Loh Kean Yew loses in quarter-final of Singapore Badminton Open

Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew fell short in the quarterfinals of the Karim Family Foundation (KFF) Singapore Badminton Open presented by JK Technology, losing to China’s Li Shi Feng in straight games 21-19, 21-16.

Loh had the upper hand in the first game, taking a 7-point lead at one point (12-5). However, Li clawed back, narrowing the lead with four consecutive points (12-9). Li continued his resurgence to tie the game at 15-all before taking the lead (17-15) and sealing the game 21-19.

Like the first game, Loh took the lead in the first half to lead 10-6. But Li showed his resilience once again, scoring five consecutive points to take an 11-10 lead. Although Loh briefly led again at 14-12, the Chinese responded with six straight points to establish a significant advantage (18-14) before winning 21-16.

Reflecting on his journey, Loh said: “I learned a lot from the previous encounters, previous tournaments. So I’m glad that this time, I managed to make the quarterfinals. But it wasn’t enough to reach the semifinal. But I’m very glad that the Singapore team is behind me. And everyone has helped me a lot during this trip. I’ve been getting a lot of help and also a lot of support. So, thank you all so much.

With the victory, Li set up a semifinal clash against Viktor Axelsen, who powered through his match against Malaysia’s Leong Jun Hao in straight games, 21-12, 21-11. The two players have yet to meet before.

Looking ahead to the match, Li remarked: “It’s my first time playing with him. I’m looking forward to it. I will go all out and do my best to fight in the game.”

The other men’s singles semifinal will feature Chou Tien Chen and world No. 2 Shi Yu Qi, who won their quarterfinal matches against Kenta Nishimoto (21-17, 21-13) and Kodai Naraoka (17-21, 21-12, 23-21) respectively.

Women’s Singles

World no. 1 An Se Young is well on track to defend her Singapore Badminton Open title after overcoming Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in straight games 21-16, 21-16. The South Korean will now face Gregoria Mariska Tunjung, who went the distance in her match against China’s Wang Zhi Yi, winning 21-13, 13-21, 24-22 in an hour and 14 minutes. The odds are firmly in An’s favour, having won all six previous encounters.

In the other semifinal, Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong (above) caused a major upset by defeating world No. 3 Carolina Marin in straight games, 21-19, 21-16. Chochuwong had only beaten Marin once in ten previous encounters. The Thai will hope to cause another upset tomorrow against another top ranked opponent – world No. 2 Chen Yu Fei. Chen breezed past Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi, winning 21-8, 21-12 in just under 30 minutes.

Men’s Doubles

Defending champions Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi are on track to retain their title after knocking out their higher-ranked opponents, South Korea’s Kang Min Hyuk and Seo Seung Jae, in straight games (21-19, 21-15).

The Japanese pair will now fight for a spot in the finals against China’s He Ji Ting and Ren Xiang Yu. They’ve met once before, earlier this year at the All England Open Badminton Championships, where Hoki and Kobayashi won 14-21, 21-15, 21-9.

In the other semifinal, Denmark’s Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen will face Indonesia’s Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Adrianto.

Women’s Doubles

India’s Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand Pullela (below) put on a stunning performance once again at the KFF Singapore Badminton Open, causing another upset by knocking out South Korea’s Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong in a pulsating encounter, edging the match 18-21, 21-19, 24-22. The 30th-ranked duo will face Japan’s Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida in tomorrow’s semi-final. While the Japanese pair leads the head-to-head contest (2-1), Jolly and Pullela won their most recent match this year at the Badminton Asia Team Championships.

The other semifinal is an all-Chinese affair between defending champions and world No. 1 pair Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan, and Liu Sheng Shu and Tan Ning.

Mixed Doubles

The highlight semifinal match in the mixed doubles sees world No. 1 Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong take on world champions Seo Seung Jae and Chae Yu Jung. While the odds are largely in the Chinese pair’s favour (14-3), the South Koreans triumphed in their latest battle, winning in three games at this year’s Badminton Asia Championships.

The other semifinal is between Chinese Taipei’s Yang Po-Hsuan and Hu Ling Fang, and Denmark’s Mads Vestergaard and Christine Busch. This will be their first-ever encounter.

Organised by the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA), the KFF Singapore Badminton Open is part of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Super 750 series. The tournament features the top 15 singles players and top 10 doubles pairs, all vying for prestigious titles and a share of the US$850,000 prize money.

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