Second seed Lin Dan was forced to dig deep before overcoming Sho Sasaki in Friday’s German Open quarter-finals.
Lin looked comfortable enough after taking the first game 21-16, but Sasaki wasn’t done yet.
The 16th seed from Japan edged a tight second game and even found himself 8-3 up in the decider, but Lin drew on all his experience to turn the tables on his opponent, eventually winning 21-16, 20-22, 21-17 after one hour and 12 minutes.
Lin moves on to face eighth seed Son Wan Ho of South Korea in the semi-finals, after Son beat Wei Nan 21-11, 21-12.
The other semi-final sees top seed Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark take on fourth seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei.
Jorgensen ended the challenge of fifth seed Tian Houwei, while Chou was too strong for Ng Ka Long Angus.
In the women’s draw, Japanese fifth seed Nozomi Okuhara upset third seed Sung Ji Hyun 21-8, 21-17. Okuhara moves on to face second seed Li Xuerui of China in the semi-finals.
Li was given a stern test by Yui Hashimoto, but managed to prevail 21-11, 18-21, 21-14.
The other semi-final is another Chinese vs Japanese affair, with fourth seed Wang Shixian taking on sixth seed Akane Yamaguchi.
Wang defeated Indian seventh seed Pusarla V. Sindhu, while Yamaguchi was a 21-15, 13-21, 21-16 winner over Line Kjaersfeldt.