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Sze Fei-Izzuddin reach Denmark Open semis

KUALA LUMPUR: It is fast becoming a memorable week for men's pair Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani as they stormed into the semi-finals of the Denmark Open on Friday.

The world No 26 were simply on song as they scored a stunning 21-18, 21-17 win over world No 7 Fajar Alfian-Muhd Rian Ardianto of Indonesia in the quarter-finals at the Odense Sports Park.

It was a superb win for Sze Fei-Izzuddin as the Indonesians came into the Danish meet on a high, having played a key role in helping Indonesia lift the Thomas Cup a week ago.

It is the second major scalp for the national No 2 pair who had toppled world No 10 S. Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty of India in the second round a day earlier.

It is also the first time that Sze Fei-Izzuddin had smashed their way into the semi-finals of a Super 1000 event, surpassing their previous best which was quarter-finals of the Thailand Open in January.

"We didn't really discuss much on game plans, but we were more focused on the mental side of our game and adapted as it went on," said Izzuddin.

"I think the win over Rankireddy-Chirag definitely boosted our confidence as we've been struggling for a while prior to this."

Sze Fei said: "We've never beaten Fajar-Rian before, so I think we went in there with no pressure and played quite well.

"Even when they were leading, I told myself to calm down and not be nervous and we're pleased to get this win."

Sze Fei-Izzuddin go on to meet either world No 11 Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark in the last four on Saturday.

In mixed doubles, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing bowed out after losing a gruelling three-setter against Olympic bronze medallists Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino.

The world No 12 took the first game but couldn't sustain the pressure as they lost 21-19, 12-21, 14-21 in 92 minutes.

Meanwhile, it was a good day for second seed Cheam June Wei and sixth seed Ng Tze Yong as they both progressed into the second round at the Czech Open in Brno on Friday.

June Wei was made to slog before beating Austrian qualifier Collins Valentine Filimon 21-15, 18-21, 21-11 while Tze Yong claimed a 21-14, 21-18 win over Thailand's Adulrach Namkul.

In women's singles, the young trio of Eoon Qi Xuan, K. Letshanaa and Siti Nurshuhaini Azman all checked into the second round.

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