Singapore's Loh Kean Yew defeated by world No 2 Viktor Axelsen, finishes runner-up at Indonesia Open
SINGAPORE: Singapore badminton player Loh Kean Yew's stunning run at the Indonesia Open came to an end on Sunday (Nov 28) when he was defeated by world No 2 Viktor Axelsen in the men's singles finals.
The Dane, who is the Olympic champion and tournament second seed, was stretched by Loh, but eventually beat the 24-year-old 21-13, 9-21, 21-13 in 59 minutes.
Despite the defeat, this marks a milestone for world No 26 Loh as it is the first time he has qualified for the final of a Badminton World Federation World Tour Super 1000 event.
It was Axelsen who got off to a better start as the Dane led 5-2 early on. While Loh managed to claw his way back to 6-6, Axelsen took an 11-6 lead at the interval and claimed the first game in 19 minutes.
The Singaporean took a more aggressive approach to the second game and it paid off as he went into the interval 11-3 ahead, and cruised to a win to force a decider.
Things were much tighter in the final game, with Axelsen taking an early lead at 5-2. A series of mistakes by Loh then saw the Singaporean go behind 5-11 at the interval, before eventually losing the match.
Loh had earlier this year taken part in a month-long training stint with Axelsen and four other players from across the globe in Dubai.
The Singaporean has been on a scintillating run of form at the tournament, having stunned world No 1 Kento Momota in the round of 16. The victory was Loh's first career win over the Japanese world champion.
The Singaporean then went on to clinically dispatch Dane Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in the quarter-finals. It took Loh just 25 minutes to beat the world No 21 Vittinghus.
Loh followed it up with a victory on Saturday over world No 13 Rasmus Gemke in the semi-finals.
Loh won his first career BWF World Tour Super 500 title at the Hylo Open earlier this month. He also took the Dutch Open crown in October.