Loh Kean Yew became the first Singaporean to medal at the World Championships with a comprehensive defeat of HS Prannoy in the quarterfinals of the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2021.
The world No.22 mixed his game well, alternating attacking shots with softer, well placed drops and an inventive net game to keep his Indian opponent unable to work up any rhythm. The 21-14 21-12 result gave him a semifinal against third seed Anders Antonsen, whose quarterfinal opponent Lee Zii Jia retired in the third game with a blister in his right foot.
“He played really well. I thought I played well but I couldn’t score a lot of points as he was defending well,” said Prannoy. “He kept his speed up the entire game. Last night’s match probably took away a lot of energy and I probably couldn’t push as much as I’d have liked.”
“Happy!” said Loh. “I didn’t think I’d get a medal so soon. But the job is not done yet, I have to focus on my next match. The key was to be aggressive and patient at the same time. It’s going to be a long game against Anders tomorrow, I’m excited.
“I’m happy I got a medal for Singapore, but I can’t be too happy with the semifinal coming up.”
Highlights of Quarterfinals Day
♦Olympic champions Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin were upset by Malaysian duo Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi 12-21 21-17 21-15.
♦Another big surprise was the defeat of world No.8 Ratchanok Intanon to relative unknown Zhang Yi Man, 13-21 21-13 21-15.
♦NBFR’s Rodion Alimov/Alina Davletova were desperately close to a first-ever medal for their team, but fell to Kyohei Yamashita/Naru Shinoya 21-13 17-21 21-19.