Chen and Wang happy ending in sight at All England event

Fri Mar 7, 2014 7:15pm EST
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BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - China's holder Chen Long and his girlfriend Wang Shixian are on track for a happy ending to their love affair with the All England Open Badminton Championships after reaching the singles semi-finals on Friday.

Chen kept his title defense alive by overcoming an early scare to beat Denmark's Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, who showed his pedigree to win the first game 21-18.

However, Chen composed himself at the break and then showed his qualities to take the next two games 21-11 21-14.

"I was worried especially during the first game because my opponent is a great player so I did feel quite a lot of pressure at one point," said Chen.

"But I think both of us performed really well so I think in the end I was really lucky to progress. This is a very unique place and many players want to win.

"And it's a fine line between winning and losing so I just want to try my best."

Chen next faces compatriot Zhengming Wang who beat South Korean Dong Keun Lee 21-13 16-21 21-17 in his quarter-final.

Women's No. 4 seed Wang eased past India's Olympic bronze medalist Saina Nehwal 21-17 21-10 to set up an all-Chinese clash against London Games silver medalist Wang Yihan who beat South Korean Bae Yeon Ju 21-8 21-13.

Wang knows that to match her partner Chen's achievement of reaching the final last year she must be confident.   Continued...