China Open: Close Shave for World Champions

Recently-crowned world champions Seo Seung Jae and Kang Min Hyuk came through a torrid test against Olympic champions Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin to make the quarterfinals of the VICTOR China Open 2023 on Thursday.

The Koreans had to fight every inch in the third game against the back-in-form Lee/Wang.  The Olympic champions had the edge at the death, holding match points on three opportunities, but Seo and Kang dug in and eventually converted at their first opportunity, coming away winners at 21-19 17-21 25-23 in 69 minutes.

Lee Yang (right) and Wang Chi-Lin

Seo also survived a close call with Chae Yu Jung in mixed doubles. The fifth seeds were taken the distance by Kohei Yamashita/Naru Shinoya, who led 19-17 in the third before the Koreans scrambled home taking the last four points.

Seo/Kang run into Indonesia’s Muhammad Shohibul Fikri/Bagas Maulana, while Seo/Chae are up against top seeds Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong, who will be looking to avenge their defeat in the World Championships final.

Day 3 Highlights

Shesar Hiren Rhustavito came back from the brink of defeat against Ng Tze Yong as he saved four match points to win 18-21 21-11 22-20 after trailing by a long way throughout the third game.

Malaysia however had some positive returns on the day, with Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi, Chen Tang Jie/Toh Ee Wei and Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing progressing to the quarterfinals.

For Denmark, Viktor Axelsen stayed in the hunt for his first China Open title overcoming spirited resistance from Wang Tzu Wei. He was joined in the quarterfinals by fellow Danes Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and Line Kjaersfeldt.

Who Said What

“For the Indonesians, their strength is their skill. We also try to develop skill, but they make it look so simple. They can do whatever they want when the shuttle is low.” – Tan Kian Meng, after he and Lai Pei Jing beat Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti

“It’s been a tough year. Just on the mental side, it’s a bit up and down. I’ve taken a lot of tough losses recently but this week I played well, so I hope I can build on that.” – Brian Yang, after losing in three games to Jonatan Christie

“In Copenhagen at the World Championships I got a ‘wow’ experience and a lot of belief, so I had some good matches and I was looking forward to taking it forward – Line Kjaersfeldt on making the quarterfinals

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