“Finally, I’m through to a quarterfinal,” were the ecstatic words of world No.6 Jonatan Christie after his win over Lin Chun-Yi marked a turning point in his recent encounters with Chinese Taipei shuttlers.
Christie won 21-14 7-21 21-11 after losing in the Round of 32 at the Asian Games and Denmark Open to Chou Tien Chen. In the opening game, the Indonesian played with a relaxed style and genuine enjoyment, but Lin changed his strategy in the second, putting the world No.6 on the defensive.
“Losing in the first round in Denmark last week was annoying,” Christie admitted. “I had to play aggressively in the decider. The important thing about the 750s and the 1000s is mentality. It’s a mental game. If you get that part right, you can win.”
Christie carried a renewed sense of confidence and determination post-match.
“I still have a lot in the tank for the quarterfinals, and I don’t mind who I play, but if it’s Kodai Naraoka, I can expect a long match,” he remarked with a smile.
Christie’s prediction might come true as the Japanese shuttler later beat Lee Cheuk Yiu 21-17 21-19. Their last encounter at the 2022 French Open saw Christie retire in the third game.
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“I know they are world No.1s, but we took it easy and tried to execute our game plan as much as possible.”
“We didn’t come into the tournament with a goal but we are happy to make it to the quarterfinals. We take things match-by-match and that approach works well for us,” added Liu.
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“I made some easy mistakes but the best thing I could do was not think about them, because if I did, I’d make another,” laughed a happy Ahsan post-match.
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