South Korean women’s badminton standout and World No. 1 singles player Ahn Se-young (21, Samsung Life Insurance) has reached the quarterfinals of the World Championships with a thrilling upset victory over former World No. 1 Nozomi Okuhara (Japan, World No. 36).

Ahn came from behind to defeat Okuhara 2-1 (16-21 21-10 21-11) in the women’s singles quarterfinals at the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Championships 2023 in Copenhagen, Denmark on Friday (July 25).

This year, Ahn has won seven international tournaments and climbed to the top of the world rankings. She will attempt to become the first South Korean to win the women’s singles title in 27 years.

No South Korean player has ever won the women’s singles title at a World Championships. Ahn Se-young, who won bronze at the event last year, will be looking to make history.

Okuhara was the ace of Japanese women’s badminton before the rise of current world No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi (JPN). She won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She dominated the women’s singles at the 2017 World Championships in Glasgow and rose to world No. 1 in 2019.

At the World Championships, she overcame some tough competition to reach the quarterfinals. Facing a tough opponent in Okuhara, Ahn struggled in the first set.

Okuhara seemed to have thoroughly studied Ahn’s game patterns. Her diagonal attackers shut down Ahn’s drop shots, and her surprise attacks broke through the defense.

Throughout the first set, Ahn trailed 14-20 as she was drawn into Okuhara’s skillful game management. She rallied late in the set, but was unable to 토토사이트 overcome the deficit and dropped the first set.

After regrouping, Ahn took control of the match in the second set. She gained the upper hand in the rally fight and her long and tenacious defense came to life. In particular, Ahn extended her rallies and Okuhara’s stamina diminished over time.

With a big lead of 11-4, Ahn took the second set and leveled the match.

At 10-10 in the third set, Ahn scored back-to-back points to put the brakes on Okuhara’s charge. Okuhara, who was struggling for energy at the end of the third set, made a series of unforced errors. Ahn seized the opportunity to cross the 20-point threshold and book her place in the quarterfinals.

Ahn will likely face her “nemesis” and “biggest rival” Chen Yufei (China, World No. 3) in the final. Chen will face her compatriot Wang Jiayi (China, World No. 11) in the quarterfinals later in the day.

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