PETALING JAYA: Shuttler Ng Tze Yong’s fighting spirit can take him a long way.
Yesterday, Tze Yong gave Indonesia’s world No. 6 Jonatan Christie a huge scare before going down 19-21, 23-21, 13-21 in a thrilling men’s singles semi-final match at the Hong Kong Coliseum in Kowloon.
World No. 20 Tze Yong had stunned Jonatan in the first round of the Australian Open in Sydney last month and fought tooth and nail in his bid to pull off another upset win.
The 23-year-old was behind 5-11 in the first game but refused to give in and scored six points in a row to draw level at 11-11.
It was a close battle from then on until the Indonesian scored two points at 19-19 to win the game.
In the second game, Tze Yong again fought back from 12-16 down to lead 17-16.
The tenacious youngster then showed nerves of steel to save two match points at 19-20 and 20-21 to snatch the game at the end.
But it was a game too far for Tze Yong in the decider.
Jonatan seemed to move up a gear to come away with victory.
Tze Yong, though, can be proud of himself after showing great courage and determination in his maiden semi-final appearance in the World Tour circuit this year.
He had lost six times in the last eight previously.
Meanwhile, in the women’s singles, Goh Jin Wei’s brave run also ended when she went down 14-21, 11-21 to China’s world No. 17 Zhang Yiman.
Despite the defeat, it was still a good outing for world No. 34 Jin Wei after she had toppled Yiman’s teammate and world No. 9 Han Yue 12-21, 21-17, 21-18 in the last four a day earlier.
It was the 23-year-old’s best finish in an individual competition this year.
The independent player’s coach Nova Armada was satisfied with his charge’s overall performance in the tournament.
“Jin Wei’s fitness was not good enough today (yesterday),” said Nova.
“But I’m still satisfied as overall, she has done well in this tournament.
“She is working hard to improve her stamina and her efforts have slowly started to pay off.
“I’m confident that she will get better after this.”
Both Tze Yong and Jin Wei will next turn their attention to the Asian Games in Hangzhou from Sept 23-Oct 8.
(Malaysians unless stated)
Men’s singles: Jonatan Christie (Ina) bt Ng Tze Yong 21-19, 21-23, 21-13.
Men’s doubles: Leo Rolly-Daniel Marthin (Ina) bt Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin (Tpe) 13-21, 21-8, 21-13; Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (Den) bt Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Ina) 24-22, 19-21, 21-11.
Women’s singles: Zhang Yiman (Chn) bt Goh Jin Wei 21-14, 21-11; Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) bt Gregoria Mariska (Ina) 21-17, 23-25, 21-18.
Women’s doubles: Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah bt Benyapa Aimsaard-Nuntakarn Aimsaard (Tha) 21-13, 21-18; Apriyani Rahayu-Siti Fadia Ramadhanti (Ina) bt Maiken Fruergaard-Sara Thygesen (Den) 21-16, 23-21.
Mixed doubles: Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet (Hkg) bt Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie 21-12, 21-12.