Badminton: S'pore's Loh Kean Yew upsets Taiwanese world No. 4 Chou at Hylo Open

Singaporean shuttler Loh Kean Yew beat Malaysia's All-England champion Lee Zii Jia at the French Open earlier on October 27, 2021. PHOTO COURTESY OF BADMINTON PHOTO

SINGAPORE - National shuttler Loh Kean Yew claimed another big scalp when the world No. 39 beat Chinese Taipei's world No. 4 Chou Tien-chen 21-18, 21-13 in 37 minutes in the opening round of the BWF World Tour Super 500 Hylo Open on Wednesday (Nov 3).

The 24-year-old will play France's world No. 35 Toma Junior Popov in the round of 16 of the US$320,000 (S$431,000) tournament in Saarbrücken, Germany on Thursday.

This is the second time Loh has beaten Chou in three meetings. He lost 21-13, 18-21, 21-17 at the 2019 BWF World Championships, but avenged that defeat with a 21-16, 21-17 victory at the 2020 Badminton Asia Team Championships.

In yesterday's contest, Loh established early dominance and valiantly fought back from 10-5 down in the second game to win the match.

He said: "When I was trailing in the second set, I became more aggressive and took more initiative at the net, which helped me turn things around.

"My opponent also seemed tired as he had played quite a few tournaments in a row and also made it to the French Open final last week."

Last week, Loh had stunned Malaysia's world No. 8 and All-England champion Lee Zii Jia to reach French Open second round, where he was beaten by India's world No. 21 Lakshya Sen, whom he had defeated in the Dutch Open last month.

Loh said: "After one upset, there were high expectations on me to keep winning and beat someone I had won before. But things are not always so straightforward in sport, and I lost.

"I need to learn from this lesson and perform better because these are things I need to manage better and overcome if I want to reach a higher level."

"Although I have never played against Toma, I will be watching and analysing videos of his matches to try and give myself the best chance of making it to the quarter-finals."

Meanwhile in the women's singles, Singapore's top female player Yeo Jia Min will play Indonesia's world No. 23 Gregoria Mariska Tunjung on Thursday for a place in the last eight, after beating Chinese Taipei's world No. 39 Pai Yu-po 21-7, 21-11 on Tuesday.

At last week's French Open, Yeo defeated Tunjung in straight sets en route to the quarter-finals as she rose to world No. 26.

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