Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen was in the end too clinical for the master Lin Dan as the fourth seed prevailed in three hard-fought games in their round of 16 clash at BLIBLI Indonesia Open 2019 earlier today.
Billed as the match of the morning session, the pair did not disappoint exchanging a flurry of rallies in front of a vociferous Jakarta crowd.
Match of the Session
Chou’s superior power was visible in both games as he seemed to hold a slight advantage throughout over the two-time Olympic champion.
It was an intense opening game with a handful of contentious line calls (in the absence of Hawkeye) that rattled both players. Chou said post-match: “Nothing was going right. But I just had to calm myself, do my best and push [my opponent].”
Against Lin Dan’s best efforts, Chou was able to close out the first game 24-22.
Lin Dan, yet to add an Indonesia Open title to his long list of achievements, would rue three missed chances at 20-19, 21-20 and 22-21 to close out the first game.
Like all great champions, the 35-year-old Chinese responded with renewed vigor and completed a series of stunning winners at the back end of the second game to draw level at 1-1.
The ebbs and flows continued in the decider as both players looked to gain the edge. It was Chou, however, that was the more forceful and moved to an 11-8 lead at the mid-game break.
With age on his side, Chou was able to maintain that gap and extend it further to close it out 21-13 in the third.
Chou, who had won the last two outings between the pair, acknowledged that Lin Dan had done his homework ahead of this clash.
“The last two times I won. So, this time I think he did a lot of preparation. I just tried my best today,” he said.
“The shuttlecock was very slow, so there was a lot of running. I had to focus a lot.”
So Close, Yet So Far
Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung almost provided the partisan home crowd with more reason to cheer, pushing seventh seed Ratchanok Intanon to the distance in their women’s singles encounter.
Tunjung claimed the first game 21-13 to send whispers around the arena. At mid-way through the second game, it looked like the upset was still on the cards.
But the seasoned Intanton was able to regain composure and eventually overpowered the Indonesian 21-15 in the third to progress.
Intanon said of her opponent: “Today she (Tunjung) was faster than before but in the second and third game she was up and down a bit and her control of the shuttle was not the same as at the beginning of the match.”
Intanon now faces world No. 1 and top seed Tai Tzu Ying in a blockbuster quarterfinal.
Only Tai Tzu Ying could pull off a point like thishttps://t.co/Hltm3xVRfv #HSBCBWFbadminton #HSBCRaceToGuangzhou pic.twitter.com/PRTWHYR5aI
— BWF (@bwfmedia) July 18, 2019
Japanese top seeds Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara take on sixth seeds Lee So Hee/Shin Seung Chan in the women’s doubles quarterfinals.
Countrywomen Akane Yamaguchi plays Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol in women’s singles for a place in the final four.