Loh Kean Yew through to French Open q-finals after long-awaited win over Anthony Ginting

Loh Kean Yew through to French Open q-finals after long-awaited win over Anthony Ginting

SINGAPORE – After 20 months, at the seventh time of asking, Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew finally cracked the puzzle and found a way to beat Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting.

In a French Open last-16 match between two of the planet’s fastest badminton players, it was the world No. 12 who prevailed with a 21-16, 18-21, 21-16 win after 68 minutes on March 7.

Loh told The Straits Times: “I’m definitely happy to beat an opponent I had lost to six times in a row. But now that it’s over, I’m just focusing on the next match because the job is not done yet.”

On March 8, the 26-year-old will face India’s world No. 19 Lakshya Sen in the quarter-finals of the US$850,000 (S$1.1 million) tournament held at the Adidas Arena that will also host the Paris Olympics badminton tournament.

Despite the commentators noting that the court conditions were changing every day, which affected shuttlecock speed, Loh was not overly concerned as he dominated at the net from 9-9 in the opener and relied on deception, pace and precision to race to a 20-12 advantage before taking a one-game lead.

This was the first time he had even won a game against Ginting in seven matches, and he carried over the momentum to the second game. But from 2-5 down, the world No. 5 upped the tempo – while Loh made unforced errors at crucial junctures – to take the match to a decider.

The duo were tied eight times during the third game, but it was the Singaporean who was the steadier of the two as he managed to punch through Ginting’s defence from 13-all onwards.

National singles head coach Kelvin Ho said: “Today, Kean Yew could cut down on his unforced errors and he was consistent and very focused on his link-up play, and found the balance between taking the initiative and staying patient.”

The duo also credited a nine-day training stint in Dubai with Denmark’s world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen and players from India and Canada, as Ho added: “We worked on Kean Yew’s skills and consistency with players of high quality and we hope he can maintain his consistency.”

However, Axelsen suffered a shock defeat by Taiwanese world No. 27 Wang Tzu-wei, who claimed his first win over the Dane with a 21-12, 21-17 victory. Wang’s reward is a quarter-final meeting against Thailand’s world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn.

Meanwhile in the mixed doubles round of 16, Singapore’s world No. 21 Terry Hee and Jessica Tan lost 21-17, 21-19 to South Korea’s seventh-ranked Kim Won-ho and Jeong Na-eun.


David Lee, Loh Kean Yew through to French Open q-finals after long-awaited win over Anthony Ginting. https://www.straitstimes.com/sport/loh-kean-yew-through-to-french-open-q-finals-after-long-awaited-win-over-anthony-ginting. The Straits Times