Chen Long eliminated in Singapore Open quarters

Singapore, April 16 (IANS) China’s World No.1 shuttler Chen Long was dramatically eliminated by Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka Long in the quarterfinals of the Singapore Open 2016 here.

Ng put in a heroic performance as he ousted Chen 21-14, 21-18 on Friday, much to surprise of those gathering at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, setting the precedent for what was to be a day of upsets for most of top seeds at the tournament, reports Xinhua.

“It’s rare for me to get into top four for a Superseries, so I’m really quite glad. This competition is also my best result so far,” revealed a clearly elated Ng, whose last semi-final appearance came in the Hong Kong Open Superseries in 2015, where he eventually lost to Lin Dan.

“I think it’s still too early to say (if I can win the Singapore Open) so I will just take each round at a time.”

Meanwhile, Chen rued his overconfidence in the second game. Chen once held a 14-7 lead in the second game before going on to lose the next ten points to Ng.

“Perhaps I thought I had a strong lead and was going to win the second game and probably didn’t play as rigorously,” said Chen.

South Korea’s world No. 10 Son Wan Ho pulled off an upset of his own after he defeated China’s world No. 7 Tian Houwei 11-21, 21-15, 21-19, to book a place in the last four. Indonesia’s Sony Dwi Kuncoro, who had entered the main draw through the qualifier, beat China’s world No. 12 Wang Zhengming 16-21, 21-11, 21-16.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Lin Dan cruised to a 21-14, 21-16 win in his quarter-final clash with Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto, setting up a last four clash with Sony.

“I think my performance in the first set was not very ideal. I took a while to get into the zone and felt as if I was sleepwalking at the start,” Lin said.

“I did well towards the end by closing the gap and slowly picked up the momentum. In comparison, I think I fared a lot better in the second set,” Super Dan added.

There was also a huge upset in the women’s singles as world No. 1 Carolina Marin was dumped out by Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi.

Yamaguchi lost the first game 21-13 before recovering to win 21-18, 21-18 in the next two games. The Japanese shuttler will next face Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon.

“Of course the win (against Marin) will give me more confidence. Ratchanok was the champion last week and the week before, so I will focus on trying to get as many points as possible in the tournament,” she said.

Joining Ratchanok and Yamaguchi in the last four will be He Bingjiao after the Chinese shuttler beat American Zhang Beiwen 23-25, 21-16, 21-14 in their quarter-final clash.

Rounding up the last four of the women’s singles is defending champion Sun Yu, the world No. 14. The two Chinese players will face each other on Saturday, which means that Chinese player have already sealed a final berth.

In men’s doubles, defending champions Angga Pratama and Ricky Karanda Suwardi bowed out after they were undone by South Korea’s world No. 1 pair Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong in straight sets at 21-17, 21-16. Indonesia’s world No. 2 duo Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan crashed out after a 21-11, 21-11 defeat at the hands of China’s Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen.

Joining the quartet in the semi-finals will be Japan’s Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda and China’s Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan.

The mixed doubles semi-finals will see two pairs of Chinese shuttlers after Xu Chen and Ma Jin, Wang Yilyu and Chen Qingchen qualified along with Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, and South Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun and Kim Ha Na after their respective victories in the quarterfinals.

In the women’s doubles semi-finals, Indonesia’s Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Greysia Polii will battle against South Korea’s Jung Kyung Eun and Shin Seung Chan, while the other semi-final will see Japan’s Misaki Matsumoto and Ayaka Takahashi against China’s Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei.

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