Sunday, January 19, 2020

Kantaphon two matches from title as Ratchanok ousted at Indonesia Open

Jul 19. 2019
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By The Nation

Young gun Kantaphon Wangcharoen reached his first semi-final in badminton’s top-tier series to rescue Thai pride after national hope Ratchanok Intanon exited at the quarter-final stage of the BLIBLI Indonesia Open in Jakarta on Friday.

The world No 8 relied on his rock-solid defence to stem the run of China’s Huang Yu Xiang, the conqueror of top seed and world champion Kento Momota, 21-10 21-17 for his best run in a BWF World Tour 1000 tournament.

“I was so excited,” said Kantaphon, who is hunting his first World Tour title. “It shows that all the hard work is starting to pay off,” added the Thai No 1, who produced superb form to upset Kanta Tsuneyama and Anthony Ginting of Japan in the first two rounds.

Kantaphon said his Indonesia coach Agus Dwi Santosa has emphasised defensive skills, which yielded fruit in this tournament.

“As my attacking game is already okay, my coach has focused on my defensive game recently. I’ve been working really hard to improve this aspect,” said the Thai No 1 who lined up a semi-final clash with fourth-seeded Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan. The world No 3 ousted Asian Games gold medalist Jonathan Christie 16-21 21-18 21-14.

“I’ve never beaten Chou before,” said Kantaphon who has lost all three of his matches to the Taiwanese. “I have nothing to lose. I will go out there and figure out a way to beat him.”

While Kantaphon moved on, former champion Ratchanok was ousted by world No 1 and defending champion Tai Tzu Ying 21-18 16-21 21-12.

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