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Li pulls off upset in badminton semis at Commonwealth Games

PV Sindhu (L) of India, pictured at Siri Fort Stadium in New Delhi on May 20, 2014

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PV Sindhu (L) of India, pictured at Siri Fort Stadium in New Delhi on May 20, 2014 (AFP Photo/Sajjad Hussain)

Glasgow (AFP) - Top seed PV Sindhu of Indian was beaten in the semi-finals of the women’s singles as Michelle Li of Canada broke British and Asian dominance at the Commonwealth Games badminton on Saturday.

The 22-year-old was elated after coming through 22-20, 22-20 in a closely-contested match where her policy of relaxing paid off.

"I'm kind of speechless,” said the third seed. “I don't think we've won a medal since 1994 so I'm really happy."

"Yesterday I forgot the meaning of why I actually play badminton. Today was about playing for pleasure. Of course you want to win but you have to enjoy it.

"I was really nervous about last night's match and I had to tell myself to relax.

“I am from North America and I want to show that American countries can still put up a fight in badminton. This win means a lot to Canada."

Li will play Kirsty Gilmour in the final on Sunday after the Scot delighted her home crowd with a 21-13, 21-19 victory against Tee Jing Yi of Malaysia.

In the men’s singles, Derek Wong of Singapore prevented an all-Indian final after coming from a game down to beat RV Gurusaidutt (Ind) 16-21, 21-19, 21-15 in a tense contest.

Second seed Kashyap Parupalli had earlier ended the hopes of England’s Rajiv Ouseph with a 18-21, 21-17, 21-18 win in the opening semi-final which lasted one hour and 23 minutes.

There were a few controversial moments with some key line call decisions made and a 71 stroke rally on match point.

"It was very tough,” said the Indian, “There were some crazy line-calls. They were ridiculous. I was lucky to escape today.”

England husband and wife pairing Chris and Gabby Adcock were the first English winners of the day as they beat Scotland’s Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier 21-14, 21-14.

Both had previously played mixed doubles with the other partner so this was always going to have a bit of needle to it and the delight on the faces of the top seeds at the end told just how much it meant.

"This was probably going to be our toughest match,” said Gabby.

“We knew we were a quicker pair than them so we needed to keep up our speed.

“They might have been a bit nervous as they have a lot of pressure on them."

The Adcocks are joined in Sunday’s final by another English pairing in Chris Langridge and Heather Olver who overcame Chan Peng Soon and Pei Jing Lai of Malaysia in a tense battle.

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