Taiwan’s Chou storms to Singapore Open win

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SINGAPORE, July 22: Taiwanese badminton star Chou Tien-chen stormed to a 21-13, 21-13 win over compatriot Hsu Jen-hao to clinch the Singapore Open men’s singles title on Sunday.
Serving deep, cross-court smashes at high speeds, the world number seven easily claimed the first game.
Hsu initially looked stronger in the second game, taking an 8-4 lead, but Chou bounced back impressively by winning seven consecutive points.
The 28-year-old went on to win easily at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, sealing victory in 43 minutes.
“I felt like I had good control at the start,” Chou, the top seed in the tournament, said after the match.
“There were several times that Hsu took the lead, but I managed to fight back and I knew when and how to take charge of the game.”
The win follows his German Open triumph in May and serves as a confidence boost for the upcoming World Championships in Nanjing.
Chou acknowledged that he will face stiff competition from top players, such as Danish world number one Viktor Axelsen and rising Japanese star Kento Momota, who both gave the Singapore tournament a miss.
“They are amazing players with great skills. I need to find a way to beat them,” he said.
In the women’s singles, fifth seed Sayaka Takahashi of Japan overcame a slow start to pick up her third title of the year, beating
China’s Gao Fangjie 25-23, 21-14. (AFP)