Vietnamese badminton player in China Masters quarterfinals

By Hieu Luong   November 23, 2023 | 11:38 pm PT
Vietnamese badminton player in China Masters quarterfinals
Vietnam's number one female badminton player Nguyen Thuy Linh. Photo by AFP
Vietnam’s number one female badminton player Nguyen Thuy Linh continues to thrive at the 2023 China Masters after beating Denmark’s Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt and advancing to the semifinals.

A shocking victory over world number five Carolina Marin seemed to give Linh more confidence. In the round of 16 on Thursday, she faced world number 20 Kjaersfeldt, who is two places higher than her on world ranking. The Vietnamese player performed well and was effective at decisive moments, riding a little luck to win the match in 37 minutes.

In the first set, Kjaersfeldt started strong and led 3-0 thanks to her powerful hits. But Linh quickly regained her composure and focused on defense to lead 4-3. The two players continued to go back and forth with Linh having the advantage before two defensive errors put her behind Kjaersfeldt.

Linh’s coach Ngo Trung Dung then immediately asked for time out. He told Linh to be more proactive in defense and asked her to keep using cross-court strikes because Kjaersfeldt lacked flexibility.

After returning to the game, Linh took a little time to adjust her playing and fell behind 10-14. When Linh regained her momentum, she scored five points in a row to take back the lead.

With the score was 19-19, Linh dropped a point and risked losing the first set. However, Kjaersfeldt's two consecutive mistakes gave Linh an advantage and she came back to win 22-20.

In the second set, Kjaersfeldt started strong and led 6-4. But Linh gradually found her rhythm, making it difficult for Kjaersfeldt to move. She scored two streaks of four consecutive points and three streaks of three consecutive points to win 21-12 and 2-0 overall

In the quarterfinals, Linh will face world number 15 Kim Ga-eun of South Korea, who just beat world number 16 Aya Ohori of Japan 2-0. Linh and Kim have never faced each other before.

The 2023 China Masters belongs to the Super 750 system, gathering 305 players from around the world to compete in five categories: men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles. The tournament takes place from Nov. 21 to 26 in Shenzhen City.

Linh is currently the number one female tennis player in Vietnam, number six in Southeast Asia and number 17 in Asia.

In 2023, she won the Vietnam Open and Vietnam International Challenge, finished second in the Thailand International Challenge and reached the quarterfinals of the Canadian Open, US Open and Finnish Open. On the ranking for 2024 Paris Olympics qualification, Thuy Linh is currently ranked 15th and is likely to qualify if she maintains her form.

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