French Open: Chen Long beats Jonatan Christie in 3 tough sets

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Finally, Chen Long is showing signs of recovery from the disappointing 2018 season. (photo: AFP)
Finally, Chen Long is showing signs of recovery from the disappointing 2018 season. (photo: AFP)

Paris: The Rio Olympic champion and No. 6 seed Chen Long of China was pushed hard to beat Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie of Indonesia 21-18, 12-21, 21-16 in the French Open BWF World Tour Super 750 quarter-finals on Friday.

The Chinese player clinched after more than 67 minutes on court, starting to impose a little authority with a commanding lead from beginning to the end of the third set. After the win, Chen pumped his fist in a gesture of relief as his performance has been sluggish this season.

“I’ve made a lot of preparation and tried to stay calm when Jonatan was closing in on the score,” said Chen.

“Jonatan is a strong player, but my condition has also improved slowly,” added Chen.

Chen will next take on No. 1 seed Kento Momota of Japan in the semi-finals.

Momota, on the other hand, fought off a fierce challenge from India’s No. 5 seed Kidambi Srikanth to claim a semi-final berth. Momota won the first set 21-16 easily. However, he squandered a 17-10 lead in the second set, allowing Srikanth to overtake the lead at 19-17. Fortunately, the reigning World Champion Momota proved that his class was permanent as he held his nerve to down Srikanth 21-19 in the second.

Indonesia’s World No. 1 Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo made it look far too easy in the quarter-finals as they needed only 32 minutes to outlast No. 7 seeds Chen Hung Ling/Wang Chi-Lin of Taiwan 21-17, 21-11.

The Indonesian duo will take on India’s unseeded Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty of India on Saturday.

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