Axelsen, Yamaguchi enter semifinal; injured Gemke taken off in wheelchair


New Delhi: Two-time world champions Viktor Axelsen and Akane Yamaguchi stayed in contention for second successive titles after progressing to the semifinals of the men’s singles and women’s singles competitions, respectively, at the Yonex-Sunrise India Open here Friday.

Axelsen, the reigning Olympic champion, advanced to the final four after his opponent Rasmus Gemke suffered a leg injury midway through the opening game and had to be taken off the court in a wheelchair.

World No. 1 Yamaguchi, however, had to toil hard to get across three-time world champion and Rio gold medallist Carolina Marin of Spain 21-17 14-21 21-19 in the day’s first match at the IG stadium here.

World No. 20 Gemke had knocked out defending champion and home favourite Lakshya Sen Thursday but his winning run came to an abrupt end after he seemed to have lost his footing and fell awkwardly to his right while attempting a return. He was then lagging 8-16 against Axelsen.

The 26-year-old from Denmark lay motionless even as compatriot Axelsen rushed to him. He was taken off the court in a wheelchair.

“I am gutted. This is not the way I would have wanted to win. He is a good friend and I wish him a speedy recovery,” Axelsen told reporters.

Axelsen will now face either fourth seed Jonatan Christie of Indonesia or fifth seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei.

In other results, Olympic bronze medallist Anthony Sinisuka Ginting survived a scare from China’s Liu Shi Feng before prevailing 21-11 17-21 21-18 in another quarter-final clash.

Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn then dispatched 2021 world champion Loh Kean Yew 21-12 21-17 to set up a clash with Ginting.

In women’s singles, Olympic champion Chen Yu Fei pulled out due to an illness, handing a walkover to Thailand’s Supanida Katethong, who had defeated India’s PV Sindhu in the opening round.

The India Open runners-up will face Yamaguchi next.

China’s He Bing Jiao beat USA’s Beiwen Zhang 21-13 21-19 and will face Korea’s second seed An Se Young in the semifinals.

Second seed An Se Young got the better of Thailand’s eighth seed Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-14 21-14 in another quarterfinal clash.

Key results:

Men’s singles: 1-Viktor Axelsen (Den) bt Rasmus Gemke (Den) 16-8 (retd); 6-Anthony Ginting (Ina) bt Li Shi Feng (Chn) 21-11, 17-21, 21-18; 8-Kunlavat Vitidsarn (Tha) bt Loh Kean Yew (Sin) 21-12, 21-17

Women’s singles: 1-Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) bt Carolina Marin (Esp) 21-17, 14-21, 21-9; 2-An Se Young (Kor) bt Pornpawee Chochuwong (Tha) 21-14, 21-14; 4-He Bingjiao (Chn) bt Beiwen Zhang (USA) 21-13, 21-19 Men’s doubles: 3-Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik (Mas) bt Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi (Mas) 21-17, 21-11

Mixed doubles: 1-Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong (Chn) bt 8-Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue (Fra) 14-21, 21-15, 21-12; 3-Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino (Jpn) bt 5-Seo Seung Jae/Chae Yu Jung (Kor) 21-15, 21-18.

PTI


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