SINGAPORE — After beating a young up-and-comer in his opening-round match at the India Open, Loh Kean Yew had to defeat a wily veteran to advance into the quarter-finals.
And the Singapore shuttler duly did so, defeated Denmark's former top 10 player Hans-Kristian Vittinghus 21-18, 21-17 in 44 minutes in their round-of-16 tie at the K.D. Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi.
Vittinghus, 37, is in his final year as a professional badminton player, and posed a different challenge for Loh than his previous opponent, the rapidly-improving Kodai Naraoka of Japan.
Nonetheless, the world No.7 comfortably kept the Dane at bay throughout their match, going ahead midway through each game before holding firm for the eventual win.
In the first game, Vittinghus held the early lead, but Loh broke open a 9-all tie by winning six of the next eight points for a 15-11 lead. While the Dane fought back to 15-all, the former world champion easserted his superiority in the key stretches to take the opening game.
It was a similar story in the second game, as Loh and Vittinghus were engaged in a see-saw battle for most of the game. The Singaporean took the lead for good at 16-15, and eased to victory over the veteran Dane.
Loh - who was runner-up in last year's India Open - will have tricky task in his next tie, as he faces either former world No.2 Anders Antonsen, or his nemesis, Thailand's Kunalvut Vitidsarn, who had beaten him in their past four encounters.
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