Fans at the BARFOOT & THOMPSON New Zealand Open 2019 ran out of superlatives on quarterfinals night in Auckland.
It was billed as a great match and it certainly lived up to that hype as two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan defeated top seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in their blockbuster quarterfinal clash, 25-23 6-21 21 12.
Lin Dan took the first game, but only after squandering four game points at 20-16. Ginting turned the tables in the second, easing out to an 11-4 lead and then consolidated that at 21-6.
However, questions as to whether Lin Dan had the stamina to fight back were quickly answered as the defending champion went out to an 8-2 lead. From there it was relatively smooth sailing for the Chinese legend.
“It was a tough game. We both played well,” said Lin Dan.
“When I had my game points, if I had won straight away, I would not have wasted energy. But I consumed a lot of energy and did not perform well at the end of the first game, so the second game was not great.
“I was actually not happy about the first game performance and in the second I saved my energy for the third game and I think I played well then.
“I came into the game with a bit of a cold, so I must thank my coach and my training partner for their encouragement and support.”
Lin Dan will play Hong Kong’s Ng Ka Long Angus in tomorrow’s semifinals.
The women’s singles quarterfinals saw a massive boilover, with No. 3 seed Beiwen Zhang (USA) upstaged in three games by unheralded Korean, An Se Young. The 17-year-old belied her ranking proving too strong for the American.
“We gave it everything. I am happy for my partner because it encourages her to win the big matches,” said Kong.
Her partner was delighted at the win and their progress to the semifinals.
“Nowadays, all Japanese players dominate. But to beat them makes us very happy and shows us we can do this,” said Kim.
For the full results from the quarterfinals, click here.