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Star-studded semi-final line-up confirmed after thrilling Friday at Yonex All England

No.1 seeds Chou Tien-chen and Chen Yufei both booked their place in the Yonex All England last four to help complete a scintillating semi-final line-up.

Chou, seeded first in the competition owing to the absence of world No.1 Kento Momota through injury this week, found some of his most fluent form to beat Taiwanese teammate Wang Tzu-wei, teeing up a last four clash against fifth seed Anders Anthonsen.

And Chen won a quarter-final thriller against world No.5 Ratchanok Intanon, battling back from behind to restore parity and then clinch the deciding game 21-17 to show exactly why she is defending champion in Birmingham.

“Of course when I was one game behind in the match I felt under pressure, however I always thought I’d be able to come back into the match,” Chen said.

“I think that I definitely got my strategy right today - I just had to follow my strategy and I knew I would get there in the end.

“Of course I have the confidence to go all the way this week - I’ve been preparing very well for the competition so hopefully I can go on to win.”

And Chou used his last eight victory to issue a statement of intent to rival Momota, the reigning Yonex All England champion but a player absent this week after being involved in a car accident following his win at the Malaysia Masters in January.

“Kento is one of the best players in the world, but because of his injury he obviously now needs time to recover,” he said.

“Momota is the goal for every player, but all I have to do at the moment is prepare for my coming matches.

“Of course, I’m encouraged by my friends and family back in Taiwan, but what I have to do is hold my state of mind correctly and prepare for my games the right way and play my A-game on court.”

Men’s singles second seed Viktor Axelsen also progressed with ease, but No.3 seed Chen Long - who on Thursday beat six-time Yonex All England champion Lin Dan - was shocked in a 21-12 21-18 defeat against Lee Zii Jia in the opening game of the day.

And in the women’s singles 2016 champion Nozomi Okuhara won a pulsating three game encounter against sixth seed P.V. Sindhu, fighting back from behind to take the final two games 21-15 21-13.

2015 champion Carolina Marin was another former tournament winner to progress to set up a mouth-watering semi-final line-up, toppling third seed Akane Yamaguchi 21-15 21-12.

Marin said: “I’m feeling pretty good right now - I think I’ve been putting in some good performances here, and my main goal for this tournament is just to try and enjoy every game.

“I just want to keep going on with this feeling - I was smiling after every point if I won or lost it, and it’s very important for me to have this feeling.

“I was so focused in my strategy I enjoyed playing on court, and I’m improving my game.”

Men’s doubles world No.1s Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo continued to make amends for their first round departure last year, beating Malaysian pair Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik 21-17 21-19.

But reigning champions and No.2 seeds Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan were stunned by world No.6 pairing Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe, who won two tight games 21-19 21-18 to end their title defence.

Ahead of his and Sukamuljo's semi-final clash against Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin, Gideon said: “It wasn’t an an easy game today - we knew we couldn’t give any chances away or they would punish us.

“Tomorrow won’t be an easy game either, so we just need to go away now and prepare for the semi-finals.”

There were two shock results in the women’s doubles, as both the first and second seeds succumbed to defeats and the draw was blown wide open heading into the weekend.

World No.1s Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan lost in three games against Misaki Matsumoto and Ayaka Takahashi, while Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara went down in a similar manner against Du Yue and Li Yinhui.

And mixed doubles second seeds Wang Yilu and Huang Dongping also crashed out on a seismic day at the championship, losing against world No.5 pairing Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti.

The Indonesian duo will now meet English hopefuls Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith, who sent an adoring home crowd into raptures with a thrilling 24-26 22-20 21-11 victory over Honk Kong pair and world No.10s Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet.

But it was disappointment for Ellis and partner Chris Langridge in the men’s doubles, as they were on the wrong end of a three game defeat against Russian pair Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov on Friday evening.

Attention now turns to what looks to be a super Saturday of action under the Arena Birmingham lights, as a star-studded line-up descends on the venue for a scintillating set of semi-final action.