Tze Yong stuns Axelsen to reach All-England quarter-finals

PETALING JAYA: National men's singles shuttler Ng Tze Yong stunned Denmark's world No. 1 and defending champion Viktor Axelsen to storm into the quarter-finals of the All-England in Birmingham on Thursday (March 16).

World No. 28 Tze Yong, who was making his debut in the prestigious tournament, fought bravely to come away with a sensational 21-15, 9-21, 23-21 victory in the men's singles second round match.

The decider was nerve-wracking as the Olympic champion Axelsen, who was trailing 15-19, fought back and went on to take the lead at 20-19.

The 22-year-old however, did not cave in but stood solid to pull off his biggest career win. It was only his first match-up against the experienced Dane in an international tournament.

Tze Yong, who will next face China's world No.14 Li Shifeng for a place in the last four, was over the moon.

"This is the biggest win of my career," said Tze Yong as stated in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) website.

"I didn't think too much before the match. I just wanted to go all out. I just tried to calm down when he had those two match points."

"But I cannot be overjoyed because I need to stay focused for the next match.

"I've lost to him (Shifeng) a few times. So, I have to assess my game but I don't want to think too much. Just play the game.

"If possible, I don't want to go into three games. I want to win in straight games."

Naturally, Axelsen was disappointed.

"I put everything into it, so of course I'm disappointed," said Axelsen, the winner of the 2020 and 2022 editions.

"It's one of the most special tournaments to me, and when you fail, it's tough. He (Tze Yong) played well and I made too many mistakes. He deserved to win.

"It wasn't to be today. I didn't feel well. I made too many mistakes and the drift was way more than usual. I had two match points, should have used some experience to win one of those, but that's how it is."

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