Loh Kean Yew continues giant-slaying act in Europe
Singapore's top male shuttler stuns world No. 4 Chou, after beating All-England champ Lee last week
National shuttler Loh Kean Yew claimed another big scalp when the world No. 39 beat Chinese Taipei's world No. 4 Chou Tien-chen 21-18, 21-13 in 37 minutes in the opening round of the BWF World Tour Super 500 Hylo Open on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old was in action yesterday against France's world No. 35 Toma Junior Popov in the round of 16 of the US$320,000 (S$432,300) tournament in Saarbrucken, Germany, with the result unavailable at press time.
This was the second time that Loh had beaten Chou in three meetings. He lost 21-13, 18-21, 21-17 at the 2019 BWF World Championships, but avenged that defeat with a 21-16, 21-17 victory at the 2020 Badminton Asia Team Championships.
In Wednesday's contest, Loh established early dominance and valiantly fought back from 10-5 down in the second game to topple the top seed.
He said: "When I was trailing in the second set, I became more aggressive and took more initiative at the net, which helped me turn things around.
"My opponent also seemed tired as he had played quite a few tournaments in a row and also made it to the French Open final last week."
Last week, Loh had stunned Malaysia's world No. 8 and All-England champion Lee Zii Jia to reach the French Open second round, where he was beaten by India's world No. 21 Lakshya Sen, whom he defeated in the Dutch Open final last month.
Loh said: "After one upset, there were high expectations on me to keep winning and beat someone I had defeated before. But things are not always so straightforward in sport, and I lost.
"I need to learn from this lesson and perform better because these are things I need to manage better and overcome if I want to reach a higher level."
In the women's singles, Singapore's top female player Yeo Jia Min came up against Indonesia's world No. 23 Gregoria Mariska Tunjung yesterday for a place in the last eight, after beating Chinese Taipei's world No. 39 Pai Yu-po 21-7, 21-11 on Tuesday.
At last week's French Open, Yeo defeated Tunjung in straight sets en route to the quarter-finals as she rose to world No. 26.
Teammate Jason Teh was also in action in Europe at the Hungarian International, a US$5,000 International Series event.
The world No. 147 beat Finland's world No. 227 Iikka Heino 21-17, 21-15 to make the round of 16.
He will meet India's world No. 128 Alap Mishra or Sri Lanka's world No. 337 Buwaneka Goonethilleka today.