BIRMINGHAM, Britain, March 7 (Xinhua) — Defending champion Shi Yuqi of China eased past Malaysia’s Liew Daren to reach the quarterfinals of the All England Open badminton championships here on Thursday.
The 23-year-old Shi, who had upset six-time winner Lin Dan to win his first major title, took only 33 minutes to defeat the 33-year-old Liew 21-8, 21-10.
“My opponent did not play well and an ankle injury made his game harder,” said the second seed. “I always tried my best and never eased up despite leading by a big margin.”
Shi, who was beaten by Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the 2017 final, said he is confident when he takes on Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama, who shocked Lin Dan in the first round on Wednesday.
“I won the champion last year and runner-up the year before last. I feel very comfortable and familiar playing here. I give myself eight out of 10 points for today’s performance.”
Shi became the only Chinese men’s player to reach the quareterfinals after Huang Yuxiang and Chen Guangzu both crashed out in the second round.
Huang was stopped by Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia 22-24, 21-17, 21-16 while Chen was beaten by former world champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.
Top seed Kento Momota of Japan also booked a berth in the last eight after beating Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand 21-19, 21-11. He will next face seventh seed Srikanth Kidambi of India.
In the women’s competition, China has secured three out of eight places in the quarterfinals.
Li Xuerui beat teammate Chen Xiaoxin 21-14, 21-12, third seed Chen Xufei defeated Japan’s Aya Ohori 21-6, 17-21, 21-19 and sixth seed He Bingjiao fought back from one set down to beat Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong 15-21, 21-15, 21-14.
Top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, bidding for a third successive champion, beat Zhang Beiwen of the United States and will meet India’s Saina Nehwal.
Second seed Nozomi Okuhara of Japan booked her berth in the quarterfinals with a victory over teammate Sayaka Takahashi and set up a showdown against China’s Li.