Viet Nam’s Nguyen Tien Minh made hard work of his quarter-final match against Du Pengy of China in the Victor Korea Open Super Series yesterday, January 14, in Seoul.
Sixth-seeded Minh eventually won 25-23, 15-21, 21-19 in an gruelling 80-minute match that may adversely affect his performance in the next round.
Minh, who is ranked 11 in the world, said that although the Chinese player had a lower IBF rating, he was used to regularly playing the best in the world.
"Although I am ranked higher than him it is difficult to say that I am that much better because Chinese players such as Du and Chem Long usually practise with world top seeds Lin Dan, Chen Jin and Bao Chunlai, so they are very good."
Minh fought hard in the first set to overcome the Chinese, but he expended a lot of energy and Du came back strongly in the second.
The third set was more evenly contested, but Minh passed the test and will meet Du’s teammate Chen Jin today.
Chen meanwhile defeated Dicky Palyama of the Netherlands 21-14, 21-17 yesterday.
All the other top seeds made it through to the quarter-finals.
No 1 seed Lee Choong Wei of Malaysia will play Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana, who is seeded No 8; England’s Peter Hoeg Gade, seeded No 2, will play South Korean Park Sung-hwan (No 5); while Bao Chunlai, seeded No 4, will play Chen Long, No 7, in an all-Chinese clash.
On the women’s side, the tournament lost another top seed when defending champion Tine Rasmussen of Denmark lost to South Korean prodigy Sung Ji-hyun 15-21, 16-21.
Rasmussen started strongly, regularly wrong-footing Sung and smashing at her body, but Sung found her footing and deftly scored five points in succession to get back in the game.
Under pressure, Rasmussen began to make more and more errors and even struck the net in frustration after Sung beat her on a beautiful net tumble to win the first game. The second game, however, was a more straight forward affair for Sung.
"This match was easier for me than in August when I beat Zhou Mi, mainly because that one went to three games," Sung said after the match.
"I had gone through a lot of video analysis with my coaches and things went pretty well according to plan but I think what gave me the edge today was mainly that she was making a lot of errors."
Earlier host Bae Seung-hee won 21-12, 21-14 against No 5 seed Wang Xin, which was considered even more decisive than her compatriot’s win. The Open ends on Sunday.