Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen yesterday beat Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus 21-15, 17-21, 21-17 to move into the second round of the BWF World Championships men’s singles.
The world No. 2 Chou was pushed to the limit before getting the upper hand in a badminton battle that lasted 73 minutes on the championships’ opening day.
“The first round is always tough because you’re trying to get used to the wind and the shuttle,” Chou was quoted as saying on the BWF Web site. “I really needed to focus, but it was very difficult so I just tried to push him. The shuttle was slow ... and you needed power to play.”
Chou had defeated Vittinghus in their previous six encounters dating back to March 2017, but given that the past three wins all went a full three games, it was no surprise that he had trouble.
The 29-year-old Taiwanese started strong, jumping to a 12-3 lead in the first game, but Vittinghus showed that he would not go down easily by rallying to within a point at 15-14 before Chou pulled away.
In a see-saw second game, Chou was within a point at 18-17, but Vittinghus won the final three points, setting up a decisive third game.
The two players remained closely matched until Chou ran off three straight points, taking a 19-14 lead and soon putting away the match.
“My serving was terrible and Chou was more consistent and didn’t give away as many points,” Vittinghus was quoted as saying on the BWF Web site.
Chou next faces a player who he has never played before, Croatia’s 116th-ranked Zvonimir Durkinjak.
Taiwan’s 28th-ranked Wang Tzu-wei also advanced to the second round of the men’s singles, defeating Rosario Maddaloni of Italy 21-6, 21-16.
Wang next faces eighth-seeded Kenta Nishimoto of Japan.
Taiwan also had first-round success in the mixed doubles and men’s doubles.
The mixed doubles pairing of Wang Chi-lin and Cheng Chi-ya topped Japan’s Kohei Gondo and Ayane Kurihara 21-18, 21-11, while the men’s doubles duo Lin Shang-kai and Tseng Min-hao edged past Hong Kong’s Chang Tak-ching and Yeung Ming-nok 20-22, 21-13, 21-16.
Men’s doubles duo Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge of Britain defeated Lu Ching-yao and Yang Po-han of Taiwan — the nation’s only players ousted in the first round — 21-13, 21-10.
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