Lanky left-hander Lin Chun-Yi executed a 21-18 21-17 takedown of Ginting to progress to the quarterfinals against Zhao Jun Peng.
Popov’s result, only his second entry into the quarterfinals of a Super 750, will mean invaluable ranking points as he contests with compatriots such as his brother Toma Junior and Arnaud Merkle. Christo is currently No.24 in the Race to Paris rankings, while Toma Junior is No.19.
“The first three-four shots were key,” said Popov, whose earlier Super 750 quarterfinal was at the Singapore Open this year. “I’ve been losing some times against good opponents as I’ve been losing focus, so today I’m proud that I could have the right mindset and tactics through the game. I’m of course very happy, because this is my second quarterfinal in a Super 750, and also it means points for Olympic qualification. But it’s not over, we have to recover as quick as we can and prepare for tomorrow.”
Christo acknowledged the friendly rivalry with his brother as they sought to stake claim for the singles place.
Among the other engrossing matches was an ultramarathon between Anders Antonsen and Kodai Naraoka, which ended on a heartbreaking note for the Dane. Having kept his chances alive until the end of the 110-minute affair, and after saving two match points, Antonsen blew a kill at the net with Naraoka at his mercy.
“A long one, that’s his game style, trying to run me down,” said Antonsen. “I knew that was going to be the game, and I don’t think he succeeded in running me down, but he just got the better of me.
“I’m super annoyed, obviously the last one is very hard to swallow right now. Huge opportunity at the net and I didn’t kill it, so one of those moments I will remember for a long time.”
Tai Retires With Injury
“I had retired last week in Kumamoto too. I did not want to force myself as we still have the World Tour Finals in December,” Tai said.
“We had a lot of tournaments in the second half of the year, such as the Asian Games and World Championships, which were important considering there are Olympic qualification points at stake. So I just need to get enough rest.”