There was some kind of drama in today’s BWF World Superseries finals last group matches. Reigning world champion Carolina Marin (main picture)
was on the verge of an exit on Friday as the Spaniard lost her third group match to Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in two straight games 9-21, 15-21.
The only chance to qualify for the last four stage of the one million dollar event in Dubai was if defending champion Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan would beat former world number one Saina Nehwal. And she did! That means that Marin advanced to the semi-finals on the game difference rule.
Carolina Marin, who was named the Female Player of the Year by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Tuesday, will again face Nozomi Okuhara.
Adcocks had to battle hard to secure semi-final spot
Also Chris and Gabby Adcock (pictured)
kept their BWF World Superseries Finals hopes alive, reaching the semi-finals for the second year in a row. The English number one pair needed to beat China's world and Olympic champions to maintain their interest in the season-ending finals, held in Dubai. The husband and wife partnership woke up to discover Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei had pulled out of the match due to injury, securing their place in the last four.
It meant they needed to beat unbeaten Hong Kong pair Chun Hei Reginald Lee and Hoi Wah Chau to finish top of Group A - and they did just that, winning 21-19 16-21 21-19 to set up a semi-final with Indonesia's Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto.
Gabby Adcock said after they battled back from 12-8 down in the decider: "Our coaches were on top form tonight, with lots of tactical changes. We think they might have a few more grey hairs."
Jørgensen and Axelsen ready for their strong opponents
Despite losing to the number two seed, Kento Momota, Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen advanced to his first World Superseries semi-final. In the pair’s sixth meeting, Momota came back from dropping the first game, winning 19-21, 21-15, 21-15 to clinch the top spot in group A.
Axelsen, the world number six, will face two-time world champion Chen Long in Saturday’s semi-finals.
“However - I'm still ready and set up for the semi-finals tomorrow. Let’s go!” –the young Dane wrote on Facebook.
2014 European Champion Jan Ø. Jørgensen had no answer to Chen Long’s superiority today, losing 14-21, 17-21 after 42 minutes of play. The Dane will face Kento Momota next.
“I am through to the semi-final and like many of you know I already qualified before my match today against Chen Long. The result didn't have any effect on the semi-final draw. Now it’s about resting and preparing for a big one tomorrow”, said Jørgensen, the world number three.
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Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen are one step closer to claiming their 4th BWF World Superseries Finals title after advancing to the semi-finals with a 21-18, 21-19 win over Biao Chai/Wei Hong of China. The No.2 seeds from Denmark will face the same opponents tomorrow.
Kamilla Rytter-Juhl and Christinna Pedersen qualified for the Dubai semi-finals as they became second in their strong group B. To reach Sunday’s finals the Danish duo has to beat Indonesia’s Nitya Krishinda Maheswari/Greysia Polii.
The semi-finals (from a European perspective):
Viktor Axelsen (DEN) vs Chen Long (CHN)
Jan Ø. Jørgensen (DEN) vs Kento Momota (JPN)
Carolina Marin (ESP) vs Nozomi Okuhara (JPN)
Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen (DEN) vs Biao Chai/Wei Hong (CHN)
Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl (DEN) vs Nitya Krishinda Maheswari/Greysia Polii (INA)
Chris Adcock/Gabby Adcock (ENG) vs Praveen Jordan/Debby Susanto (INA)
Previous World Superseries Finals champions from Europe:
2014 Joachim Fischer/Christinna Pedersen (DEN)
2013 Joachim Fischer/Christinna Pedersen (DEN) & Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl (DEN)
2012 Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen (DEN) & Joachim Fischer/Christinna Pedersen (DEN)
2011 Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen (DEN)
2010 Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen (DEN)
2009 Joachim Fischer/Christinna Pedersen (DEN)
2008 Thomas Laybourn/Kamilla Rytter Juhl (DEN)
for champions of the tournament since 2008.
for all results including live score from Dubai.
BWF’s dedicated YouTube channel
will bring you all the live action from Dubai.
Article by Manuel Rösler. Photos (LIVE) by BadmintonPhoto.