Ginting stuns Chou to continue dream run in Singapore

Anthony Sinisuka Ginting hits a return against Chou Tien Chen during their match at the Singapore Open. (AFP pic)

SINGAPORE: Anthony Sinisuka Ginting used his leaping smash to devastating effect to end Chou Tien-chen’s Singapore Open title defence with a thrilling semi-final victory on Saturday.

The athletic Indonesian caused a major upset against double world champion Chen Long on Friday, and backed it up with another brilliant display to claim a 21-17 18-21 21-14 triumph at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

A contest of contrasting styles saw Ginting employ an aggressive attacking approach as Taiwan’s Chou was content to defend and counter when opportunities arose.

After splitting the first two games, Ginting sent Chou sprawling around the court with a series of booming smashes to surge seven points clear in the decider, going on to complete victory with a smart lob beyond his opponent.

“Yes, I have enjoyed two good wins in as many days, but now my focus is on recovering for tomorrow’s final,” the 22-year-old world number nine told reporters.

Ginting will need to deliver another shock Sunday after Kento Momota displayed his credentials as world number one with a 21-15 21-18 victory over third seed Viktor Axelsen in the other semi-final.

Momota eased through the opener but was buried by a barrage of crosscourt smashes to trail 16-6 in the second, before the left-hander rallied for victory in 46 minutes.

Earlier, Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying battled back from the brink of defeat to stun Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi in another three-game thriller to book a spot in the women’s singles final.

The world number one showed patience and resolve in abundance as she saved five match points before securing a 15-21 24-22 21-19 victory in a rematch of last week’s Malaysian Open final, which Tai also won.

“It helped that I am familiar with her game. I felt relaxed towards the end of the match as Yamaguchi started to make more mistakes,” Tai said.

The unflappable Tai will meet another Japanese player in the final after Nozomi Okuhara enjoyed a much more routine victory, the second seed easing past India’s P.V. Sindhu 21-7 21-11 in just 37 minutes.