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Taufik sets up thrilling semis fight

Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat surged into the semi-finals of the Yonex Swiss Open where he will face China’s Chen Jin on Saturday.

The two former world champions, who have not been having the best of form of late, will be joined in the last four by second seed Chen Long and South Korea’s Lee Hyun Il.

Taufik (left), who regained his winning touch when he won the India Open in December, his first title in over a year, is slowly finding his old rhythm.

He is still a top draw wherever he goes and reaching the last four in this Grand Prix Gold tournament will certain help him in his quest to return to the top 10 in the world rankings.

The former Olympic champion is current 12th, three spots behind his compatriot Simon Santoso.

Taufik reached the semis when he beat Shon Wan Ho 21-14, 10-21, 21-19 on Friday. On Thursday, he has showed glimpses of his old form when he outplayed eighth seed Du Pengyu 21-18, 21-15.

Chen Jin, who is in danger of missing the Olympics, had no problems booking his place in the final four, taking out Malaysia’s Liew Daren 21-8, 23-21.

Chen Long and Hyun Il, meanwhile, ended Denmark’s interest in the men’s singles competition by beating Hans-Kristian Vittinghus and Viktor Axelsen respectively.

World No. 3 Chen Long took 47 minutes to tame Vittinghus 21-14, 21-14, while Hyun Il only took 35 minutes to beat former world junior champion Axelsen 21-15, 21-14.

Taufik’s teammates Alvent Yulianto Chandra-Hendra Aprida Gunawan gave themselves a chance to win the men’s doubles title by reaching the final four.

Alvent-Hendra, who will play in next week’s Axiata Cup, at No. 5, are the highest seeds remaining in the competition.

They will face sixth seeds Naoki Kawamae-Shoji Sato for a place in the final while another Japanese pair Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa meet Taipei’s Fang Chieh Min-Lee Sheng Mu in the other semi-final

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