Viktor Axelsen To Clash With Good Friend Loh Kean Yew In China Open Quarters

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Viktor Axelsen is set to clash with Loh Kean Yew in the 2023 China Open quarter-finals: (photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)
Viktor Axelsen is set to clash with Loh Kean Yew in the 2023 China Open quarter-finals: (photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)

Changzhou: In an exhilarating showdown at the 2023 China Open second round, Denmark’s top seed and world number one, Viktor Axelsen, demonstrated exceptional resilience as he rallied from a challenging start to overcome Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei 2-1. The Dane secured his spot in the top eight, where he is slated to battle against Singapore’s 2021 world champion, Loh Kean Yew, a good friend and familiar adversary.

In Thursday’s battle, Axelsen was grappling with the World No. 26 Wang, who posed a spirited challenge, pushing the top seed to the brink. Despite faltering initially, Axelsen recalibrated, sealing the match 20-22, 21-6, 21-14, marking his sixth straight victory over the Chinese Taipei player.

Highlights of Viktor Axelsen vs. Wang Tze Wei in the 2023 China Open second round:

Up next for Axelsen is his good friend Loh Kean Yew, with whom he shares an impressive history, having clashed eight times previously. The record leans in Axelsen’s favor, with six victories to two.

Thursday’s second round also witnessed a series of exciting men’s singles matches. Fifth-seeded Indonesian, Jonatan Christie, staged a remarkable comeback against Canada’s Brian Yang, finishing 12-21, 21-15, 21-14. Yonatan will now face fellow countryman Shesar Hiren Rhustavito, who clinched a tight win over Malaysia’s Ng Tze Yong in a thrilling three-setter.

On a somber note for Malaysia, Ng Tze Yong, Malaysia’s remaining men’s singles hope, faced a heartbreaking exit in the top 16. Ng initially exhibited strong gameplay against Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rhustavito. However, in a roller-coaster of a match, Shesar Hiren Rhustavito displayed remarkable tenacity to mount a comeback from 20-16 down in the decider, eventually edging out the win 18-21, 21-11, 22-20.

Highlights of Ng Tze Yong vs. Shesar Hiren Rhustavito in the 2023 China Open second round:

Home favorites weren’t left behind in the excitement either. China’s 8th seed, Shi Yuqi, triumphed over Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke with scores of 21-11, 16-21, 21-16. Shi is now set to encounter Japan’s rising star, Kodai Naraoka, in the top 8. Meanwhile, Lu Guangzu emerged victorious against the reigning All-England champion Li Shi Feng, securing a 21-19, 21-12 win, and is now poised to face off against Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama.

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