Ng Tze Yong, Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan Advance To China Open Second Round

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Ng Tze Yong makes the China Open second round. (photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)
Ng Tze Yong makes the China Open second round. (photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)

Changzhou: The China Open kicked off with thrilling matches that saw Malaysia’s Ng Tze Yong making a triumphant entry into the top 16 by defeating India’s reigning World Championships bronze medalist HS Prannoy in the men’s singles first round.

After a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the China Open resumed this year, bringing high-intensity badminton action to the forefront. World No. 22 Ng faced the challenge of taking on World No. 6 Prannoy for the first time. In a fierce battle that lasted 66 minutes, Ng secured a remarkable victory with a score of 21-12, 13-21, 21-18.

Highlights of Ng Tze Yong vs. HS Prannoy in the 2023 China Open first round:

The decider game witnessed Ng initiating a strong 3-0 start, only to be countered by Prannoy with a 4-0 rally. As the game progressed, Prannoy managed to carve out an 11-7 lead by the technical timeout. Despite Prannoy’s tenacious defensive efforts and a 13-8 lead, Ng staged a remarkable comeback, leveling the score at 15-15. The intensity heightened as both players reached 17 and then 18 all. Ng held his nerve and clinched the victory with three consecutive points after 18-18, triumphing over Prannoy.

Ng’s next challenge is a face-off against Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rhustavito in the round of 16, following Rhustavito’s straight-game victory over India’s Priyanshu Rajawat 21-13, 26-24.

The China Open also witnessed Danish ace Viktor Axelsen narrowly edging out Indonesia’s Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo with a score of 21-17, 21-18 in a match that lasted 46 minutes. Axelsen, the tournament’s top seed and reigning world No. 1, will now meet Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei in the round of 16.

Singapore’s former world champion Loh Kean Yew showcased his skills by defeating France’s Christo Popov in a match that extended to 47 minutes with a score of 21-16, 21-17, securing his spot in the second round and avenged his loss to Popov earlier this year at the round of 16 of Singapore Open. In the next round, Loh will face Danish star Anders Antonsen.

The competition also saw Antonsen battling it out against Indian player Lakshya Sen, ultimately prevailing with a score of 23-21, 16-21, 21-9 in a 74-minute game. Another highlight featured Indonesian star Jonathan overcoming China’s rising talent Weng Hongyang with a score of 22-20, 19-21, 21-10 in a grueling 73-minute match.

In the women’s doubles, Malaysia’s Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan staged a remarkable comeback against the Dutch pair Debora Jille/Cheryl Seinen, securing their victory with a score of 17-21, 21-17, 21-10.

In the first round of mixed doubles, Malaysia’s Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing were facing off against their fellow compatriots Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai, and Tan/Lai triumphed over Goh/Lai with a score of 25-23, 21-15, securing their qualification for the next round.

Looking ahead, Tan/Lai are set to face the Indonesian duo Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti in the second round. Jordan/Oktavianti, the 2020 All England champions, secured their passage by defeating World No. 7 Jiang Zhenbang/Wei Yaxin, with a score of 21-16, 12-21, 21-16 in the opening round.

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