Osaka (Japan), Sep 1 (SocialNews.XYZ) Two-time world champion Akane Yamaguchi of Japan fought back from one game down to beat China's He Bingjiao to reach the women's singles quarterfinals at the Japan Open badminton tournament here on Thursday.
Yamaguchi, who claimed the title when the event was held last in 2019, stormed back to win two sets easily after dropping the first one, winning 18-21, 21-13, 21-12.
She now has improved her record to 13 wins and three losses against China's second-best player He, who won the tournament in 2016.
"I think that I have been playing my best badminton in the last two weeks," said Yamaguchi, who defeated He's teammate and Olympic champion Chen Yufei in the world championships final last Sunday.
The Japanese star is expected to meet Chen in the semifinals should they both win their next matches.
Yamaguchi next meets Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand and Chen takes on Gregoria Mariska Tunjung of Indonesia after cruising past Zhang Beiwen of the United States 21-15, 21-10 in just 26 minutes, reports Xinhua.
Rio Olympic champion Carolina Marin, also a three-time world champion, will take on third seed An Seyoung of South Korea while second seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei faces Thailand's former world titlist Ratchanok Intanon.
In the men's competitions, China's Shi Yuqi, who finished second at the 2018 world championships, beat Brice Leverdez of France 21-13, 21-15 to secure a quarterfinal berth.
With newly-crowned world champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark missing the event and second seed, Kento Momota of Japan eliminated, Shi, playing his second tournament after a 10-month suspension, has a good chance of winning the title.
"I will try my best even though I am not in my best form," he said.
Shi will fight for a semifinal place against 28-ranked Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand.