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Dream final, new star on the horizon

One is the final everyone wanted. The other will see another of China’s stars aiming for glory at the Yonex All England.

The men’s singles final will see the world’s top two players battling for honour with Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei taking on world and Olympic champion Lin Dan while another world champion Wang Yihan will take on teammate Li Xuerui (left), for the women’s title.

Li Xuerui, 21, who won the German Open last week, has emerged as a real star in the making and proved that by reaching the final in Birmingham, where she even defeated fourth seed Saina Nehwal in the quarter-finals.

In Saturday’s semi-finals, both Wang Yihan and Li Xuerui were taken the distance by their opponents.

Wang Yihan had to fight it out for 86 minutes before disposing of former world No. 1 and defending champion Wang Shixian in three games, 20-22, 21-18, 21-18.

Li Xuerui also dropped the first game against teenager Tai Tzu Ying of Taipei before registering a 19-21, 21-16, 21-10, victory.

Having failed to beat Wang Yihan in four previous meetings, including the final of the French Open two years ago, Li Xuerui will have plenty of incentives as she goes in search for her first All England title.

The men’s final will be a repeat of last year’s title decider which Chong Wei (right), won 21-17, 21-17.

They are two most dominant men in the OSIM BWF World Superseries, having won 37 men’s singles titles out of the 62 at stake since 2007. Chong Wei is ahead with 22 crowns, including the last two All England titles.

Chong Wei is also chasing history in Birmingham as he hopes to emulate his compatriot Wong Peng Soon who won a hattrick of All England titles in 1950, 1951 and 1952.

In the semi-finals, Chong Wei defeated South Korea’s Lee Hyun Il 21-19, 21-18, while Lin Dan edged Kenichi Tago 21-18, 21-17.

Both finalists have yet to drop a game in the tournament and fans can expect fireworks when they clash on Sunday.

For full results, click here.

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