China’s young player Chen Long had to struggle hard to pass his Men’s Singles round-of-16 test against Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh at the All England Open Premier Super Series 2012 on Thursday, March 8, in England.
The World Number Three Long, who is also third seed in Men’s Singles draw of the event, was severely tested by the lower ranked Tien Minh who is currently number 10 in the world.
The Vietnamese put up wonderful show in the opening set but the Chinese managed to bag remaining two sets and won the fight.
In the first set of this physically demanding match, both shuttlers displayed their impressive skills in the starting rallies and continued their aggressive play until the end of the opening part.
The experienced Tien Minh matched the speed of his higher ranked challenger and remained slightly ahead at 11-10 until the 60-second interval.
After the break, Tien Minh controlled the pace and remained dominant in the entire concluding part.
Long could not level the score even for a single time in the second half of first set and lost it with a close 19-21 margin on the score board.
Stung by the loss of first game, the Chinese powered his way back into the match by playing killing badminton in the second set. He took an incredible lead in the first half by reaching at 11-6.
Long was focused in the game and he ended the second game with a tremendous score of 21-9 on the score board.
In the deciding game, Long was far ahead of his opponent by reaching at 11-3 until the break.
After the break, Tien Minh lifted up his level of play but he failed to bridge the huge gap established by his challenger. Long ended the deciding set with a comfortable 21-16 score on the board.
The higher ranked Chinese emerged as the winner of this 76-minute Men’s Singles contest with a 19-21, 21-9 and 21-16 score on the board.
In the quarter-final battle, the third seed Long will be up against Japan’s Kenichi Tago who defeated his compatriot Kazushi Yamada in another pre-quarter-final match.