Chen, Lee into semis but Lin falls

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 Chen Long of China hits a return to Viktor Axelson of Denmark during his 21-18, 30-29 quarterfinal victory at the world championships in Jakarta yesterday.

Top seed and defending champion Chen Long survived a mammoth second-game tussle to advance to the semifinals of the world championships with a 21-18, 30-29 win over Denmark's Viktor Axelson yesterday.

The Chinese world No. 1 needed 65 minutes to subdue his seventh-seeded opponent as his equivalent in the women's draw, Carolina Marin, enjoyed her best performance of the week on the adjacent court to advance to the last four in Jakarta.

In the evening matches, hopes of a dream semifinal between veteran arch-rivals Lin Dan and Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei were dashed when the Chinese five-time world champion was beaten in straight sets by Danish second seed Jan O Jorgensen.

Lee, who has topped the world rankings for almost 300 weeks but is on the comeback trail following an eight-month doping ban, remained on course for a maiden global crown with a routine 21-12, 21-18 victory over Hu Yun of China's Hong Kong.

Jorgensen's victory was equally emphatic as the European champion cruised to a 21-12, 21-15 win over the fifth seed to set up a last-four clash against the in-form Lee, who has lost just one match, to Chen, since returning from his ban in May.

Chen has yet to drop a game in his three matches at the Istora Senayan arena but the lanky 26-year-old needed all his supreme court coverage skills to retain that spotless record and improve his head-to-head statistic to 5-0 against the Dane.

Axelson started the stronger of the pair and forged two-point leads several times in the first game but found himself behind when Chen's five-point surge overturned a 16-18 deficit to allow him to take the opener.

The second game was even closer once Axelson had erased an early three-point deficit and the players traded the lead all the way to its conclusion, with Chen saving seven game points before clinching victory on his sixth match point.

“I was starting to prepare for the third game but luckily I got it,” Chen told reporters.

Chen let out an almighty roar upon sealing the match but will need to be on his best form to advance to the final with Japan's rising star Kento Momota standing in his way after the fourth seed eased to a 21-6, 21-14 win over Hong Kong's Wei Nan.

The 20-year-old Momota is a former world junior champion and won the Indonesian Open, one of two titles this season, at the same venue in June.

Marin came into the tournament under an injury cloud and needed all three games to win her first two matches. The 22-year-old Spaniard, a surprise winner in Copenhagen a year ago, appeared pain-free as she threw herself around the court against China's Wang Shixian, winning 21-17, 21-19.

Marin will play South Korean eighth seed Sung Ji-hyun in today's semis while local hope Lindaweni Fanetri takes on second-ranked Saina Nehwal.

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