Leong Jun Hao Continues His Giant-Killing Run At Indonesia Open

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Leong Jun Hao is currently playing with impressive momentum and remarkable consistency. (Photo: BWF)
Leong Jun Hao is currently playing with impressive momentum and remarkable consistency. (Photo: BWF)

Jakarta: The 2024 Indonesia Open at Istora Senayan seems to be a ‘special venue’ for Malaysian men’s singles player Leong Jun Hao, who has so far disappointed two higher-ranked players.

Highlights of Leong Jun Hao vs. Chou Tien Chen in the 2024 Indonesia Open Second Round:

Ranked 32nd in the world, after beating World No. 3 Jonatan Christie in the first round, Leong made Taiwan’s World No. 11 Chou Tien Chen his second high-profile ‘victim’ in the second round, winning 21-18, 13-21, 21-17 in 67 minutes to advance to the quarterfinals.

Leong’s performance is seen as being at his best, and the player from Setapak, Kuala Lumpur is scheduled to face the sixth seed and World No. 4 from China, Li Shifeng, in the quarterfinals on Friday.

The meeting against Li Shifeng will be the third encounter between these two players and could serve as a ‘revenge match’ for Leong, who previously lost in straight sets 15-21, 16-21 in the second round of the Malaysia Masters two weeks ago and also lost to Li in the Thomas Cup in May.

“I am happy after this victory. For me, Chou is a tough opponent with a lot of experience,” said Leong, who also caused an upset by defeating Indonesia’s world number nine, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, 21-14, 21-10, 21-8 in the second round of the Singapore Open last week.

However, Leong could not continue his progress to the Singapore Open semifinals as he lost to the world number one from Denmark, Viktor Axelsen, 12-21, 11-21 in the quarterfinals at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

“I think it’s related to my playing style and the confidence I have now… so I just need to maintain this momentum and prepare for the next match,” added Leong.

Meanwhile, the performance of Malaysia’s World No. 5 men’s pair, Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, has shown a decline in the past three weeks, as they were eliminated in the Indonesia Open second round.

The Paris 2024 Olympic medal prospects lost in straight sets to the World No. 25 pair from Taiwan, Lu Ching Yao/Yang Po Han, 16-21, 14-21 in 38 minutes.

This defeat adds to the disappointment for Chia/Soh, who were also knocked out in the quarterfinals of the Singapore Open last week by the World No. 4 pair from Denmark, Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, 10-21, 14-21.

Two other Malaysian men’s doubles pairs Man Wei Chong/Tee Kai Wun, and Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzuddin Rumsani also advance to the quarterfinals.

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