Japan’s in-form Kenichi Tago put up a fabulous show of top quality badminton as he defeated China’s Chen Long in Men’s Singles quarter-final contest of 2012 All England Open Premier Super Series in Birmingham, England, on Friday, March 9.
Tago, who is currently World Number Eight in Men’s Singles world rankings, proved his mettle by playing to his maximum potential and ended the winning streak of Long, who has been placed at number three in the world.
Tago took a prolonged time of 77 minutes to register victory over Long who was the strong contender for the title.
In the opening set, both shuttlers played with aggression and progressed in the game without creating any gap. The cracking sounds of smashes could be heard everywhere in the National Indoor Arena at Birmingham.
Until the one-minute break in the first set, they were close on the score board as no one could manage a reasonable lead.
After the break, Long accelerated his speed but failed to set up a comfortable lead as his lower ranked rival was also playing at his maximum speed.
In the concluding half of first game, Tago could not control the pace of rallies and lost the set with a tight score of 22-24.
In the second set, Tago was in a completely different mood as he dominated the pace of rallies from the starting points and remained ahead of Long until the one-minute interval.
After the break, Long could not produce better form as he failed to dominate the pace of rallies. However, Tago was positive in the court and bagged the set with a one-sided score of 21-12.
In the final set, the impressive Japanese was everywhere in the court as he did not spare any gap for his rival and remained in full control.
Tago put up fabulous show of positive and attacking badminton and won the third game with a super margin of 21-14.
This 77-minute quarter-final clash ended with the victory of Tago who overpowered Long with a 22-24, 21-12 and 21-14 score on the board.
In the semi-final showdown, Tago will be up against another Chinese shuttler Lin Dan who thrashed Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat in the other quarter-final encounter.