Yamaguchi took one more step towards equalizing that today with a straight-game victory to advance to the semis, 21-18, 21-15.

In men’s singles, Kento Momota (JPN) needed three games to outlast Anthony Ginting (INA). While Momota sailed through the first game, Ginting was able to match the World Champion’s pace in the second, fighting to a 22-20 win. The third game was fairly close as well, but Momota eventually re-established his footwork and shot placement to move on 21-13, 20-22, 21-15.

Sai Praneeth B. (IND) also booked his spot into the semis with an upset win over Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto in straight games, 21-12, 21-15. He will now face off with Momota in the semi-finals. Jan O. Jorgensen (DEN) also continued his outstanding run, knocking off countryman Rasmus Gemke, 11-21, 21-14, 21-13, after ousting Lin Dan and Chou Tien Chen in previous rounds. 

In yet another upset, unseeded Korean women’s doubles pair, Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong rolled past 5th seeds Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu (INA), 21-12, 21-12. This result comes after defeating 2019 Yonex All England Champions Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan (CHN) yesterday. 

Japanese pair Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara defeated compatriots Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida, 23-21, 21-17 to move on, while Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsutomo of Japan also advance, after defeating China’s Du Yue and Li Yin Hui, 21-15, 21-16. The two pairs will meet each other tomorrow.

In men’s doubles, Kevin S. Sukamuljo and Marcus F. Gideon (INA) were stretched to three games by a tenacious duo in Aaron Chia and Wooi Yik Soh (MAS), but navigated their way through with their brand of high-speed rallies and smashes, 21-14, 22-24, 21-15. Finally, Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda (JPN) booked their spot next round with a win over India’s Satwiksairai Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, 21-19, 21-18, setting up the potential of an explosive finals meeting with Sukamuljo and Gideon. 

For full match details, go here.

Michelle Li: ASTROX 88 D, BG80, POWER CUSHION ECLIPSION X
Akane Yamaguchi: ASTROX 77, BG66 ULTIMAX, POWER CUSHION 65 Z 2
Kento Momota: ASTROX 99, AEROBITE, POWER CUSHION 65 Z 2
Sai Praneeth: VOLTRIC 8 E-TUNE, AEROBITE, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Jan O. Jorgensen: ASTROX 99, POWER CUSHION COMFORT Z
Kim So Yeong: ASTROX 88 D, BG66 ULTIMAX, POWER CUSHION AERUS 3
Kong Hee Yong: DUORA 10 LT, BG66 ULTIMAX, POWER CUSHION AERUS 3
Mayu Matsumoto: DUORA 10, AEROBITE, POWER CUSHION COMFORT Z WIDE MID
Wakana Nagahara: ASTROX 88 S, AEROBITE, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Ayaka Takahashi: DUORA 7, AEROBITE BOOST, POWER CUSHION AERUS 3
Takeshi Kamura: ASTROX 88 S, AEROBITE BOOST, POWER CUSHION AERUS 3
Keigo Sonoda: ASTROX 88 D, AEROBITE BOOST, POWER CUSHION AERUS 3
Kevin S. Sukamuljo: ASTROX 88 S, AEROBITE BOOST, POWER CUSHION 65 Z 2
Marcus F. Gideon: ASTROX 88 D, BG65 TITANIUM, POWER CUSHION AERUS 3

 

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