TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen (周天成) needed a second consecutive marathon battle on July 19 to remain alive in the men’s singles of one of the top badminton tournaments of the year, the Indonesia Open 2019.
The world No. 3, who is seeded fourth in Jakarta, needed 1 hour and 16 minutes — an eternity in badminton — to oust two-time Olympic champion and five-time world champion Lin Dan (林丹) of China in a second-round match Thursday, and he found himself in another epic battle a day later.
Facing sixth-seeded Jonatan Christie of Indonesia, to whom he had lost six of the seven matches they had played, Chou appeared headed for defeat again, dropping the first game 21-16 and falling behind 16-12 in the second game after Christie went on a 9-2 run.
But Chou steeled himself and ran off the next six points to take an 18-16 lead, and held on to even the match.
He went on an eight-point run in the third game to go up 13-4, and though Christie narrowed the gap to 18-14 at one point, Chou ran off the final three points to clinch the match 16-21, 21-18, 21-14, also in 76 minutes.
Chou will face unseeded world No. 18 Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand in the semifinals, whom he has beaten the three times they have played, though two of those matches have gone the distance.
The Thai may be slightly fresher, after reaching the semis with a 39-minute triumph over Huang Yuxiang of China 21-10, 21-17.
By Luke Sabatier