VICTOR Hong Kong Open men’s singles gold medal match confirmed upon completion of the two semi-finals at the Coliseum in Hung Hom on Saturday. In the first semis, Kenta Nishimoto of Japan pulled off a surprising 2-0 win over world second ranked player, Anthony Ginting of Indonesia, reaching the final again after five years. Nishimoto’s victory set him against another Indonesia top player, Jonatan Christie, the world’s sixth ranked player, for the title.
Ginting was the runner-up at the last Hong Kong Open in 2019 and has won six times out of their eight meetings over the Japanese, including a straight game 21-18, 21-17 victory at the Asia Championships round-of-16 tie in April.
But after taking six points in a row in the early stages, Ginting could not continue his feat tonight as Nishimoto chased from behind fiercely, taking a 10-1 score midway through the first game before registering a comfortable 21-13 win.
The second seed tried to regain his advantages by hitting a series of smashes in the following game but he also made many mistakes, gifting the game to his rival 21-15. It was Nishimoto’s first victory over the Indonesian since 2019 and his second Hong Kong Open final since 2018 when he lost to Son Wan Ho of South Korea for the champion.
The Japanese will now face another Indonesia player, Jonatan Christie in the last hurdle. 2018 Asian Games champions Christie just celebrated his 26-year-old birthday in Hong Kong on Friday and it seems his birthday wishes all came true.
Against Ng Tze Yong of Malaysia in another semi-finals, Christie, who was beaten by Ng in straight games in the Australian Open round of 16 last month, reverted the result.
The Indonesian looked promising from the first point when the match started, taking a 11-5 lead before the interval but Ng stormed back to level the score at 11-all. They levelled again at 19-all but Christie then took two points in a row to put himself into the lead with a 21-19 win.
The second game was also closely contested as both players exchanged the lead several times until they levelled at 20-all. Christie reached the match point first when he led 21-20 but it was Ng who then took the next three points in a row to win the game 23-21, forcing the match into a third tie-breaking ritual.
But this time Christie did not let the victory slip from his hands, taking a convincing 11-1 lead in the deciding game. Ng tried to recover after the interval but all his effort went in vain with Christie winning the third 21-13 and reached the final.