Taiwanese badminton ace Chou Tien-chen (???) finished runner up in the men's singles at the French Open after falling to Japan's Kanta Tsuneyama in the final on Sunday.
The fourth-seeded and World No. 4 Chou lost to World No. 13 Tsuneyama in one hour and 13 minutes, 21-15, 8-21, 17-21, at Stade Pierre de Coubertin in Paris, in his effort to win a second French Open title after winning his first in 2014.
It was also the 31-year-old Chou's second defeat out of seven against the 25-year-old Tsuneyama. Chou also lost to Tsuneyama in the men's singles quarterfinals at the Badminton Asia Team Championships 2020 held at Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila, the Philippines.
The BWF Super 1000 Indonesian Open champion arrived on court for his third French Open Final Sunday to thunderous applause from the audience. The first game was tied six times when Tsuneyama produced a dropshot to reach the mid-game interval ahead 11-10.
A combination of superb net play and penetrating straight and textbook crosscourt smashes carried Chou to game point at 20-14. Tsuneyama saved one game point but failed to save the second, with Chou taking the first set 21-15.
Tsuneyama shot back in the second game to reel off nine consecutive points to establish a commanding 18-6 lead before topping Chou to win the set 21-8.
In the nail-biting third set, Tsuneyama played a stunning net shot to hold an 11-10 lead at the midgame interval. The Japanese played a remarkable defensive game to reach the brink of victory at 20-16 before winning the match after Chou saved the first match point.
The French Open is Tsuneyama's biggest ever title win, after triumphing over two-time Olympic gold medal winner Lin Dan of China in the men's singles final in the BWF Super 300 Korea Masters 2019 at Gwangju Women's University Stadium.
The 2021 French Open, held Oct. 26-31, carries a total prize purse of US$600,000.
The prestigious annual event has been held in France since 1909 and is one of the top 12 badminton tournaments in the world after it was made part of the BWF Super Series in 2007 and later categorized as one of the five BWF World Tour Super 750 events in 2018.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel