Singapore Open: Top seed Chou advances to final

Chou Tien-chen will face Hsu Jen-hao in the finals, having beaten Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh.

Chou Tien Chen held off Qiao Bin's fight to secure a victory.   -  AFP

Taiwanese shuttler Chou Tien-chen powered into the finals of the Singapore Open after a thrilling 21-12, 18-21, 21-16 win over China’s Qiao Bin on Saturday.

The top seed dominated the first game of the men’s singles semifinal match, wrapping it up in just 12 minutes.

While a spirited Qiao fought back to claim the second game, Chou’s swift reflexes saw him out-rally his unseeded opponent in the rubber to secure a spot in the finals on Sunday.

He will face compatriot Hsu Jen-hao, who beat Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh 21-15, 21-11.

Read: Indian shuttlers bow out of Singapore Open

“I’m very excited to be in the finals, my hard work had paid off. I have to focus on my shots if I want to win,” said the world number 7 after the match at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Chou is gunning for his second title of the year after winning the German Open in March.

In the women’s singles, China’s Gao Fangjie exacted revenge on second seed Nitchaon Jindapol with a 21-15, 12-21, 21-14 win to advance to the finals.

Seventh seed Gao had lost to her Thai opponent at their last encounter in the Uber Cup semifinals in May.

“Uber Cup was a painful lesson. After that defeat, I learned how to better maintain my composure in big tournaments, which helped me to win today,” Gao said after the match.

She will take on Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi, who toppled China’s Han Yue 21-18, 21-14.

In the women’s doubles, Japanese duo Ayako Sakuramoto and Yukiko Takahata ousted top seeds Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai of Thailand 21-17, 21-19.

The Japanese pair will be up against compatriots Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida, who beat Germans Isabel Herttrich and Carla Nelte 21-18, 17-21, 21-16.

In the men’s doubles, the Indonesian duo of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan will face China’s Ou Xuanyi and Ren Xiangyu in the finals after a convincing 21-16, 21-13 victory over compatriots Angga Pratama and Rian Agung Saputro.

Olympic mixed doubles champions Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir continued their dominant form, edging out fellow Indonesians Akbar Bintang Cahyono and Winny Oktavina Kandow 26-24, 21-17.

They will meet Malaysia’s Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai in the finals.

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