Watch Out World – French Open: Day 5

South Korean prodigy An Se Young took another giant leap in her ascent up the women’s singles ranks with a 21-17 23-21 victory over Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi in the semifinals of the YONEX French Open 2019.

It’s her third victory over a top-five ranked player this year – Tai Tzu Ying in May, Pusarla V Sindhu last week, and Yamaguchi today – and now has her eyeing a first Super 750 title on the HSBC BWF World Tour.

Match of the Session

An controlled the contest from the start and had Yamaguchi fighting for every point. Considering Yamaguchi is still making a steady recovery from a persistent injury, it was always going to be a tough ask against a young, hungry and talented An.

The 17-year-old Korean remained relatively composed when speaking to the media afterward.

“The main goal today was to play with ease and not get tired during the match and I did that well. It was a really hard game but I’m very happy to get the win,” she said.

An was too good for Yamaguchi.

When quizzed on tomorrow’s final, she added: “Every match is serious to me in my badminton career and so the goal is to give 100 percent each time.”

Kim & Kong Fire

It was a double celebration for Korea with Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong upstaging world champions Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara 21-15 16-21 21-14 in the women’s doubles.

“We always hope to win our matches. This is a great victory for us. In the second game, I had some difficulties but my partner helped solve those issues pretty well,” said Kim.

“Whenever we play the Japanese we expect a long and difficult match, so to win brings us great happiness.”

The Koreans have that winning feeling.

The Koreans are now 4-2 against the world No.1 pair and are in search of their fifth title from eight finals in 2019. For them, it’s just about believing in each other.

“The secret to our success is a secret,” they joked. “We just have a lot of confidence and that has been the reason for our success in recent months.

“We’re going to prepare for tomorrow’s final like any other match. We hoped all four Korean pairs would be in the semifinals but such is life.”

What They Said

Olympic champion Chen Long progress to his second final in two weeks with a 21-19 21-18 win over Anthony Ginting.

“I’m fatigued. This is my ninth match. These two tournaments (Denmark Open and French Open) are high-level events and my opponents are all very strong. I have expended a lot of energy.”

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