|Vietnamese female badminton ace Vu Thi Trang. — Photo tuoitre.vn
HCM CITY (VNS)— Vietnamese female badminton ace Vu Thi Trang staged a fighting performance to stun top seed Hsu Ya Ching of Chinese Taipei 21-23, 21-19, 23-21 in the quarter-finals at the Yonex-Sunrise Viet Nam Grand Prix Open for the first time.
She now heads for the semi-finals.
"This is an incredible achievement for Trang because she is only competing in her second tournaments since returning from injuries. Moreover, she has just returned from the World Badminton Championship following a long flight from Europe," Chu Viet Bac, Trang's coach, said.
"This feat should be attributed to Trang's hard work in recent years. She has had to overcome tight finances to compete in as many international tournaments as possible. Those journeys substantially boosted her experience and skills. You also need luck to win and Trang had luck on her side today," said Viet.
Despite facing the top seed, Trang did not seem to feel any pressure. She got off to a good start and took the lead 7-3. Some unforced errors from Hsu gave Trang a 11-8 lead at the break.
Trang never looked back, maintaining a three-point cushion lead until 20-17 when Hsu scraped back to a 20-20 tie after she had a successful chip shot from and Tranf lost points through a long shuttle and a smash into the net.
Simple errors committed by Trang gave Hsu two set points and the Chinese player was able to capture the set at the second set point.
Hsu enjoyed the lead throughout the second set, but lost points towards the end to leave the set tie at 20-17 again. Trang was able to make up for her mistakes in the first set to claim the second set at the third match point to force a rubber.
The decider was a tight fight all the way from the beginning. For the third time, the score reached 20-17 . And, for the second time, Trang failed to convert all four set points in a row to silence the vocal fans.
Fortunately the Vietnamese player held her nerve to earn a place in the last four. Two successive successful smashes killed off her opponent to close out the set and seal the match.
Trang will face Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the semi-finals.
In the men's singles, third seed Nguyen Tien Minh sailed through to the last four after making light work of his quarter-final with a convincing straight-sets win over Ka Long Ng of Hong Kong.
H.S.Prannoy of India also remains on track to win his first title by securing a place in the semi-finals. He beat Andre Kurniawan Tejono of Indonesia 21-13, 21-19. — VNS