Hong Kong's Lee stuns Indonesian Ginting in Thailand Open

Bangkok (AFP) –


Indonesian fifth seed Anthony Ginting suffered an unexpected defeat at badminton's Thailand Open Thursday to Hong Kong's Lee Cheuk-yiu, who moved into the quarter-finals with a 21-19, 13-21, 21-12 win.

Ginting was Indonesia's last remaining hope after Jonatan Christie's exit on Wednesday, but despite a fightback in the second game, the 20th-ranked Lee was able to close out the match.

"He played better than me," admitted Ginting, 24. "When I tried to come back, Lee knew -- he's smart and he was in control."

It was Ginting's second loss to Lee, who upset the Indonesian in the final of the 2019 Hong Kong Open.

"I had beaten him in the Hong Kong Open final, so maybe I was a bit more comfortable against him," Lee said.

He will face off against Denmark's Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, who beat Ginting's teammate Shesar Hiren Rhustavito 21-11, 15-21, 17-21.

Thai star Ratchanok Intanon won a hard-fought nail-biter against South Korean Sung Ji-hyun, ranked 15th in the world, who sent the former world number one crisscrossing the court during extended rallies in her 19-21, 24-22, 21-17 win.

Meeting Ratchanok in the quarter-finals will be Indian star P.V. Sindhu, who disposed of Malaysia's Kisona Selvaduray in a rapid 21-10, 21-12 dusting -- eager to erase the memory of a surprise first-round exit a week earlier in Bangkok.

"We all win and lose, so I took last week in a really positive way and came in much stronger this week," sixth seed Sindhu said.

Denmark's Viktor Axelsen continued his quest for back-to-back titles as he dominated Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn 21-11, 21-13.

"He's an upcoming player that I respect a lot so I had to come with quite a high pace," said Axelsen.

The fourth-ranked Dane won last week's first of two consecutive Thailand Opens and will go up against Malaysian Darren Liew, ranked 41st in the world, in the quarter-finals.

Bangkok is hosting three tournaments in a row, culminating in badminton's World Tour Finals next week.

The players have been facing off under tight biosecurity because of the coronavirus pandemic, and without spectators, although the tournaments have been blighted by four positive coronavirus cases.