Zii Jia loses to Victor, Sze Fei-Izzuddin face Danish pair in semis

Viktor Axelsen of Denmark celebrates after defeating Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia in the quarter-finals of the Denmark Open. - BADMINTON PHOTO.

PETALING JAYA: Olympics champion Viktor Axelsen has ended Lee Zii Jia's run in the Denmark Open.

Zii Jia had hoped to get better of the Dane again after his famous win in the All-England final in March but this time, he found Axelsen too hot to handle as he went down 19-21, 19-21 in 39 minutes in the quarter-finals in Odense on Friday.

Next, second seed Axelsen plays a surprise semi-finallist Lee Cheuk Yu of Hong Kong, who had upset fourth seed Chou Tien-chen of Taiwan 21-16, 19-21, 21-19.

The other semi-final clash will be between Kento Momota of Japan and Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia.

World No. 1 Momota had it quite easy as his opponent Jonatan Christie of Indonesia retired after trailing 13-21, 0-15 while Tommy also won his quarter-final match in a similiar fashion when Sameer Verma of India gave up after losing the opening game 17-21.

Meanwhile, Malaysia's hope of having two semi-finallists in the men's doubles was dashed with the defeat of independent shuttlers Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi. The duo went down 18-21, 19-21 to Mark Lamsfuss-Marvin Seidel of Germany.

Only Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani are left to keep the Malaysian flag flying in Denmark but they have a tough job against home favourites Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.

The world No. 11 Astrup-Rasmussen defeated Muhammad Shohibul Fikri-Bagas Maulana of Indonesia 19-21, 21-11, 21-17 in a 59-minute quarter-final match on Friday.

The Danes have beaten the Malaysians in all their last three meetings.

Sze Fei-Izzuddin have beaten two top 10 pairs for the first time en route to reaching the last four. They have beated world No. 10 Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty of India (second round, 14-21, 21-15, 21-15) and world No. 7 Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia (quarter-finals, 21-18, 21-17).

Said Izzuddin: "We are happy to upstage two top 10 pairs for the first time here in the Denmark Open. These wins will surely give us the motivation to keep going."

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