Jonatan Christie (INA) beat Lin Dan (CHN) 21-9, 24-22
It was a drama filled revenge match for the Indonesian who bowed out to the five-time World Champion in the final of the 2018 New Zealand Open final the last time they met.
Christie returned the favour with a straight games demolition too that was tactical in its blending of physicality and stroke play.
In the first game, Lin wasn’t yet used to how quick Christie could recover and how hard the smashes were at key moments. The Chinese solved first problem just in time to earn game point by coming from behind in the second, but the second problem was only held at bay. Christie snuck one more rally of power play in to win secure the match during deuce.
Chou Tien Chen (TPE) beat Soong Joo Ven (MAS) 21-14, 21-8
Soong took an early significant lead but was unable to captalise. The Malaysian’s delicate net finesse exceeded Chou’s ability to return them.
Once kept away from the net, Chou’s smash became an issue that Soong couldn’t resolve with his current range of defensive skills. Under pressure, Soong’s net forte also could no longer be relied on.
Nozomi Okuhara (JPN) beat Yeo Jia Min (SIN) 21-17, 21-13
The Singaporean stayed close to the 2017 World Champion during the first game but the latter had energy to spare.
As Yeo’s smart choices but ever growing tired shots accumulated, Okuhara simply carried on as usual exploring all corners of the court until the match was eventually hers.
Ratchanok Intanon (THA) beat Sung Ji Hyun (KOR) 21-18, 21-11
Even though Sung Ji Hyun has played and won against Ratchanok Intanon’s very fine shot production before, the sparkling quality of them was literally beyond reach today.
The little bits of extra slice imparted on the shuttle meant they landed shorter than expected. Intanon’s reaction time to take advantage of short shuttles was also devastating.
Sung did manage to score points on accurate deep clears which a handful of times the Thai player left only for the line judge to signal in.
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