27 - 31 Jan
BWF World Tour Finals - Bangkok
Korean teenager beats Olympic badminton champion, Viktor Axelsen tops his group and more surprise comebacks as they happened in Bangkok, where the last semi-finalists were confirmed.
Please refresh for live blog updates from day 3 of the BWF World Tour Finals in Bangkok. All times are local to Thailand (GMT +7)
2017 badminton world champion Viktor Axelsen and men's doubles pair Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin are the only players to remain undefeated in Bangkok as Carolina Marin succumbed to Korean teenager An Se Young.
Tai Tzu Ying kept her tournament hopes alive by defeating Ratchanok Intanon while Thailand Open winners, Greysia Polli and Apriyani Rahayu were knocked out of the tournament by Malaysia's women's doubles pairing of Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean.
Home favourites Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai can still pull off the hat-trick of titles after clinching the final semi-final spot on offer.
Catch up on all the key moments, as they happened, in our live blog entries below.
And don't forget to join us on Saturday (30th Jan) for our live coverage of the semi-finals, to see which players earn a chance to contest the 2020 season ending finale.
These are the four mixed doubles pairs who will contest the semi-finals:
Tournament top seed Viktor Axelsen shares that he went into today's match against Chou Tien Chen with the same mindset as always, despite both players having already secured a spot in the final four.
Tournament second seed Tai Tzu Ying shares how she managed to edge out home favourite Ratchanok Intanon to make the semi-finals.
"In previous matches [this week], I played very rushed and made lots of mistakes. Today I just wanted to play patiently." - Tai Tzu Ying
You can watch the highlights from their thrilling match here:
Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai returned to their winning ways after suffering their first defeat of the three tournaments in Bangkok yesterday.
The mixed double pair had to beat England’s Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith to ensure they advance to the semi-finals and they wasted no time getting down to business.
The Thai’s were in complete control of the match as they easily secured victory in straight sets.
Score: 21-12, 21-11
World champion PV Sindhu is aiming to bounce back from her disappointing three-tournament outing here in Bangkok. You can watch her interview below:
Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich had nothing to lose in their match against the French pair of Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue.
The Germans were without of chance of advancing following two earlier defeats and suffered another at the hands of Gicquel and Delrue.
The French pair took an easy first game, 21-10 and had a strong start to the second as well.
Lamsfuss and Herttrich did not have a response to their opponents and went down in straight sets.
Score: 21-10, 21- 15
And here’s confirmation of the four men’s singles player from two nations who are through to the semi-finals:
You can watch the highlights of Wang's victory over Antonsen today here:
With two wins each and guaranteed to advance, both Viktor Axelsen and Chou Tien Chen were in a fight to see who will top their group.
Axelsen looking to maintain his unbeaten run in Bangkok, took the first game 21-10.
Chou, who seemed to be holding back in the opener, was able to stay closer to the Dane in the second but still trailed by four points at the mid-game interval.
The Dane asserted himself, and looked to cruise to a comfortable win over Chou in a match that lasted 36 mins
Score: 21-10, 21-14
So now we know the four women's singles players who are through to the semi-finals:
South Korea’s mixed doubles pair of Seo Seung Jae and Chae Yujung had already booked a place in the final four but they did not take their foot off the throttle in their final group game against Indonesia.
Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti need a victory to join the Koreans in the semis but could not match their opponents as they fell rather easily in the opening game.
After another sluggish start in the second game by the Indonesians, they finally seemed to find their rhythm and were able to stay in touch with Seo and Chae.
However the South Koreans responded after the break and slowly began to pull away and eventually clinched victory in straight sets.
Score: 21-10, 21- 13
After going a game down, Tai Tzu Ying upped the pace and stormed her way to victory against Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon.
The Chinese Taipei player opened up a six point lead at the halfway point of the decider and continued to collect points after the break.
The body language of Intanon seems to suggest that the Thai player also felt the match getting away from her as Tai sealed victory in 57 minutes,
Score: 23-25, 21-12, 21-9
Meanwhile on court two, Russia's Evgeniya Kosetskaya had beaten Michelle Li in their final group match.
Both player were without a chance of progressing following earlier defeats to Carolina Marin and An Se Young.
Kosetskaya exits the tournament with at least a World Tour Finals win to her name.
Score: 25-23, 21-10
Tai Tzu Ying opened up a seven-point lead at the second game interval.
Ratchanok Intanon did not seem to have a response to the Chinese Taipei’s increase of pace as the second game fell away from her.
It's one game each and winner takes all in the third and final game.
Score: 23-25, 21-12
Meanwhile, here are the four women's doubles pairs who are through to the semi-finals:
Watch the highlights from the Thai pair's match that clinched the their semi-finals spot.
With all but one semi-final spot decided in the women's singles Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu Ying and Ratchanok Intanon are currently facing-off on court to decide who will advance to the next stage of the tournament.
Both players were defeated by Pornpawee Chochuwong earlier in the week and are in need of a win.
The pair were level at 14-14 in the opening game and again at 20-20 and 23-23.
Eventually it was the 2013 world champion Intanon, who managed edge out Tai in the opening game.
Tai, who has won the season ending event twice in her career, will have to win the next game to keep her hopes alive.
A thrilling second game awaits
Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai came from a game down to beat Indonesia’s Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja.
Goh and Lai continued their form from the second game, to open up an 11-8 lead at the at the interval of the third and final game.
From then on, they seemed to grow in confidence and went to grab the win to ensure they progress to the semis of the World Tour Finals.
Score: 17-21, 21-13, 21-13
In a match to decide who would top the group, Chinese Taipei's Wang Tzu Wei was able to defeat Anders Antonsen.
The Dane, already assured of a spot in the semis, went down in straight sets
Score: 21-11, 21-19
"I’m really happy as I have shed a lot of tears here. It’s a good feeling and I can't describe it in words. Rather than focusing on winning, there were many things I have learnt from Marin and I adapted to those things as I was playing the match. Marin has power and speed which kept coming out during the first and second match, which I didn’t catch. Today I kept on trying to catch it until the end, and focused on each shot one-by-one."* - An Se Young*
Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai got off to a six -point lead in the early stages of the second game. The pair looking far more comfortable on court as they led 11-5 at the interval.
The Malaysian’s confidently took the game to level the match against Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja.
One more game to decide who will advance in this tournament.
Score: 17-21, 21-13
Here are the four men's doubles pairs who are through to the final four.
Watch the highlights below to see how the English pairing of Lane and Vendy booked their semi-final berth.
Indonesia's mixed doubles pair of Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja are locked in a battle for survival against Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai.
With one win a piece, the victor will advance to the semi-finals.
Faizal and Widjaja started strongly, but the Malaysians fought back hard towards the second half of the opening game. However the Indonesians held on and have the early advantage.
PV Sindhu ended her World Tour Finals campaign on a winning note after managing to beat Thailand's Pornpawee Chochuwong.
The Thai player with two victories under hear belt, seemed to be taking a much milder approach as she went down in straight sets to the reigning world champion.
Two earlier losses for Sindhu brings an end to her campaign once Tai Tzu Ying and Ratchanok Intanon take to the court later today to determine who will join Chochuwong in the final four.
Score: 21-18, 21-15
The Spaniard’s win streak in Bangkok, which saw her clinch two Thailand Open titles in two weeks, finally came to an end as Carolina Marin lost her final group stage match to An Se Young.
However Marin admitted that she did not want to go out all out for victory, given that both players had already qualified for the semi-finals.
“"I didn't want to force myself today. My performance was okay. I played like training. I lost but I don't care about it.” - Carolina Marin
She used the opportunity to treat the match as a training session, experimenting with new shots that she had wanted to play. You can listen to her full interview below:
Anthony Ginting was spared ending the tournament without a win after he beat Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia.
With one game each, it was Lee who started the decider stronger, to lead at the half-way mark.
But Anthony Ginting came out fighting after the interval and a string of eight points won, to Lee' one, saw the Indonesian run away with the decider.
Score: 21-12, 15-21, 21-13
Similar scenario on court one, where an already eliminated PV Sindhu is facing off against Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong who is through to the semis.
The Indian held a slim 11-9 lead in the opening game interval, and went on to take the win.
Meanwhile on court two, having lost both their opening two matches, both Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia and Anthony Sinisuka Ginting were playing for pride with no possibility to progress to the final four.
The Indonesian was the sharper player on court in the first game, taking the opening game comfortably.
Lee came out fighting in the second game and surged ahead at the interval, 11-8. It was a much more composed and focused Lee who has managed draw level in the match by winning the second game.
The battle to see which player will pick up his first win at the tournament will go down to the decider.
Score: 21-12, 15-21
WHAT A WIN!
Young South Korean An Se Young halts the Olympic champion Carolina Marin's fairytale run in this Asian leg of events in Thailand.
Before today, the Spaniard was yet to drop a game, but the 18-year-old South Korean was not to be intimidated and pulled off a brilliant win with some top-quality badminton.
Score: 16-21, 21-14, 19-21
Which way is this one swinging?
An Se Young goes ahead in the decider. The South Korean has responded well to Marin's charge with six back-to-back points to take the lead at the mid-game interval.
This is as close as it gets.
Score: 16-21, 21-14, 10-11
Carolina Marin has bossed her way to take the second game 21-14.
The Spaniard was on top her game, dictating the rallies with her shot and making the young An Se Young fight hard for her points.
The South Korean will need something special to stop this Spanish giant.
Score: 16-21, 21-14
From 1-5 down to leading the second game 11-8, Marin is right back in it.
The Spaniard's net game, which looked all over the place in the opening game, is back and she is roaring her way to the points.
Can An Se Young withstand the onslaught?
Score: 16-21, 11-8
That's the first game that Carolina Marin has lost in the three competiton she's competed in Thailand.
As Se Young has been relentless in her pursuit and has pushed the Spaniard with her wide array of attacking shots.
On her part, Marin has looked a little below her high standards. Time for Marin to up her game.
An unlikely start to this match. It's the young An Se Young who has her noses ahead at the break.
She's taken the fight to the Olympic champion and has been rewarded for it with the lead. Marin, on her part, has done well to cut the difference to just three points after giving away six-point lead in the beginning.
Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin were all smiles after what was a comfortable win over the Olympic bronze medallist Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge of England in their final group game at the IMPACT Arena.
Up next, it's the reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain who takes to the court for her final group game against one of international badminton's rising star, South Korea's An Se Young.
Marin is yet to drop a game in Thailand and while the South Korean youngster has improved with every passing tie.
Former world no. 1 Srikanth Kidambi wrap up a disappointing BWF World Tour Finals with another loss in his final group tie.
The 27-year-old bowed out to Hong Kong's Ng Ka Long in what was a draining three-game tie, 12-21, 21-18, 21-19.
What a turnaround this has been from the reigning world and World Tour Finals champions.
Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan took their time to grown into this encounter, but once they were in, there was no stopping the Daddies from Indonesia. They move into the semi-finals.
As for, Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik, they can take heart from the fight they put up against the imposing champions. A lot of positives for the young Malaysians from this match.
Score: 21-18, 17-21, 11-21
The Indonesians have come out firing in this decider. They have injected pace into the game and are stretching the Malaysian at will.
Expect more of this in the remainder of this match.
Score: 21-18, 17-21, 8-11
We are headed into a decider!
The Indonesian build on their lead to take the second game.
Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan do well to stay on guard to keep the shuttle in play for long enough to eke out mistakes from their opponents before killing the rallies for their points.
Momentum firmly behind the champions, but can they make the most of it?
Score: 21-18, 17-21
The Daddies ahead on the turn, but not by much.
The Indonesians have looked out of sorts with their shot selection and Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik have no opportunity to punish them.
The Malaysians have kept a close vigil on the champions and can possibly nick it in the second half of the game if they continue with their good work.
This one has an exciting end, don't go anywhere.
Score: 21-18, 10-11
The Malaysians are back in it!
Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik punish the world champions for some sloppy play cut the deficit and then go on a six-point streak to win the first game.
Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan need to be much better than what they have been so far in the match if they have to defend the World Tour Finals title.
Thailand's Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai are looking forward to what will be tough semi-final on Saturday.
Listen in as they share their thoughts on a commanding win over Germany's Linda Elfer and Isabel Herttrich.
A quick start from the Daddies here. The Indonesians are hesitant to commit and are keeping it simple in these opening exchanges.
It's all about keeping the shuttle as low as possible and making the lifts count with some powerful smashes to kill the rally.
The Malaysian world no. 14 pair of Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean have beaten the top seeds Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu of Indonesia.
The Malaysians have taken just under the 50 minutes mark to despatch the world no. 8 pair who's been on top form in Thailand with a win at the Yonex Thailand Open and a final appearance at the Toyota Thailand Open.
The Malaysians look all but through to the semi-finals at the expense of the top seeds. But more on that later. For now, it's the world champions in men's doubles Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan who take the court in a must-win tie.
Score: 13-21, 17-21
It's much more comfortable in the second game.
Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin ease past their English opponents to maintain an all-win record at the BWF World Tour Finals.
The Olympic bronze medallists Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge were a shadow of their best as they had no answers to the top seeds' relentless attacking game that had them stretched on the court far too often.
Score: 21-17, 21-13
The top seeds look in fine touch as they nick the opening game in just under 20 minutes.
It's been a quick game with short rallies and smart interception being the theme. Chris Langridge came up with some brilliant crosscourt variations, but it's not enough to help the English pair past the top seeds in this first game.
Momentum firmly with Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin, but you cannot put it past the English duo to make a comeback.
Russia's Ivan Sozonov was disappointed to miss the semi-final bus at the BWF World Tour Finals but the 31-year-old chose to look at the positives instead.
The Korean juggernaut rolls on!
They won the two Thailand Open titles over the fortnight and South Korea's Kim So-yeong and Kong Hee-yong look in no mood to give up on a hat-trick opportunity here at the IMPACT Arena.
Another convincing win, this time over England's Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith, helps them send a strong message that they mean business at the BWF World Tour Finals. Can the Koreans be stopped?
As for the English pair, they await the results of the match on Court 1 to see if they have made it to the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, we head to next match on Court 2 with the top seeds in the men's doubles Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin of Chinese Taipei taking on the Olympic bronze medallist from Rio 2016, England's Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge.
Score: 21-14, 21-18
The second seeds Kim So-yeong and Kong Hee-yong of South Korea take the opening game in just under 20 minutes.
There was a moment in the game where it looked like the English pair of Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith could build on a series of points to challenge their opponents, but it was not to be as the Koreans held their ground to see the game through.
Third seeds Lee So-hee and Shin Seung-chan of South Korea have booked their place in the semi-finals following a convincing 21-12, 21-16 win over Malaysia's Vivian Hoo Kah Mun and Yap Cheng Wen.
The Koreans meant business from the word go and barely allowed their opponents to settle into any sort of a rhythm to close the match in 40 minutes.
The Koreans' only loss of the campaign so far has come against the top seeds Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu of Indonesia.
The Koreans hold their ground to pocket the match and make it to the semi-finals tomorrow.
The world No. 8 pair of Seo Seung-Jae and Choi Sol Gyu find a way to get past a dangerous-looking Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov of Russia in three hard-fought games.
Up next, it's the women's doubles action where another Korean pair of Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong take on Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith of England.
Score: 11-21, 21-17, 16-21
It's a close one so far.
Playing from the faster end of the court, the Russians have stayed within touching distance of the Koreans so far. But can they go one better with the change of ends?
Score: 11-21, 21-17, 8-11
We are going into a decider!
The Koreans did well to rally from 8-11 down to cut the deficit, but it's not enough as the Russians hold on to their lead before closing the game with some close exchanges at the net.
This one is turning out to be an interesting affair.
Score: 11-21, 21-17
The Russians have come out strong in the second. They have responded well to the Koreans' flat drives and have closed the rallies by putting their towering presence to good use.
It's never easy to defend a smash when it's a six-foot-four shuttler firing it in from the other end.
Score: 11-21, 11-8
It's a blistering start to this match here. Both the pairs sticking to their style.
Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov, however, will need to get out of their disruptive style and try to prolong the rallies, if they are to challenge the Koreans here.
The Koreans are enjoying this, aren't they?
Seo Seung-Jae and Choi Sol Gyu have ridden on their flat returns and smart interceptions to trouble the Russians in this opening game.
A series of seven straight points somewhat derailed Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov's challenge as the Koreans go ahead in this crucial match.
Like on the previous days, there will be two matches going on simultaneously at any given point of time on Court 1 and Court 2 at the IMPACT Arena in Bangkok.
Kicking things off on day 3 of the BWF World Tour Finals are the veteran Russians Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov who have impressed beyond measure with some breathtaking badminton so far.
They face a resilient South Korea duo in Seo Seung-Jae and Choi Sol Gyu with a win pushing them into their first-ever semis at the BWF World Tour Finals.
This will be the first meeting between the two pairs and given their form in the competition so far, it promises to be an exciting one.
Meanwhile, on Court 2, Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan of South Korea are up against the Malaysian duo of Vivian Hoo and Yap Cheng Wen in the women’s doubles.
It's time to head into the business end of the BWF World Tour Finals here in Thailand and we begin with the semi-final draw later today.
The top badminton players on the planet are battling for the end-of-season honours, and we're down to the win-or-go-home stage of the event.
Bookmark this page and join us from around 10:30am Bangkok time on Friday (29th January) for live blog updates from day 3 of the BWF World Tour Finals.
If you missed Thursday's day 2 action, you can catch up here.
That saw Viktor Axelsen and Carolina Marin, as well as men's doubles pair Lee Yang and Wang Chi Lin, make it two wins from two in Bangkok, with all three managing straight-sets victories.
Axelsen, along with Chou Tien Chen, Wang Tzu Wei, and Anders Antonsen guaranteed their progress to the men's singles semi-finals on Saturday with a group game to spare.
The women's singles sees Marin through to the final four, along with An Se Young, and Pornpawee Chochuwong. The Friday match between Ratchonok Intanon and Tai Tsu Ying will decide who claims the final spot.
The men's doubles is wide open, with only Lee and Wang confirmed to advance. It's a similar story in the women's and mixed doubles as well, so there's still a lot to play for on Friday.
Our team will be providing updates of all the games, plus action and reaction too.
27 - 31 Jan
BWF World Tour Finals - Bangkok