Ng Tze Yong, Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzuddin Make Hong Kong Open Quarters

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Ng Tze Yong to face Magnus Johannesen of Denmark in the Hong Kong Open quarter-finals. (photo: Eurasia/Getty Images)
Ng Tze Yong to face Magnus Johannesen of Denmark in the Hong Kong Open quarter-finals. (photo: Eurasia/Getty Images)

Hong Kong: In a thrilling encounter that had badminton enthusiasts in Hong Kong at the edge of their seats, Chinese Taipei’s World No. 26 Wang Tzu Wei couldn’t keep his early momentum against Denmark’s World No. 32 Magnus Johannesen during the top 16 clash at the Hong Kong Open. Despite taking a commanding lead in the opening game, Wang faltered as the 21-year-old Dane mounted a remarkable comeback to clinch victory with a nail-biting 10-21, 21-19, 22-20.

Highlights of Magnus Johannesen vs. Wang Tze Wei in the 2023 Hong Kong Open second round:

The final game was not short of drama. With Wang leading 20-18 and seemingly on the brink of victory, Johannesen displayed sheer tenacity, saving match points and reeling off four straight points. A pivotal moment came when Wang was penalized for delay at 20-19, allowing Johannesen to level scores at 20-20 and subsequently clinch the match.

Johannessen’s next challenge? A quarter-final face-off against Malaysia’s World No. 20 Ng Tze Yong in what promises to be another gripping encounter, especially since it’s their first-ever meeting on the court.

As for Ng, he ramped up his offensive game and emerged victorious against World No. 14, Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan 21-12, 21-11. This marks Ng’s second consecutive win against Tsuneyama, following their clash at the Australian Open last month.

Highlights of Ng Tze Yong vs. Kanta Tsuneyama in the 2023 Hong Kong Open second round:

The 23-year-old Ng has been in top form, marking his sixth top 8 appearance this year.

Ng has previously graced the top 8 in major tournaments like the All England, Swiss Open, Thailand Open, Korea Open, and Australian Open. Yet, he hasn’t made any semifinal berth yet. Speaking to Malaysian media after the match, Ng expressed satisfaction with his recent performance and an eagerness to push past his current standings.

In other men’s singles, Malaysia’s World No. 16 Lee Zii Jia had his aspirations of reaching the final 8 dashed by World No. 37 Lee Chia Hao who defeated Viktor Axelsen in the first round. Despite being ranked World No. 37, Lee Chia Hao demonstrated his prowess, overturning Lee Zii Jia’s lead and claiming victory with scores of 21-19, 17-21, 20-22. Lee Chia Hao now holds a 3-2 record against Lee Zii Jia, having avenged his loss from this year’s Swiss Open.

Highlights of Lee Zii Jia vs. Lee Chia Hao in the 2023 Hong Kong Open second round:

As Lee Chia Hao readies for the top 8, he’ll face Indonesia’s fifth-seeded Jonatan Christie, who ousted Hong Kong’s defending champion Lee Cheuk-Yiu 21-18, 21-16.

Another Malaysian men’s singles player, World No. 42 Leong Jun Hao, was unmistakably outclassed by Indonesia’s World No. 2, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, losing 14-21, 11-21.

In men’s doubles, World No. 41 Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzuddin roared past World No. 20 Lee Jhe-Huei/Yang Po-Hsuan of Chinese Taipei to set up a quarter-final clash with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold medalists Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin also from Chinese Taipei.

Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan of Malaysia also made the women’s doubles quarter-finals after seeing off compatriots Anna Ching Yik Cheong/Teoh Mei Xing 21-7, 21-10 in the second round. The World No. 10 Tan/Muralitharan will play World No. 9 Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai of Thailand next.

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