Photo credit: Tang Shi
Shi Yuqi won his quarterfinal yesterday against Lin Dan who is one of the opponents he has actually defeated the most times (4-1 head-to-head). Today he was up against another compatriot, Chen Long, who happens to be one of his most feared opponents (1-4 head-to-head). There was an interesting all-Chinese men’s single semifinal ahead of us.
In the first few rallies Chen Long was the best and he quickly got a lead of 3-1. Everything seemed quite normal. He played patiently and Shi Yuqi was probably a little nervous to be in his first World Championship semifinal. He did however win a silver medal as a junior in 2014 but that’s a different story. Should he be nervous, he was very good at hiding this. From1-3 down Shi Yuqi had full control of the match and he never looked back again!
In a semifinal that never became as exciting as everybody had been hoping for, “the new one” eliminated yet another legendary compatriot for the second day in a row. Safe play from Shi Yuqi mixed with far too many mistakes from Chen Long made the result of 21-11 21-17 an absolutely fair result in a match that never reached the level of yesterday. The two players had shown fireworks yesterday but today it was a bit of a disappointment.
It was Shi Yuqi’s second consecutive win over Chen Long and this was in a match that looked very much like the All England quarterfinal earlier this year where the result was 21-10 21-17 to the younger Chinese. He can now celebrate being in the World Championship final in his home country while the Olympic champion settles for bronze.
Shi Yuqi vs. Chen Long
Total points: 70
Length of match: 44 min
Points per minute: 1.59
Seconds per point: 37.71 sec
That makes it the fastest match played by Chen Long this week when you look at seconds per point – see the funny statistics here
You can see the results of all the semifinals here