German Open: Astrup/Rasmussen Rise Above World Champs

Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen continued their steady run at their first tournament of the year by knocking out men’s doubles world champions Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi in the YONEX GAINWARD German Open 2022 quarterfinals yesterday.

The Danes, who won the competition in 2017, were on court for 72 minutes before prevailing 26-24 19-21 23-21 against the Japanese top seeds.

Following the defeats of Sayaka Takahashi (2014 winner) and Du Yue (2019 with the now-retired Li Yin Hui) in women’s singles and women’s doubles, Astrup/Rasmussen and Huang Ya Qiong remain the only former champions in the competition.

Their compatriot Viktor Axelsen also moved within a match of a potential final with Lee Zii Jia after batting aside Kidambi Srikanth for the fifth time since 2017. He won 21-10 23-21 in 35 minutes.

Lee took five minutes longer to complete his match against Zhao Jun Peng 21-12 21-18.

Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith meanwhile, ended a one-year wait to make their first semifinal since the All England Open last year. The 16-21 21-16 21-19 victory over Indonesians Rinov Rivaldy/Pitha Haningtyas Mentari was their third consecutive three-game match in Muelheim an der Ruhr.

The Stoeva sisters, Gabriela and Stefani, also picked up a memorable result – their first ever success (13-21 21-14 21-15) against third seeds Kim Soyeong/Kong Heeyong after four clashes.

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