London Olympic gold medallist Li Xuerui of China crashed out of the women’s singles quarter-finals of the Japan Open Friday, as local star Akane Yamaguchi moved toward reclaiming the crown.
Yamaguchi, winner here in 2013, beat Li 21-19, 13-21, 21-16, to reach the semi-final where she will face former world number one and seventh-seeded Wang Shixian of China.
It came a day after reigning world number one Saina Nehwal of India suffered a shock defeat to Japan’s player Minatsu Mitani.
Mitani, however, was also ousted from the tournament Friday by her compatriot Nozomi Okuhara, who will fight fourth-seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan on Saturday.
In the men’s singles field, two-time Olympic gold-medallist and five-time world champion Lin Dan brushed off a challenge from fellow Chinese player Tian Houwei 21-14, 21-18.
Lin will face Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia on Saturday.
Sixth-seed Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan downed Parupalli Kashyap of India 21-14, 21-18.
He will face Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, who beat South Korea’s Lee Dong Keun 23-21, 21-17. – Agence France-Presse