Taiwan challenge ends at Denmark Open as Chou knocked out

10/18/2020 11:18 AM
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Chou Tien-chen. Photo from twitter.com/bwfmedia
Chou Tien-chen. Photo from twitter.com/bwfmedia

Taipei, Oct. 18 (CNA) Taiwan's campaign in the 2020 Danisa Denmark Open came to an end on Saturday after World No. 2 Chou Tien-chen (周天成) crashed out of the men's semi-finals by losing two straight games 17-21, 15-21 to World No. 3 Anders Antonsen of Denmark.

The second-seeded Chou started off by mixing defense and attack effectively, covering the court to hit some nice angles but began to fall apart in the second half of the first game when the third-seeded Antonsen found his form.

The Dane did well playing backhand defense, while also bringing himself to play earlier at the net, forcing Chou into making errors.

The Taiwanese shuttler showed some superb net play by delivering hard smashes going for the right hip of his opponent, giving Antonsen only split seconds to decide whether to play forehand defense or continue with the backhand, albeit awkward either way.

However, it was Antonsen's sheer energy that showed he was ready to pounce early at the net every time, which forced Chou into making errors and giving the first game 17-21 to the Dane.

Chou seemed to lose his confidence in the second game as Antonsen dominated the net, hiking the score to 9-15, just six points away from wrapping up the match.

Even though Chou did not give up and tried to put up a fight, it proved futile against Antonsen's clever play that interchanged between body and angle smashes.

Chou eventually lost the match with a score of 15-21 in the second game. The loss brought the pair's head-to-head record to 7-2, with the Taiwanese ace still in the lead.

Taiwan's defeat meant that the Denmark Open will see an all Danish men's singles final this year with Antonsen up against seventh-seeded World No. 17 Rasmus Gemke on Sunday.

Spearheading Taiwan's campaign, Chou had defeated Victor Svendsen of Denmark 21-16, 21-11; Nhat Nguyen of Ireland 21-18, 21-16; and Srikanth Kidambi of India 20-22, 21-13, 21-16 before losing to Antonsen in the semi-finals.

The BWF World Tour Super 750 Danisa Denmark Open 2020, which is being held Oct. 13-18 at the Odense Sports Park in Odense, carries a total purse of US$750,000.

The Denmark Open marked the return of international badminton after nearly all international tournaments were either canceled or postponed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(By William Yen)

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