World No. 1 An reaches final, China's Chen crashes out at badminton China Open

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Newly-crowned world champion An Se-young defeated Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei, while Japan's Akane Yamaguchi bested home favorite Chen Yufei in the eagerly-awaited women's singles semifinals of the China Open on Saturday.

An, currently seen as the best player in her category, secured her spot in the championship match with scores of 21-18, 21-14.

The South Korean standout said of her win against the fourth seed Tai, "She (Tai) is a very strong player technically, so I need to manage and distribute my fitness on the court."

Tai observed, "An's performance has been so stable and she has fewer mistakes. I feel some pressure in this regard."

An's next opponent is Yamaguchi, who triumphed over Chen in a gripping 65-minute match. After dropping the first game 21-19, Yamaguchi rallied in the second game to win 21-15 and sealed her victory with a 21-17 win in the final game.

This marked Chen's second consecutive loss to Yamaguchi, having previously fallen 21-14, 21-15 at the Sudirman Cup in May. "She has a fast pace," Chen admitted. "She is tough and has good tactics, and she is a very good opponent."

In the men's singles, world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark advanced to the final by besting Indonesia's Jonatan Christie 21-17, 21-14. Meanwhile, China's Lu Guangzu surprised fellow countryman Shi Yuqi with a 21-13, 21-14 victory.

Saturday also saw South Korean pair Seo Seung-jae and Chae Yu-jung outplay Tan Kian Meng and Lai Pei Jing of Malaysia 21-19, 21-11. They're set to face France's Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue in the mixed doubles final. China's duos Liang Weikeng/Wang Chang and Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan advanced to the men's and women's doubles finals, respectively.

Champions in all five categories will be crowned on Sunday. 

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