Sun, Sep 08, 2019 - Page 11 News List

Chou fights back against Rhustavito to reach finals

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen returns to Shesar Hiren Rhustavito of Indonesia in their Yonex Chinese Taipei Open men’s singles semi-final in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Ritchie B. Tongo, EPA-EFE

Taiwan’s world No. 2 Chou Tien-chen yesterday advanced to the finals of the Yonex Chinese Taipei Open after winning his men’s singles semi-final.

The top seed was made to fight for the win by Indonesian world No. 34 Shesar Hiren Rhustavito, but managed to secure a 23-25, 21-10, 21-13 victory in 1 hour, 9 minutes.

In the thrilling first game, Rhustavito started impressively with three consecutive points and held a 8-11 lead before the players switched sides.

Although Chou got back into the game, he was eventually edged out 25-23 in the tiebreaker.

The home crowd urged Chou to an early 11-5 lead in the second game, then after a water break the Taiwanese extended the gap to win 21-10.

Chou was again in control in the third frame, although Rhustavito tried to put Chou under pressure by lengthening the rallies.

Chou, who won 65 of the 113 rallies, said that despite losing the first game, he told himself he had to keep playing hard.

“My opponent held his form quite well, but he later became tired as the speed of play transitioned,” he said.

Rhustavito, who won 48 rallies, said that he felt his errors were the deciding factor.

“I didn’t think too much; I just wanted to play my best for each match and I ended up at this stage today, but Chou played really well and made fewer errors than me,” he said.

Chou is to face world No. 47 Heo Kwang-hee of South Korea in the finals today.

Chou finished third in the men’s singles at last year’s open after winning the title in 2016 and 2017.

In mid-July, Chou scored one of the biggest victories of his career when he won the Blibli Indonesia Open, a top-tier BWF Super 1000 event, followed by a BWF Super 500 event in Thailand last month.

In the men’s doubles, Taiwanese second seeds Lee Wang and Wang Chi-lin were bested 21-19, 21-23, 21-23 by South Korean duo Choi Sol-gyu and Seo Seung-jae, who are to meet Malaysians Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong in the finals.

The Yonex Chinese Taipei Open, a slightly lower-tier BWF Super 300 event, ends today at Taipei Arena and has a total purse of US$500,000.

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