Hylo Open: Loh wins the title while Indian challenge ended in the semi-final

Singapore’s shuttler Loh Kean Yew has won the biggest title of his career after he beat Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia, who retired in the Hylo Open final on Sunday.

Loh Kean Yew beat Lee Zii Jia to clinch the Hylo open title; Credit: Twitter/@reallohkeanyew

Singapore’s shuttler Loh Kean Yew has won the biggest title of his career after he beat Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia, who retired in the Hylo Open final on Sunday. The 24-year-old Loh was leading 19-21, 21-13, 17-12 at the Saarlandhalle in Saarbrücken, Germany when Lee conceded the match after suffering a back injury. Meanwhile India’s challenge at the tournament had already come to an end, as Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth bowed out at the semi-final stage.

This is Loh’s first triumph at the Badminton World Federation World Tour Super 500 level, the fourth tier on the sport’s professional circuit. He had triumphed at the 2019 Thailand Masters, a Super 300 event, by defeating Chinese legend Lin Dan.

Loh said after the match: “I’m delighted to win this tournament, but I hope Lee is not too badly injured. We both wanted to win this badly and put up a fierce fight.

He has also won a prize money worth USD 24,000 and 9,200 ranking points.

“This is a good milestone for my career and I will continue working hard to make sure there is more to come.

“It’s good to be beating high-ranking opponents consistently and this was what I needed to develop. The next step would be to perform consistently well over a few tournaments.”

Balance between patience and aggression was the key : Loh

Loh, the World No. 39 made more unforced errors in the first game which allowed Lee to take the lead as the match was turning out to be neck-and-neck affair. However Loh upped his game, displaying brilliant defensive play and unleashing ferocious body smashes as the All England Open champion Lee lost the last nine points of the second frame before calling in the doctor.

Still, the Malaysian displayed great fighting spirit to keep the pace at 10-10 in the decider. However, Loh went ahead and recorded his second straight win over Lee in two weeks following the French Open round of 32 win.

“Balance between patience and aggression was the key to winning this final,” he said.

“I was too rushed in the first game but later on I settled down, tried my best to defend well while looking for opportunities to go for the kill.”

Indian shuttlers Srikanth and Lakshya suffered straight set defeats in their respective semi-final clash on Saturday. Lakshya went down fighting 18-21, 12-21 to eventual champion Loh in 45 minutes. Meanwhile Srikanth suffered a narrow 19-21, 20-22 loss to Lee in another semi-final.



WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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