World No 1 Lee Chong Wei crashed out of the Denmark Open on Friday, beaten in three games by unseeded Frenchman Brice Leverdez.
World No 38 Leverdez gave notice of his talent by knocking out fifth seed Chou Tien Chen on Thursday, and he kept up his giant-killing form in the quarter-finals, upsetting Chong Wei 21-17, 20-22, 21-19.
After an evenly contested opening, Leverdez soon surprised everyone by racing to a 14-8 lead in the first game.
Chong Wei responded by narrowing the deficit to just 17-16, but Leverdez went on a four-point run before holding on to clinch the game.
Leverdez once again started the better of the two in the second game, at one point enjoying an 11-6 advantage, but Chong Wei mounted another fightback and this time he was able to wrest control away from his opponent and level the scores at a game apiece.
It all came down to the deciding third game, and while it was fiercely contested throughout with the lead changing hands on several occasions, it was Leverdez who stunned his top-ranked opponent – and the crowd in attendance – by holding on for a famous victory.
He now moves on to the semi-finals where he will face Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, who advanced after defeating qualifier Anders Antonsen 21-17, 14-21, 21-15.
The other semi-final is an all-South Korean affair between sixth seed Son Wan Ho and Lee Hyun Il.
Son beat Shi Yuqi 21-13, 15-21, 21-18, while Lee ousted Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki Vincent 6-21, 21-13, 21-13.
World No 1 Carolina Marin, meanwhile, narrowly avoided suffering a similar fate to Chong Wei in the women’s draw.
The Spaniard just managed to see off seventh seed Sun Yu 21-19, 16-21, 27-25 in another close encounter to set up a last four meeting with Japanese eighth seed Akine Yamaguchi.
Yamaguchi knocked out her higher-ranked countrywoman Nozomi Okuhara 21-13, 21-14.
The other semi-finals pits fifth seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taipei against Cheung Ngan Yi of Hong Kong.