China`s Chen through to Singapore badminton final

Singapore: China`s reigning world champion Chen Jin defeated compatriot Wang Zhengming in straight games on Saturday to advance to the Singapore Open badminton final.

Chen, 25, was in top form as he outclassed his younger opponent with superb smashes and deftly placed drop shots to win 21-17 and 21-11, setting up a clash with either his countryman Lin Dan or Denmark`s Peter Gade in the final.

Lin, known to his millions of fans around the world as Super Dan, will play the veteran Dane in the second semi-final later Saturday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Errors started to flow more frequently from Wang`s racquet in the second game as Chen kept up the pace of his attacks and was quick to punish weak returns from his 21-year-old compatriot.

"I think my form is getting better but I don`t want to put too much pressure on myself," Chen said after the win.

Wang, touted by many as the future of Chinese badminton and possibly a successor to the great Lin, gave credit to the world champion`s sizzling display.

"I was restricted by Chen Jin, who was playing better. This is my first time playing in Singapore but I hope to be champion one day," said Wang, a former world junior champion.

In the women`s draw, China`s world number two Wang Xin is through to the final after beating Yao Jie of the Netherlands in straight games 21-13 and 21-11.

"I think my performance today was fine perhaps due to adequate preparations I`ve done for this game," Wang said.

China`s world number one and reigning All-England champion Wang Shixian is to play Denmark`s world number nine, Tine Baun in the other women`s semi-final.

The Singapore Open is the fifth leg of the 12-stop Badminton World Federation Super Series, with the top eight men`s and women`s singles players and doubles pairs qualifying for the end-of-year showpiece.

Bureau Report

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