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Huang/Zheng overpower Thai duo to reach Denmark Open final

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Huang Dongping (R)/Zheng Yu of China celebrate during a women's doubles semifinal match against Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai of Thailand at the Victor Denmark Open 2021 in Odense, Denmark, Oct. 23, 2021. (Xinhua/Zhang Cheng)

Chinese shuttlers Huang Dongping/Zheng Yu beat Thai opponents to reach the Denmark Open women's doubles final.

ODENSE, Denmark, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese shuttlers Huang Dongping and Zheng Yu overpowered fifth-seeded Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai from Thailand here on Saturday to reach the Denmark Open women's doubles final.

The newly paired Chinese duo took a straight win of 21-10, 21-15, and will meet second-seeded Lee So-hee/Shin Seung-chan from South Korea in the final.

"We defeated the Tokyo Olympic champion yesterday and it has given us much confidence to play strong since the very beginning today. And my partner gave many great smashes," said Huang. "Honestly, we did not expect to go as far as the final. Each match is a big surprise for us."

However, Huang did not make the mixed doubles final spot paired with her Olympic mixed doubles winning partner Wang Yilyu. Fourth-seeded Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino from Japan took revenge on the Chinese top seed 16-21, 21-17, 21-17 in the mixed doubles semifinal.

As the Tokyo Olympic bronze medalists, the Japanese duo had lost the Olympic semifinal to the Chinese pair.

The 27-year-old Wang was not satisfied with the results and his own performance, although he had made many great saves.

"Huang has done well enough, but I'm not so determined to push myself. I should have done more for my partner because she is also playing the women's doubles. Maybe I was not well prepared mentally," said Wang.

"It's not a bad thing for us to lose this game. It'll tell us how to improve ourselves," said Huang, "we need to cover each other in key rally."

In the women's singles semifinal, sixth-seeded He Bingjiao from China was edged 23-21, 22-20 by second seed Akane Yamaguchi who had defeated Tokyo Olympic champion Chen Yufei twice in Sudirman Cup and Uber Cup.

"I was never thinking about giving up, even when I was falling behind in both sets. I tried to overturn the game, but it seemed that I just need a little bit more luck," said 24-year-old He.

He told Xinhua that Yamaguchi is her good friend and they have been playing against each other since the junior tournaments.

"Akane has great personality and strong will. She can save all the smashes no matter how difficult the shots are," said He. "She is not an emotional player and always keeps calm. She is very energetic on the pitch. It looks like she is never tired."

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