World No 1 Lee Chong Wei was knocked out of the BWF World Superseries Finals in Dubai on Friday after losing to Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen.
After losing his opening match to Son Wan Ho and hitting back with victory over Angus Ng Ka Long, Lee needed to beat Axelsen in his third and final Group B match to advance to the knockout stages of the competition.
Unfortunately for the Malaysian, he went down 14-21 21-14 21-19 to his Danish opponent at the Hamdan Sports Complex to rule out any chance of a fifth Superseries Finals title.
Instead it was Axelsen who advanced to the semi-finals along with South Korean Son, who lost 24-26 21-8 21-11 to Long on Friday but still progressed thanks to his two earlier victories.
Moving on from Group A, meanwhile, were China’s Tian Houwei and Dane Jan O Jorgensen.
Tian made it three wins from three with a 21-16 22-20 over Jorgensen on Friday, though the Dane still advanced by virtue of his two previous wins.
The second Group A match was effectively a dead rubber between Marc Zwiebler and Hu Yun, with the latter retiring from the match with Zwiebler leading 21-10, 18-10.
In Group A of the women’s draw, top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taipei and South Korean Sung Ji Hyun were the two to advance.
The two players met on Friday, with Sung winning 21-15, 21-17, though both had already qualified by virtue of their two earlier victories.
The second Group A match saw He Bingjiao of China beat Ratchanok Intanon when the Thai shuttler retired with the score 21-19, 10-11 to He.
Advancing from Group B were China’s Sun Yu and India’s P.V Sindhu.
Sun defeated Akane Yamaguchi 15-21 21-10 21-10 on Friday to make it a full house of round robin victories, while Sindhu defeated Spain’s Carolina Marin 21-17, 21-13 to pick up her second win and qualify for the semi-finals.