Jonatan Christie had five match points for his first World Championships medal but Chou Tien Chen’s tenacity proved too hard to break. The 32-year-old Chinese Taipei shuttler made the semifinals after coming back from a near-impossible situation, recovering from 15-20 down to take the match 22-20 in the third game of their quarterfinal.
Christie tried bravely to hide his crushing disappointment.
“I tried my best. Chou is a good player, and he never gives up,” the Indonesian said. “He proved that today. It’s disappointing, I nearly got through to the semifinals. But it is what it is.
“The wind was very strong from one end. Chou could push the shuttle to the back and I tried to attack but he defended well. But I tried my best, and I will try again next time.”
Chou, who has spent over an hour each in three of his four matches this week – this was his second consecutive 71-minute contest – was happy to win his first World Championships medal.
“Every time I played, I lost in the quarterfinals. I’ve always been nervous in this round. I’m really happy to make this comeback. I had no plan, I just tried to keep my focus.”
In the semifinals, Chou takes on Viktor Axelsen, against whom he has a 2-15 record. The other semifinal will see Kunlavut Vitidsarn against Zhao Jun Peng.
In women’s singles, the top four seeds progressed to the semifinals. Defending champion Akane Yamaguchi will face An Se Young, who survived some nervous moments before getting past Han Yue, while the other semifinal will be replay of the Olympic final, between Chen Yu Fei and Tai Tzu Ying.