Tien Minh in US Open semis

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Nguyen Tien Minh gave himself a great opportunity to win his  first international tournament this year on Thursday by beating a player he had lost to all the four times they'd played earlier.

The straight sets victory over China's Bao Chunlai propelled Minh into the semifinals of the US Open Badminton Championship in Los Angeles.

Seeded third in the tournament and ranked ninth in the world, Minh had a much easier time than expected against Chunlai.

Minh was in front early in the first set, but from 6-14 down, Chunlai made it 15-15. Minh put an improved performance from then on to take the set 21-18.

In the second set Chunlai led 11-3 before Minh fought back to 12-12 and went on to win 21-15.

Minh will meet sixth-seeded and 17th-ranked German Marc Zwiebler in the semifinals. Having won all their three previous matches, Minh is likely to go into the match with more confidence.

If Minh can beat Zwiebler, he will play against either 15th-ranked Japanese Sho Sasaki or46th-ranked Taiwanese Hsuan Yi Hsueh.

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