Akane Yamaguchi battles three games to reach first women’s singles final in Hong Kong Japan number one joined by Zhang Yi Man of China, also her first Hong Kong final
Both Yamaguchi (world ranked number two) and Tunjung (world ranked number 10) are seasoned rivals but the Japanese is leading 12 win in the head-to-head record. The two players exchanged the lead in the opening stages of the first game but the score was leveled at 15-all. Yamaguchi then upped the tempo to take the first game 21-17.
The second game was also closely contested between the two top players, running to a 19-all in the closing stages until Tunjung equalized the overall score to 1-all with a 25-23 win after deuce. Yamaguchi, however, was able to show her composure in the deciding game before sealing the victory with a 21-18 win after a 70-minute battle and made it to the Hong Kong Open final for the first time.
In another match between Goh Jin Wei, world ranked 17 and Zhang Yi Man of China. Zhang lost all their three previous encounters but the last meet was already four years ago. The Chinese mainlander was in leading position throughout the first game, taking a 11-4 lead before Goh closed it to 13-12, but that was the best the Malaysian could offer. Zhang took the first game 21-14. There was no mercy for Zhang in the second as she continued the momentum with another comfortable 21-11 win to set up a final clash against Yamaguchi on Sunday.