Chen Yufei celebrates during her women's singles group B match against Zhang Beiwen of the United States at BWF World Tour Finals 2023 in Hangzhou, China, Dec. 14, 2023. (Xinhua/Sun Fei)
HANGZHOU, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Olympic champions Chen Yufei of China and Carolina Marin of Spain booked their spots in the women's singles last four in advance after taking straight-set wins at the 2023 BWF World Tour Finals here on Thursday.
Home favorite Chen claimed her second victory of the group stage by sweeping Zhang Beiwen of the United States 21-13, 21-15 in 36 minutes.
"I clinched a speedy win as I wished. I'm glad that I can save energy for the upcoming competitions. I'll try to enjoy tomorrow's match, and maybe will try some new strategies," said Chen.
She will next face Marin, who eased past Chinese shuttler Han Yue 21-11, 21-12 in the other Group B match, and also reached the semifinals with two wins.
The situation in Group A is more complex as Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei, An Se-young and Kim Ga-eun of South Korea all have a chance to enter the last four. Tai now places first after earning a tough 2-1 win over Kim on Thursday.
Men's singles world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark gained his first victory by edging Japan's Kodai Naraoka 21-17, 21-9 in Group A.
China's Shi Yuqi, who overcame Axelsen on Wednesday, was defeated by Indonesia's Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 11-21, 21-7, 21-17, while his teammate Li Shifeng fought for 69 minutes to prevail over newly-crowned world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand 21-18, 22-20 in Group B.
Zheng Siwei (Front) and Huang Yaqiong in action during their mixed doubles group B match against Kim Won Ho and Jeong Na Eun of South Korea at BWF World Tour Finals 2023 in Hangzhou, China, Dec. 14, 2023. (Xinhua/Sun Fei)
Mixed doubles world No. 1 and defending champions Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong of China endured a grueling 74 minutes to beat South Korea's Kim Won-ho/Jeong Na-eun 18-21, 27-25, 21-15, securing a last-four berth.
World champions Seo Seung-Jae and Chae Yu-jung of South Korea also advanced to the semifinals after besting Tang Chun-man and Tse Ying-suet of Hong Kong, China 17-21, 21-13, 21-18.
Women's doubles defending champions Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan of China, who are competing in the Finals for the sixth time, stormed to a 2-0 victory over Apriyani Rahayu and Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti of Indonesia.
Another Chinese pair, men's doubles world No. 1 Liang Weikeng and Wang Chang, bagged their first win by ousting Japan's Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi in straight sets.
The final round of the group matches will be held on Friday, with four players/pairs of each category entering the knockout stage.