Saturday, September 18, 2021


Ratchanok, Tanongsak keep Thai hopes alive in All England

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Former finalist Ratchanok Intanon and Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk carried the Thai flag flying high in the All England Open following their respective women’s and men’s singles second round wins in Birmingham on Thursday.



Ratchanok, the world No 7, did not have much trouble tackling with Hsu Ya Ching of Taiwan as she won their match 21-14 21-15 in just 38 minutes to move into the quarter-final stage in her first comeback tournament of the year. She has now remained supreme over the 25th ranked Taiwanese by winning five of their encounters since 2015.

In the biggest shock of the tournament, Tanongsak upset world No 3 and Olympic champion  Chen Long of China 21-16 21-19 to pose his first win over the long-time opponent after 11 attempts. Chen was still not in form after seven months out of actions.

Ratchanok will have a rematch of the last year’s quarter-final against world No 2 Carolina Marin who beat her 21-17 21-19 which was the Thai only defeat to the Spaniard in five head-to-head series.

Tanongsak will meet Taiwanese Chou Tien Chen, No 9 in the world, which will mark their first match against each other in five years since the All England first round in 2012. Chou won that match 21-9 21-12 but had lost to the Thai three times earlier.

Seven months and an absence of competition made Chen vulnerable and so did Tanongsak's sensible strategy of not too frequently attacking an opponent who creates brick-wall mid-court defence and turns it into damaging counter-attack.

Chen fought hard to close a five-point deficit to 19-19 in the second game, and might well have improved had the match gone to a decider.

Instead on the next point he hurtled a smashed wide, and then lifted the shuttle a little too short to defend against Tanongsak's attack on match point.

In the men’s doubles, Chinese sixth seed Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen downed Bodin Isara and Nipitphon Phuangphuapet 21-18 21-18. 

Published : March 09, 2017

By : Lerpong Amsa-ngiam - The Nation