Men’s Singles favourite Tian Houwei floundered in the third round of the Yonex Open Chinese Taipei 2016 today at the hands of Wong Wing Ki.
The fourth seed from China, expected to go all the way to the title here in the absence of top stars like Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long, turned in an unexpectedly flat performance against Wong, who was all over him once he sensed the opportunity. Tian, well known for his defensive qualities and ability to grind out long spells, struggled to put up any resistance in the second as Wong ran away with the match with leads of 9-0 and 18-7.
Wong has a difficult opponent in the quarter-finals as he takes on local favourite Chou Tien Chen, who looked impressive in a quick demolition job of ninth seed Boonsak Ponsana (Thailand), 21-16 21-11.
“We both know each other’s style,” Wong said of Tian Houwei, to whom he had lost the first round of the Yonex All England earlier this year. “I was ready for the match. He’s a very tough player and very patient. Today I played more patiently than him and when I found a chance, I attacked at the first opportunity.
“I was surprised at the way the second game went. I was exhausted at the end of the first but then I had a 9-0 lead in the second. I realised I had a chance and knew I had to work hard to take it.”
Wong’s compatriot Wei Nan climbed out of a hole against Shi Yuqi. The Chinese youngster led 17-12 in the third but Wei Nan forced his way back, taking the next nine points to just two by his opponent. The 21-19 6-21 21-19 result gave Wei a quarter-final against Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, who prevailed over local hope Hsueh Hsuan Yi in three games.
Hong Kong suffered a setback as No.6 seed Ng Ka Long ran into China’s Qiao Bin, 21-12 21-10; the Chinese next faces another local hope, Lin Yu Hsien.
In the top quarter, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin won a thriller over Daren Liew in an all-Malaysia encounter that went 73 minutes. The two were involved in a tense final game, and Liew saved two match points and had one of his own, before Zainuddin converted his third opportunity.
Thailand had a good day, with Khosit Phetpradab in Men’s Singles joining a few compatriots in the other categories into the quarter-finals: Nitchaon Jindapol and Pornpawee Chochuwong (Women’s Singles), Bodin Issara/Nipitphon Puangpuapech (Men’s Doubles; featured image) and Chaladchalam Chayanit/ Phataimas Muenwong (Women’s Doubles).
Chayanit and Muenwong tripped No.4 seeds Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei (Malaysia) in three hard-fought games, 17-21 21-14 21-14.
Others who made the quarter-finals included second seeds Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan and Huang Dongping/Zhong Qianxin (China), Korea’s Go Ah Ra/Kong Hee Yong and Kim Hye Rin/Yoo Hae Won, Indonesia’s Rizki Amelia Pradipta/Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah (Indonesia) and Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu Yu/Lin Tsun Yu.
Men’s Doubles second seeds Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong booked their quarter-final place against No.5 seeds Huang Kaixiang/Zheng Siwei (China). Goh and Tan had trouble against Malaysian compatriots Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi, but closed out the match in straight games, 21-19 21-18, winning the final point when Ong misjudged Tan’s low serve and left it, only for the shuttle to land inside the service line.
“We played better than yesterday,” said Tan. “We felt we got better in our speed and at controlling the game. It was close in both games – they are our teammates and we play each other every day, so it will always will be close between us.”
Four Chinese made the Women’s Singles quarter-finals: top seed Wang Shixian, Chen Yufei, He Bingjiao and Sun Yu. Top seed Wang was unexpectedly taken to three games by young Korean qualifier Kim Na Young and will next face Chen Yufei, who upset sixth seed Busanan Ongbumrungpan (Thailand). He Bingjiao was also taken to three games by Hong Kong veteran Yip Pui Yin; her quarter-final opponent will be Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong, who edged past Chinese Taipei’s Pai Yu Po 14-21 22-20 21-18.
Local favourite Tai Tzu Ying had it rather easy against young Chinese Gao Fangjie, 21-15 21-11.
The favourites in Mixed Doubles made their way forward with straight games victories. Top seeds Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying (Malaysia), having beaten Indonesia’s Alfian Eko Prasetya/Annisa Saufika 21-15 21-17, will have to prepare for a harder battle in the quarter-finals, against World Junior champions Zheng Siwei/Chen Qingchen.
Second seeds Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah (Hong Kong) were equally at ease against China’s Li Junhui/Zhong Qianxin, 21-12 21-9, and face Malaysia’s Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing in the quarter-finals.