Original title: After three hard fights, Li Shifeng eliminated Naraoka Gongda Li Shifeng and advanced to the men’s singles final in Thailand
On the afternoon of May 21st, the 2022 Thailand Badminton Open entered the semi-final competition. In the men’s singles match, Chinese player Li Shifeng defeated Japanese player Takeda Naraoka 2-1 and advanced to the final.
In the first game, Li Shifeng took the lead 3-0. After that, the two sides scored alternately. Naraoka Gongda gradually narrowed the score difference and once fought with his opponent to 7 and 8 draws. Next, the Japanese players scored three points in a row, leading 11-8 to enter the technical interval. After the restart of the game, Li Shifeng gradually regained his state, and the two fought from 12 to 14. At the critical moment, the Chinese players became more and more brave, and they scored four points in a row to see the hope of winning the game. In the end, Li Shifeng showed his exquisite small ball skills in front of the net and took the lead 21-19.
After a successful Hawkeye challenge in the second game, Li Shifeng took the lead 4-2. In the follow-up games, he made a few mistakes and was chased to 9 levels by his opponent. Fortunately, Li Shifeng scored two points in a row, leading 11-9 and entering the technical interval. After the restart of the game, Li Shifeng obviously increased his aggression and speeded up the pace of the game. Taking advantage of the opponent’s unpreparedness, he once led by 4 points. It is a pity that the Chinese players made more mistakes next time, and Naraoka Takeda took the opportunity to reduce the difference to 1 point.
At 14-13, Li Shifeng called a timeout and performed emergency treatment on the right ankle and the inner thigh of the left leg. After the suspension came back, the two fought to a tie twice. After 15 draws, Naraoka played more proactively and dragged the game into the tiebreaker 21-16.
In the deciding game, Li Shifeng took the lead 5-1. After that, the two sides had each other’s offense and defense. Naraoka Goda gradually approached the score and tenaciously chased to a 9 tie, and then the two fought to a 10 tie. When changing sides, the Japanese players took a 11-10 lead. After the exchange of venues, Li Shifeng made a beautiful defense and fell into the opponent’s gap, leading 13-12 again. Next, the two took turns to score. After a smash went out of bounds, Li Shifeng was chased to 16 by his opponent. At the critical moment, the Chinese players still took the lead, and they won three match points 20-17. In the end, Naraoka Gongda returned the ball out of bounds, and Li Shifeng sealed the victory 21-19.
Li Shifeng will face Malaysia’s Li Zijia in the men’s singles final on May 22.
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