Chou Tien Chen Escapes From Shi Yu Qi In 2023 Malaysia Open First Round

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Chou Tien Chen greets Shi Yu Qi after the first round match of 2023 Malaysia Open. (photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)
Chou Tien Chen greets Shi Yu Qi after the first round match of 2023 Malaysia Open. (photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)

Kuala Lumpur: In a first-round match that lasted 79 minutes, World No. 5 Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan managed to summon the energy and inspiration to hold off World No. 34 Shi Yu Qi of China 21-23, 24-22, 21-18 in the most thrilling match of the opening day at the 2023 Malaysia Open.

Highlights of Chou Tien Chen vs. Shi Yu Qi in the first round of the 2023 Malaysia Open:

Both have played against each other 9 times prior to Tuesday’s match, with Shi holding a 6-3 lead.

On Tuesday, Chou was leading at 17-12 in the first game, but Shi Yu Qi did not give up and was able to level the score at 17-17 before sealing the first game with a smash.

Chou was again leading 11-6 in the second game before the interval, but Shi Yu Qi caught up with Chou to tie at 18-18 and 19-19. However, Shi wasted a chance to wrap up the match when he was leading at 22-21 and Chou was returning a high shot. Shi could have just kill it easily, but instead, he chose to push it to the backcourt, which the shuttlecock ended out of bound. Chou then took the opportunity to win the second game and he carried the momentum in the decider to win the match and advance to the second round.

In another men’s singles, Malaysia’s Daren Liew was playing with a leg injury against Toma Junior Popov of France and successfully outlasted Popov 21-15, 14-21, 21-17. However, Liew told reporters after the match that he sustained a leg injury about a month ago, and hasn’t been practicing since. He might pull out of the second-round match against Viktor Axelsen if he still not feeling well on Thursday.

Axelsen sent his best wishes to Liew when the Dane was asked about the possibility of Liew pulling out of the second-round match.

“I wish Daren all the best. He is a great guy. I hope he can play, however, it’s out of my control,” said Axelsen.

“So, I’ll just focus on my preparation, and my training tomorrow,” added Axelsen.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s World No. 7 men’s pair Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi were also made to work before seeing off World No. 27 Ren Xiang Yu/Tan Qiang of China 21-13, 20-22, 21-15. They will play Lu Ching Yao/Yang Po HanĀ of Taiwan in the second round.

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