Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh delivered a phenomenal performance in a team-event group match against China when he defeated the higher ranked Chen Long at the Thomas Cup Preliminary Round, on Monday, February 13, in Macau.
However, Vietnam lost the match to China with a margin of 1-4 as besides Tien Minh, no other shuttler could not win against any Chinese shuttler in all remaining battles.
The World Number Nine Tien Minh played to his maximum potential and registered victory over Long, who is currently number three in the Men’s Singles world standings.
The Chinese shuttler was the favourite for this encounter on paper as he has been playing remarkable badminton for the last six months. However, Tien Minh proved that he can spoil the party of any shuttler in the world on a given day.
Tien Minh showed his elevated play against Long and won the match in straight games by spending 41 minutes in the court.
In the opening game, Long played aggressive game from the starting points and remained in complete control. He did not make any mistake in the opening half and took a three-point advantage of 11-8 until the break.
After the break, Tien Minh lifted up his level of play and matched the speed of his challenger. He played remarkable game at net and forced his rival to remain in a defensive position.
The Vietnamese levelled the score and also took a wonderful lead. He remained ahead of his Long in the concluding half of first game and ended it with a superb score of 21-15.
In the second set, Tien Minh played positive badminton from the opening points and did not show any sign of slowing down his speed.
The lower ranked Tien Minh was everywhere in the court and did not miss any chance to build pressure on his higher ranked Chinese rival. Until the break, he was far ahead of Long at 11-6.
After the break, Long tried his best to stop the progressive run of Tien Minh but failed as his opponent played flawless game. Tien Minh continued his power-play and ended the game with a stunning margin of 21-12.
The Vietnamese won his opening Men’s Singles fight against Chen Long with a striking margin of 21-15 and 21-12.