Olympic Games - Baun closes on fairytale win at All England Open

Denmark's former two-time champion Tine Baun is hoping to end her career with a fairytale win at the All England Open Badminton Championships.

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Olympic Games - Baun closes on fairytale win at All England Open
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BADMINTON Denmark's Tine Baun (AFP)

The 33-year-old, who postponed her retirement to bow out in Birmingham, booked a semi-final spot in the women's singles after a convincing 21-7, 21-13 win over Indonesia's Lindaweni Fanetri. And Baun admitted she drew strength from the crowd's support at the NIA in the West Midlands to drive home the advantage against Fanetri. "The support is fantastic and I enjoy every moment of it," she said. "I feel so happy that I am ending my career in this way and here at the All England Opem, my favourite tournament. "I was willing to work hard for the victory and it was clear my opponent was a little nervous and not that confident." India's Saina Nehwal is also through to the last four in the women's singles after a hard-fought quarter-final win over sixth-seed Shixian Wang from China. Nehwal, the first Indian to win an Olympic badminton medal with bronze in London 2012, squeezed home, beating Wang 23-21, 19-21, 21-16 in a thrilling encounter. And Nehwal dedicated the win to her legion of fans in the crowd. "I am just happy because I am playing well and there are a lot of Indian fans who are really cheering me a lot and I am really happy that I am doing well in front of them," she said. "It really motivated me to win. I just want to focus on one match, every match is tough. I just want to focus on my semi-final now." Baun will face Sung Ji Hyun from South Korea in her semi-final clash in Birmingham while Nehwal will play Thailand's Ratchanok Inthanon. Meanwhile there was a huge shock in the mixed doubles as Chen Xu and Jin Ma, top seeds and conquerors of England's Chris Adcock and Gabby White, were dumped out by Indonesia's Muhammad Rijal and Debby Susanto 16-21, 21-13, 21-18. Indonesian pair and mixed doubles second seeds Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir fought back to book passage through to the semi-finals with a three-set win over Poland's Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Zieba They triumphed 12-21, 21-14, 21-18, and will face Markis Kido and Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth, from Indonesia, who beat Thailand's Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam in the semi-finals. Thailand's Tanongsak Saensonboonsuk beat Indonesia's Tommy Sugiarto 21-17, 21-11 in the men's singles quarter-finals to maintain a sensational tournament after coming through qualification. He will now meet men's singles top-seed and favourite Lee Chong Wei, who came through a difficult test against Vietnam's Tien Minh Nguyen 21-17, 21-19. Second-seed Long Chen, from China, will be in the other semi-final, easing past India's Kashyap Parupalli 21-16, 21-10, to book a match against Jan O orgensen, who beat fifth seed Jin Chen 21-7, 21-14. Jorgensen was delighted with the role the loud and vociferous support he received, but dismissed any idea it might make him nervous. "Of course it helps. It's so nice and is always great," he said. "I could feel like it's almost like a second home because I feel nearly the whole stadium was supporting me." In the men's doubles, the final four pairs will be China's Xiaolong Liu and Zihan Qiu, who will face eighth seeds Mohammed Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan from Indonesia. The other semi-final sees Japanese fourth seeds Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Kayawaya face Thailand's Maneepong Jongjit and Nipitphon Puangpuapech. In the women's doubles top seeds Xiaoli Wang and Yang Yu, from China, will face Japan's Miyuki Maeda and Satoko Suetsuna, who are seeded sixth. And it's an all-Chinese affair in the other semi-final as Jin Ma and Jinhua Tang, seeded fifth, will face compatriots Shu Cheng and Yunlei Zhao, who had to come through the qualifying rounds.

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