Kunlavut coasts into last four

Kunlavut coasts into last four

Kunlavut Vitidsarn plays against Toma Junior Popov. (AFP photo)
Kunlavut Vitidsarn plays against Toma Junior Popov. (AFP photo)

Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn defeated France's Toma Junior Popov 2-1 to reach the semi-finals of the BWF World Tour Finals in Bali on Friday.

The 20-year-old finished off the Frenchman 21-12, 20-22, 21-5 in their last Group B match in the men's singles of the season finale.

Group B runner-up Kunlavut advanced to the last four along with group winner Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia.

Denmark's Viktor Axelsen and India's Lakshya Sen progressed to the semi-finals from Group A.

Women's singles star Pornpawee Chochuwong and mixed doubles duo Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai are the other Thais in Saturday's semi-finals.

Pornpawee defeated India's PV Sindhu 21-12, 19-21, 21-14 for her third successive win in Group A yesterday with both advancing to the last four.

In Group B, Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan was eliminated after losing to Japan's Akane Yamaguchi 21-18, 21-18.

Dechapol and Sapsiree beat England's Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith 21-18, 21-13 for a perfect 3-0 record in the group stage.

The defending champions Thais are chasing their fourth straight title and a hat-trick of wins in three consecutive weeks in Bali.

Players of season

Denmark's Axelsen and Taiwan's Tai Tzu-ying have been named the BWF male and female payer of the year respectively for their feats during the 2020-2021 season, the Badminton World Federation announced yesterday.

Thailand's Kunlavut was named the most promising player.

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