Malaysia Masters 2018: Viktor Axelsen sets up title clash with Kenta Nishimoto; Tai Tzu Ying faces Ratchanok Intanon
World number one Viktor Axelsen of Denmark destroyed Malaysia's Daren Liew 21-15, 21-11 on Saturday to secure a place in the final of the Malaysia Masters.
Kuala Lumpur: World number one Viktor Axelsen of Denmark destroyed Malaysia's Daren Liew 21-15, 21-11 on Saturday to secure a place in the final of the Malaysia Masters.
Axelsen, 24, will play against Japan's Kenta Nishimoto, who beat Denmark's Hans-Kristian Vittinghus 21-14, 21-19.
Despite facing a boisterous local crowd in the capital Kuala Lumpur, the cool Axelsen produced some sublime play to win the first game 21-15.
Axelsen used a lethal combination of deep forehand smashes and killer net play to defeat the Malaysian.
Liew who had beaten fourth-seeded South Korean Son Wan Ho in the first round, struggled to keep up with the moves deployed by the world number one, who subsequently sealed an easy victory in the second game 21-11.
A modest Axelsen later told reporters he was under "pressure" to book his first final of the season.
"I felt a little bit under pressure because of the drift. Daren had been playing really well from the start, and if I hadn't been at my best, it could have been different. But I'm happy I managed to win," he said.
In the women's singles, world number one Tai Tzu Ying will meet Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon in the final.
Taiwanese Tzu Ying, 23, put on a stunning display to recover four match points in the deciding game and beat Spain's Carolina Marin 12-21, 21-15, 23-21.
Ratchanok, 22, beat Japan's Akane Yamaguchi 21-15, 16-21, 21-19 to win a place in the final.
Results (x denotes seeding):
Viktor Axelsen (DEN x1) bt Liew Daren (MAS) 21-15, 21-11
Kenta Nishimoto (JPN) bt Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (DEN) 21-14, 21-19
Tai Tzu Ying (TPE x1) bt Carolina Marin (ESP x4) 12-21, 21-15, 23-21
Ratchanok Intanon (THA x5) bt Akane Yamaguchi (JPN x2) 21-15, 16-21, 21-19
Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto (INA) bt Mads Conrad-Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding (DEN x5) 15-21, 21-16, 21-17
Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong (MAS) bt Chen Hung Ling/Wang Chi-Lin (TPE) 21-16, 21-17
Kamilla Rytter Juhl/Christinna Pedersen (DEN x3) Lee So-Hee/Shin Seung-Chan (KOR) 21-15, 21-18
Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan (CHN x1) bt Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota (JPN x4) 15-21, 21-15, 21-14
Tang Chun-man/Tse Ying-suet (HKG x2) bt Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai (MAS x8) 14-21, 21-12, 21-13
Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong (CHN x5) bt Hafiz Faizal/Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja (INA) 21-13, 21-16
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