Can it be a 3rd in a row? (Photo: Badminton Photo)
Action from semi-final morning session
Date: 3/9/2019 4:36 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
At the semi-final morning session of the All England Open, Japan had the opportunity of a clean sweep. Showing just how strong a position they are in, just a year before their home Olympics in Tokyo. 

The opening match was the Women’s Doubles was an all-Japanese affair. With an interesting statistic which has the higher seeds, Matsumoto and Nagahara, never beating the lower seeded Tanaka and Yonemoto. However, it was the World Champions who turned the form on its head and won in two straightforward games. 

The same can be said for the current All England Mixed Doubles champions, Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino, who seem very comfortable when on court in Birmingham. Beating the surprise Malaysian package of Goh and Lai, who themselves beat two seeded pairs on their route to the semi-final.

3 in-a-row?
In the Men’s Doubles, experienced Indonesian pair Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan had to use all their know-how to overcome the fiery Japanese pair of Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda in straight games. Setiawan was struggling with a leg injury throughout the match.

In the Women’s Singles, a Tai Tzu Ying vs Akane Yamaguchi match always excites the crowd. And it was a three-game thriller, going the way of the Taiwanese star today. Asking Tai Tzu Ying after the match about the lost 2nd game, followed by 8 straight points at the beginning of the third, Tai explained

-I strategically abandoned the 2nd game. So, I think this helped me be more focused for the 3rd game. 

This is Tai’s 3rd All England final in-a-row. We asked how amazing would it be to win a 3rd title? A polite but confident answer followed

-I would be happier to answer this question when I get the championship tomorrow. 

Here are the full morning session results:

Women’s Doubles
Mayu Matsumoto/ Wakana Nagahara (3) (JPN) bt Shiho Tanaka/ Koharu Yonemoto (7) (JPN)  21-11, 21-12.

Mixed Doubles
Yuta Watanabe/ Arisa Higashino (3) (JPN) bt Goh Soon Huat/ Lai Shevon Jamie (MAS) 21-16, 21-13

Men’s Doubles
Mohammad Ahsan/ Hendra Setiawan (6) (INA) bt Takeshi Kamura/ Keigo Sonoda (3) (JPN) 21-19, 21-16

Women’s Singles
Tai Tzu Ying (1) (JPN) bt Akane Yamaguchi (4) 21-13, 10-21, 21-8

Men’s Singles
Kento Momota (1) (JPN) bt Ng Ka Long (HK) 21-19, 21-11

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