Chen-Toh overcome pressure to stun Watanabe-Higashino


Solid show: Chen Tang Jie (right) and Toh Ee Wei came from behind to beat world No. 2 Watanabe-Higashino 12-21, 21-16, 21-16 in their Group A match at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium.

PETALING JAYA: Mixed doubles shuttlers Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei gave themselves a huge boost in the World Tour Finals after a stunning win over Japan’s Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino.

Tang Jie-Ee Wei, who reached a career-high No. 8 in the world rankings recently, brilliantly came from behind to beat world No. 2 Watanabe-Higashino 12-21, 21-16, 21-16 in a thrilling Group A match at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium yesterday.

It was the national pair’s first win over the Japanese duo after losing in straight games to the latter in their past two meetings.

It was also a great turnaround from Tang Jie-Ee Wei after they were beaten 10-21, 13-21 by China’s world No. 4 Feng Yanzhe-Huang Dongping in their opening group match a day earlier.

Tang Jie was thrilled with the win over Watanabe-Higashino.

“I think we did a good job today (yesterday) as it’s never easy to play the Japanese pair,” said Tang Jie in a post-match interview with the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

“If we lose focus or we are not brave with our shots, they have the ability to win points very quickly.

“So, we are really proud of ourselves.”

Ee Wei said: “We were mentally down after losing yesterday (Wednesday).

“I didn’t think too much and just went all out today (yesterday). I’m really happy to win this match as the expectations were high on us.

“I’m glad that we managed to overcome the pressure.”

Tang Jie-Ee Wei, who were making their debuts in the tournament, have kept alive their chances of making in to the semi-finals.

The pair now need to beat Thailand’s world No. 6 Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai in their final group match today to reach the last four.

Based on the head-to-head records, the Thai pair have a slight advantage over Tang Jie-Ee Wei, having come out on top twice against the latter in their past three meetings.

Tang Jie-Ee Wei though have a good chance of causing another upset if they can maintain their great form.

RESULTS

FIRST ROUND

Men’s singles

Group A: Shi Yuqi (Chn) bt Viktor Axelsen (Den) 21-19, 21-19; Anthony Ginting (Ina) bt Kodai Naraoka (Jpn) 10-21, 21-10, 21-18.

Group B: Anders Antonsen (Den) bt Li Shifeng (Chn) 21-18, 21-12; Jonatan Christie (Ina) bt Kunlavut Vitidsarn (Tha) 21-18, 21-8.

Women’s singles

Group B: Chen Yufei (Chn) bt Han Yue (Chn) 21-17, 19-21, 21-9.

Mixed doubles

Group A: Feng Yanzhe-Huang Dongping (Chn) bt Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei (Mas) 21-10, 21-13; Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino (Jpn) bt Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) 21-16, 21-14.

Group B: Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong (Chn) bt Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet (Hkg) 21-17, 21-17; Seo Seung-jae-Chae Yu-jung (Kor) bt Kim Won-ho-Jeong Na-eun (Kor) 23-21, 21-12.

SECOND ROUND

Men’s singles

Group A: Anthony Ginting (Ina) bt Shi Yuqi (Chn) 11-21, 21-7, 21-17; Viktor Axelsen (Den) bt Kodai Naraoka (Jpn) 21-17, 21-9.

Men’s doubles

Group A: Liu Yuchen-Ou Xuanyi (Chn) bt Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (Mas) 19-21, 21-18, 22-20; Liang Weikeng-Wang Chang (Chn) bt Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi (Jpn) 23-21, 21-17.

Group B: Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto (Ina) bt Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (Den) 21-12, 21-18; Kang Min-hyuk-Seo Seung-jae (Kor) bt Shohibul Fikri-Bagas Maulana (Ina) 21-9, 21-12.

Women’s singles

Group A: An Se-young (Kor) bt Gregoria Mariska (Ina) 21-14, 21-16; Tai Tzu-ying (Tpe) bt Kim Ga-eun (Kor) 21-15, 21-23, 21-11.

Group B: Chen Yufei (Chn) bt Zhang Beiwen (US) 21-13, 21-15; Carolina Marin (Spa) bt Han Yue (Chn) 21-11, 21-12.

Women’s doubles

Group A: Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (Chn) bt Apriyani Rahayu-Siti Fadia Ramadhanti (Ina) 21-10, 21-14; Liu Shengshu-Tan Ning (Chn) bt Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara (Jpn) 19-21, 21-11, ret.

Group B: Baek Ha-na-Lee So-hee (Kor) bt Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai (Tha) 21-15, 21-15; Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Shida (Jpn) bt Kim So-yeong-Kong Hee-yong (Kor) 21-13, 21-14.

Mixed doubles

Group A: Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei (Mas) bt Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino (Jpn) 12-21, 21-16, 21-16.

Group B: Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong (Chn) bt Kim Won-ho-Jeong Na-eun (Kor) 18-21, 27-25, 21-15.

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