Hong Kong’s Ng nabs Thailand Masters from Japan’s Nishimoto

BANGKOK (AFP) – Hong Kong shuttler Ng Ka-long snatched the men’s Thailand Masters title on Sunday night after a shaky start against Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto, whose compatriot Akane Yamaguchi beat Korea’s An Se-young in a hard-fought women’s final.

World number nine Ng clinched victory after Nishimoto took the first game in a 16-21, 21-13, 21-12 duel.

But missteps in the second and third game by the 25-year-old Japanese allowed Ng to move forward in a decisive victory – coming back swiftly after a five-point low.

His win in the USD150,000 tournament is his first in a long time – Ng’s last victory was at the Malaysia Masters in 2017 and the Hong Kong Open the year before.

Another rivalry came to a head in the women’s finals when Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi conquered her teenage opponent An Se-young in two games.

The 17-year-old Korean had previously beaten world number three Yamaguchi in November at the Korea Masters.

But this time the top seed continued her impressive performance from the day before – when she battled Spain’s Carolina Marin last Saturday for the spot in the finals.

Yamaguchi went point-for-point in the second game, the 22-year-old Japanese pulling through with a 21-16, 22-20 victory after an intense volley that had both players diving for the shuttlecock.