Thailand Open is off to a wonderful start with all SOPs in place for precautions against the Coronavirus. The tournament was hit with a blow when the Japanese and Chinese teams withdrew from the event. Nevertheless, with the enthrallment of badminton returning, no stones were left unturned to celebrate this restart of the tournament calendar.
The first two rounds had some really interesting matches.
22-year-old Rasmus Gemke of Denmark beat his senior Hans Vittinghus in a spectacular 3 setter 14-21, 21-18, 21-13 in the very first round. Liew Daren upset the third seed Anders Antonsen in the first round 21-12, 21-18. Kidambi Srikanth was the lone Indian in the MS category to progress to the second round after beating compatriot Sourabh Verma. It was a disappointing run for Indians at the Yonex Thailand open, with just one of the 6 players in the MS category.
Second seed Chou Tien Chen beat Lee Zii Jia seeded eighth in 21-17, 21-15 in 43 minutes. Lee Zii gave the second seed a very tough fight retrieving everything that Chou was putting in his way. Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong, on the other hand, breezed past Lee Cheuk Yiu 21-17 21-12. Viktor Axelsen wrapped up his match against Jonatan Christies 21-14, 21-5 in 40 minutes.
Rasmus Gemke’s game against Ginting was one of the best matches in this category, going the full length. The first game was filled with loads of cross-court shots, the layers moving the full length of the court. However, Ginting prevailed over the Young Dane. In the second game, both players played neck to neck until the first 6 points. Rasmus came up with some precise attacking shots storming into a 13-6 lead. Ginting soon caught up and came back level. Gemke yet again pulled up a lead of about 5 points; Ginting yet again showered some powerful smashes to come back level. Cool and calm as he is, Gemke slowly took away the game 21-19. Rasmus Gemke struggled in the first half of the third game with many errors. Ginting really played well and stormed off to an 11-5 lead. Without dropping a point the Indonesian took away the third game 21-5
Ng Ka Long Angus seeded 7 faces Chou Tien Chen and Anthony Ginting faces Viktor Axelsen in the mens singles semi-final.
Ng Ka Long vs Chou Tien Chen
Chou leads teh head-to-head record 10-6. The last meeting was won By Ng Ka 23-21, 21-17 at The Malaysia Masters 2020.
Second seed Chou Tien Chen is in good form beating the seventh seed comfortable. He even holds a better head to head record against his opponent in the semi-final. Having recovered from injuries Chou can be expected to win this encounter being the more explosive and a better attacking and experienced player.
Anthony Ginting vs Viktor Axelsen
The Indonesian holds a leading Head to head 4-2 AgainstAxelsen. The last meeting between the two was at the Indonesia Masters 2020 where Ginting won 22-20, 21-11. Axelsen has struggled with injuries for much time before the tournaments came to halt. He even had to skip the Denmark Open in October due to an injury. This match can be expected to be a nail-biting encounter. Axelsen seems to have recovered well and playing really good badminton. Ginting has been in great form too. While Axelsen beat the sixth seed at much ease in the quarterfinal Ginting has just had an exhausting 3 setter of an hour and 6 minutes with Rasmus Gemke of Denmark. This fatigue could affect his game in the Semifinal.
Where to watch Yonex Thailand Open MS matches?
Tune in to Hotstar or Star Sports Network to watch the matches live.
Have a Smashing Day!