SINGAPORE — Loh Kean Yew was given a stern test in his Hylo Open title defence, but eventually came out tops in his round-of-16 tie against Indonesia's Shesar Hiren Rustavito in Saarbrucken, Germany, on Thursday (3 November).
The former badminton world champion was taken to three games by his world No.23 rival, but just managed to be better during the crucial points of the nail-biting rubber game to subdue Rustavito 17-21, 21-15, 21-19 in just under an hour.
The Singaporean world No.5 will face another Indonesian in Friday's quarter-final: world No.6 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, who had beaten him in this year's Singapore Open semi-finals.
This is the third consecutive tournament in as many weeks in which Loh has made the quarter-finals, following similar feats at the Denmark Open - where he upset world No.1 Viktor Axelsen - and the French Open.
Loh had won last year's Hylo Open after his old rival Lee Zii Jia retired with injury in the final. That title win - which had been his biggest career victory then - sparked a superb run of form which culminated in his extraordinary BWF World Championship triumph in Huelva, Spain.
In the mixed doubles competition, husband-and-wife duo Terry Hee and Jessica Tan - who were awarded Sport Singapore's Sport Excellence Scholarship programme earlier in the day - also went the distance in their last-16 tie with second seeds Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue of France.
However, the Commonwealth gold medallists were unable to pull out a victory, succumbing to their opponents 15-21, 21-15, 17-21 in one hour of play.
In the women's singles, Singapore's Yeo Jia Min was also eliminated, as she lost to Spain's three-time world champion Carolina Marin 14-21, 17-21 in 33 minutes.
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