KUALA LUMPUR: World number two Shi Yuqi was handed a shocking 21-12, 16-21, 21-11 defeat by unseeded Liew Daren, who surged into the Malaysia Masters semi-finals on Friday (Jan 18).
The 31-year-old Malaysian turned on the style in the deciding game with some fierce cross-court smashes, and the 55-minute victory was sealed when the Chinese player failed to return a net shot.
Liew, who clinched bronze at the World Championships last year, dropped to his knees to celebrate his surprise win.
"To be honest, I did not expect to beat him. But I was confident from the first game after dictating play, and managed to maintain that high tempo in the decider," Liew said.
He will go on to face South Korea's Son Wan-ho, who endured a gruelling 72-minute contest against India's Srikanth Kidambi before prevailing 21-23, 21-16, 21-17.
China's Chen Long will play Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the other semi-final.
Chen only needed 49 minutes to beat Indonesia's Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 21-11, 22-20, while Axelsen proved too strong for local shuttler Lee Zii Jia and won 21-12, 22-20.
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Reigning world champion and top seed Kento Momota was dumped out by Japanese compatriot Kenta Nishimoto on Wednesday.
The women's singles saw Goh Jin Wei dish out the upset of the day with a 21-15, 21-16 triumph over Chinese fifth seed He Bingjiao.
The young Malaysian will face Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon, who beat top seed Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan 21-13, 21-14.