Badminton ace Nguyen Tien Minh beat Keigo Sonoda of Japan, 21-17, 21-13 in the third round of the Badminton Asia Championships in China's Chengdu city yesterday.
HCM CITY —
Fourth-seeded Minh needed just 32 minutes to see off the young Japanese player, dominating the game for most part except in the first set when he allowed Sonoda to restore parity at 17-17 after trailing 9-15. But the Vietnamese ace reeled of four consecutive points to take the first set in 15 minutes.
In the quarter-finals, Minh will face his first real challenge against China's sixth-seeded Du Pengyu, who went through a tense three-setter against unseeded Darren Liew of Malaysia in the third round.
In spite of beating Du in both their previous meetings – the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships 2011 and 2010 Korean Super Series - Minh is expected to have his work cut out for him this time.
If he is able to make it to the semi-finals, Minh could run into Chinese top-seed Lin Dan, who cruised into the quarterfinals after making light work of three previous rounds.
In the men's doubles, Vietnamese duo Bui Bang Duc and Dao Manh Thang bowed out of the tournament after losing in two sets to the Indonesia pair, Alvent Yulianto Chandra and Hendra Aprida Gunawan. — VNS