Angus Ng Ka-long proves no match for Son Wan-ho in Singapore Open

A day after beating the world No 1 Chen Long, Hong Kong star fails to continue the momentum and loses in straight games against South Korean in the Saturday’s semi-final

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 April, 2016, 10:29pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 April, 2016, 6:17pm

Hong Kong’s hopes of reaching the badminton final of the Singapore Open were dashed on Saturday when Angus Ng Ka-long suffered a straights-set defeat at the hands of South Korean Son Wan-ho in their semi-final.

I lost the first set too quickly and took too long to find my rhythm. I didn’t play as well as I could have
Lin Dan

Two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan became the next casualty when he suffered a stunning defeat at the hands of Indonesian qualifier Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the other men’s semi-final game.

Ng, who overcame top seed Chen Long of China on Friday, was unable to repeat this feat following a 22-20, 21-16 loss in 47 minutes.

But Ng’s result in the last Superseries tournament before the Olympic qualification closes at the end of the month has given him an edge over compatriots Hu Yun and Wei Nan.

Two tournaments remain for them to make the Rio Games, beginning with the China Masters this week and the Asian Championships.

The 32-year-old Lin, who has never won the tournament, trailed early on against the composed 2004 Olympic bronze medallist Kuncoro, who raced to a 11-4 lead before taking the first set 21-10.

The Chinese superstar salvaged the second set to win 21-17, but the 31-year-old Indonesian kept his cool to seal a nail-biting 22-20 victory in the final set.

After the game, Lin said: “I lost the first set too quickly and took too long to find my rhythm.

“I didn’t play as well as I could have.”

Kuncoro, ranked 56th in the world, said he began to believe he could win after his quick-fire start.

“It was such an awesome game and I’m very happy,” Kuncoro said.

“My game was pretty hesitant in the second set, so in the third set I just put in my all and was aggressive. I did not want to follow Lin Dan’s style of play,” added the Indonesian.

Kuncoro, who won the Singapore Open in 2010, will face Son in the final.

In the women’s singles, world number two Ratchanok Intanon beat Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi 21-12, 22-20 to progress to the finals.

The clinical Thai will be bidding to win three successive Superseries tournaments in as many weeks when she faces Chinese defending champion Sun Yu.

On Friday, world number one Carolina Marin of Spain crashed out in the quarter-finals, unceremoniously shown the door by young upstart.

Marin fell in three sets to 18-year-old Yamaguchi.

Chinese players wll still feature in the three other finals of the US$350,000 tournament. This includes Xu Chen and Ma Jin in the mixed doubles and Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan of the men’s doubles. The lattest pair pulled off a 2-0 (21-16, 23-21) surprise win over top seed Lee Yong-dae and Yoo Yeon-seong of South Korea in their semi-finals.