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Japan women outplay South Korea, advance to Uber Cup finals

Kyodo

Japan’s women advanced to the finals of the Uber Cup on Friday with a 3-1 victory over South Korea.

The top-seeded Japanese booked a spot in the finals for the first time since 2014, with wins by singles players Akane Yamaguchi and Nozomi Okuhara, and the doubles duo of Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi.

World No. 2 Yamaguchi beat seventh-ranked Sung Ji-hyun 21-10, 21-13 in 41 minutes to give Japan a positive start at Siri FortSports Complex.

Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota lost their doubles match to Kim So-yeong and Shin Seung-chan 21-19, 21-15. But Okuhara, the reigning world champion, breezed past Lee Jang-mi 21-9, 21-15 in the third rubber to put Japan ahead.

Rio de Janeiro Olympic gold medalists Matsutomo and Takahashi defeated Baek Ha-na and Lee Yu-rim 21-11, 17-21, 21-14.

Japan will face Thailand or defending champion China in Saturday’s final as it attempts to win the tournament for the first time in 37 years.