Badminton: Hong Kong's Hu surges into Japan semis

Hong Kong's unseeded Hu Yun surged through to the semi-finals of the Japan Open on Friday as he saw off the eighth seed Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam to continue his excellent run of form.

Hu, who defeated two-time champion Peter Gade on Wednesday and was the losing finallist in China last week, coasted to a 24-22, 21-15 victory in 42 minutes in Tokyo.

"I don't feel any fears against his shots because they are the shots I can comfortably hit back," Hu said after his quarter-final win.

"I always feel confident whenever I play against him.

"I'm happy about the win, not because my opponents were seeded. When I beat a stronger player, of course, I'm happier. I don't feel any pressure. I relax when I play and that's why I'm doing very well recently."

In the semis on Saturday he will play either Kazumasa Sakai of Japan or Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand.

The Japan Open is without any of China's players after they boycotted the tournament over a territorial row between China and Japan.

In the women's quarter-finals, the fourth-seeded Bae Yeon-Ju of South Korea crashed to a 7-21, 15-21 defeat to home hope Eriko Hirose.

Bae's compatriot and the second seed Sung Ji-Hyun edged past Japan's Ai Goto 12-21, 21-16, 21-14.

"I had expected it to be a tough match. Today, I was able to move pretty well. That's the key to the win. I was able to attack as I wanted to do," said Hirose.

"I'm really happy to reach the last four. My goal is to win a title in the Superseries, so I will do my best tomorrow as well by concentrating on each point. I want to stay on the court as long as possible."

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