In a battle of two of South East Asia’s rising stars, Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin beat Indonesia’s Firman Abdul Kholik to enter the semi-finals of the Macau Open 2018 in Macau City on Friday. The 23-year-old Thai endured a tough time in the first game to successfully pull off a 25-23, 21-10 win over the 21-year-old Indonesian in 49 minutes.
Thammasin, who won the Akita Masters 2018 title this year, will take on the third seed Lee Hyun Il for a place in the final.
There was a huge upset in another men’s singles quarter-final as Chinese qualifier Zhou Zeqi showed some superb resilience to knock out the top seed NG Ka Long Angus 15-21, 21-14, 21-19. For him, Chinese Taipei’s Lu Chia Hung waits, having beaten Zhao Junpeng 21-16, 22-20.
In women’s singles, Michelle Li lived up to her top seeding by securing a 21-15, 21-18 win over 2012 Olympic gold medallist Li Xuerui. The Chinese has been making a comeback from injury this year and has already won three titles.
The Canadian thus goes on to meet Japan’s Ayumi Mine, a 21-10, 17-21, 21-10 winner over Indonesia’s Lyanny Alessandra Mainaky.
The other semi-final will be staged between third seed Cheung Ngan Yi and fifth seed Han Yue. Yi had to fight hard against Malaysian seventh seed Soniia Cheah for a 21-19, 22-20 win while Yue had a much easier time against qualifier Ji Shuting in her 21-12, 21-16 win.
Twin upsets in men’s and women’s doubles
Men’s doubles saw a huge upset as the top seeds Chen Hung Ling and Wang Chi-Lin were shown the door 16-21, 15-21 by the experienced Korean combine of Kim Gi Jung and Lee Yong Dae.
Another seeded team departed and they were the eighth seeded Malaysians Mohamad Arif Ab Latif Arif and Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub Azriyn. They were shocked 10-21, 15-21 by Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol.
The women’s doubles top seeds too left the Macau Open on the same day. Japan’s Ayako Sakuramoto and Yukiko Takahata were felled 13-21, 14-21 by their compatriots Misato Aratama and Akane Watanabe.
South East Asia has a couple of representatives in the semi-finals in this section. Malaysia’s Vivian Hoo and Yap Cheng Wen reigned supreme over NG Tsz Yau and Yuen Sin Ying 21-11, 21-13. In an all-Indonesian quarter-final clash, Yulfira Barkah and Jauza Fadhila Sugiarto edged Winny Oktavina Kandow and Virni Putri 23-21, 21-10.
In mixed doubles, there was no hiccup for the top seeds Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet, who will now meet the Malaysian team of Hoo Pang Ron and Cheah Hee See.
The other semi-final will be contested by the second seeds Lee Chun Hei Reginald-Chau Hoi Wah and Indonesian sixth seeds Akbar Bintang Cahyono-Winny Oktavina Kandow.