Shock defeat for World No 1 Tai Tzu Ying

Taiwanese World No 1 Tai Tzu Ying was sensationally knocked out of the BWF World Championships in Nanjing on Thursday.

The 24-year-old suffered only her second defeat in 35 matches as she went down 21-18, 7-21, 21-13 in a thrilling quarter-final contest against China’s He Bingjiao.

Tai has been almost unstoppable in recent months, winning five titles to cement her status as the most dominant player in the world.

But she was not at her best against He on Thursday, making a number of unforced errors to go down to the sixth seed in three games.

As for He, she moves on to face reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin, after she thumped India’s Saina Nehwal 21-6, 21-11.

Like Tai, World No 1 Viktor Axelsen was also knocked out in the men’s draw. The Dane went down 21-19, 21-11 to another home favourite, Chen Long.

Chen moves on to face countryman Shi Yuqi, after the World No 3 came back from a game down to beat World No 5 Chou Tien Chen 16-21, 21-15, 21-18.

Also continuing his dream run in Nanjing was Malaysia’s Daren Liew. The World No 38 survived a second-game blip to defeat Kanta Tsuneyama 22-20, 21-23, 22-20.

He moves on to face the winner of the match between Kento Momota of Japan and India’s B. Sai Praneeth.