“I’m actually satisfied with the match anyway, I played evenly and had two chances to end it with a top European player. Of course, I’m a little disappointed that it didn’t end up being a win,” said Louda, a native of Pilsen.
The Czech player pulled out all his weapons against the Asian opponent, which worked flawlessly. From the start of the match, he quickly outpaced him and Tze Yong Ng soon understood that victory would definitely not fall into his lap. The Czech representative created the game brilliantly at the net and with a big point lead, he definitely broke the opponent after the break.
“I am excited about winning in the round of 16. Of course, it was a bit obvious to the opponent that it was the umpteenth tournament in a row, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was a great win. I didn’t give him a chance. I’m absolutely thrilled, I haven’t beaten a higher-ranked badminton player in the world yet,” explained Louda.
In the quarter-finals, he challenged the Frenchman Popov, the 24th singles player in the world. In the beginning it was more of a patient game waiting for the attack. From the doubles he plays with his brother Christo, Popov is used to approaching the net very dangerously and is not afraid to use more doubles elements of the game in singles matches.
The deciding third set belonged to Loud at first. Both rivals fought for every point in the endgame. The first match point was scored by the Czech badminton player, who led 20:19. The second was 24:23. But the native of Sofia, Bulgaria turned them away and, on the contrary, converted his fourth match point himself. “Popov certainly put in one of the best performances I’ve seen from him,” said Loud’s Spanish coach Moscar Martínez.
“In the match, the first balls of the exchanges decided a lot, both players were quite strong in attack. John proceeded according to plan. In the first set, Popov was able to speed up the game, on the contrary, in the end of the second set, it was Honza who was able to push him. Even in the third set, Honza played really well and was in the lead for most of the time, it’s a shame he didn’t make it,” added Martínez.