China’s Shi Yu Qi stormed into his first PETRONAS Malaysia Open finals after winning an explosive clash against two-time defending champion Viktor Axelsen at Axiata Arena here tonight. 

After a disappointing first-round exit last year, Shi prevented an all-Danish final, stepping up in a hard-fought and aggressive 70-minute duel which ended in the Chinese star winning 21-12, 19-21, 21-17.

Denmark’s Anders Antonsen also claimed his final spot in the tournament for the first time after a convincing 21-16, 21-7 victory over Taiwan’s Lin Chun-Yi in the other semifinal. 

After losing 12-21 in just 20 minutes, Axelsen got back into the match with a close 21-19 win to force the decider. Axelsen got off to a strong start with a 5-1 advantage before pulling away further with a 12-9 lead. However, Shi put up a fiery display to claw back into the game, levelling terms at 12-12 before finally sealing the match 21-17, dashing the Dane’s hopes of a third consecutive Malaysia Open title. 

” I did the best that I could. Mentally and physically, I haven’t been feeling the best this week…Shi was the rightful winner today, credit to him, he was the better player today, ” said Axelsen, who won the World Tour Finals for the fifth time last year.   

Shi held the edge of winning five out of his seven previous encounters against Antonsen, who stumbled in the second round last year.

In the women’s singles, expect an explosive final clash between 2023 runner-up An Se Young and four-time champion Tai Tzu Ying.

After faltering in two consecutive semifinals in 2022 and 2023, Tai Tzu Ying kept alive her hopes for a fifth title after edging arch-rival Chen Yu Fei of China 17-21, 21-15, 21-18 in today’s closely-fought clash.  

An, who heads into the finals with a 10-2 advantage over Tai Tzu Ying in previous meetings, marched on with a convincing 21-17, 21-11 win, her second victory over China’s Zhang Yi Man. 

“I was focussing just on myself today without thinking too much about my opponent…it’ll take some time for me to get to my old self and conditions. With time and effort, I’m sure I’ll be fully fit again,” said An. 

On tomorrow’s final, the 2023 losing finalist downplayed her chances, saying Tai Tzu Ying is currently in her best condition and shape. “I’ll try my best to keep up with her tomorrow,” said An, who lost out to Tai in last year’s semifinals of the World Tour Finals. 

Meanwhile, the men’s doubles finals will also be an exciting contest between world No.1 pair, Liang Wei Keng-Wang Chang of China and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty, the first Indian pair to reach the Malaysia Open final.

Both are gunning for their first title tomorrow. India has never had a winner in the Open while China last won the men’s doubles title in 2019 through Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen.

Wei Keng-Wang Chang downed Japan’s Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi 21-12, 19-21, 21-13 while the Indian pair ousted reigning world champion Kang Min Hyuk/Seo Seung Jae 21-18, 22-20 in a pulsating 47-minute match. 

It will be an all-Chinese affair in the women’s doubles with Liu Sheng Shu-Tan Ning taking on Zhang Shu Xian-Zheng Yu in the final.

Liu-Tan downed Japan’s Rin Iwanaga-Kie Nakanishi 21-11, 21-16 while Zhang-Zheng claimed their final spot with a 21-17, 21-17 win over Korean pair Baek Ha Na-Lee So Hee.

In the mixed doubles, the opportunity is now wide open for Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino to redeem their failure in last year’s finals.

The Japanese lived up to their billing, emerging victorious after beating China’s Jiang Zhen Bang-Wei Ya Xin 21-15, 12-21, 21-15 in 50 minutes.

Both Watanabe-Higashino and Korea’s Kim Won Ho-Jeong Na Eun, who defeated Singapore’s Terry Hee Yong Kai-Jessica Tan Wei Han 21-16, 21-16 in another semifinal, are vying for their first Malaysia Open title tomorrow.



Men’s Singles:

(7) Shi Yu Qi (CHN) bt (1) Viktor Axelsen (DEN) 21-12, 19-21, 21-17

Anders Antonsen (DEN) bt Lin Chun-Yi (Tpe) 21-16, 21-7

Women’s Singles: 

(1) An Se Young (KOR) bt  Zhang Yi Man (CHN) 21-17, 21-11

(4) Tai Tzu Ying (Tpe)  bt (2) Chen Yu Fei (CHN)  17-21, 21-15, 21-18

Men’s Doubles:

Liang Wei Keng/Wang Chang (CHN) bt Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi (JPN) 21-12, 19-21, 21-13

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty (IND) bt Kang Min Hyuk/Seo Seung Jae (KOR) 21-18, 22-20.

Women’s Doubles:

Zhang Shu Xian/Zheng Yu (CHN) bt (8) Baek Ha Na/Lee So Hee (KOR) 21-17, 21-17

Liu Sheng Shu/Tan Ning (CHN) bt Rin Iwanaga/Kie Nakanishi (JPN) 21-11, 21-16

Mixed Doubles:

(7) Kim Won HO/Jeong Na Eun (KOR) bt Terry Hee Yong Kai/Jessica Tan Wei Han (SGP) 21-16, 21-16

(2) Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino (JPN) bt (5) Jiang Zhen Bang/Wei Ya Xin (CHN) 21-15, 12-21, 21-15



Men’s Singles:

(7) Shi Yu Qi (CHN) vs Anders Antonsen (DEN)  

Women’s Singles: 

(1) An Se Young (KOR) vs (4) Tai Tzu Ying (Tpe)

Men’s Doubles:

(1) Liang Wei Keng/Wang Chang (CHN) vs Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty (IND) 

Women’s Doubles:

Liu Sheng Shu/Tan Ning (CHN) vs Zhang Shu Xian/Zheng Yu (CHN)

Mixed Doubles:

(2) Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino (JPN) vs (7) Kim Won Ho/Jeong Na Eun (KOR) 

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