Giant Russian Vladimir Ivanov achieved one of his biggest wins by upsetting Jan O Jorgensen at the Victor Korea Open Superseries Premier event today.
Ivanov – one of the tallest players on the circuit at six-feet, four inches – had a 0-3 head-to-head record going into his second round Men’s Singles match against Denmark’s Jorgensen. However, he turned it around this time, keeping his composure in the last stages of a tense second game. Jorgensen saved one match point but could not prevent the Russian from converting the second, as he triumphed 21-17 22-20 to advance to the quarter-finals.
Ivanov (BWF home page) takes on Du Pengyu (4), the last Chinese player in the Men’s Singles. Du outclassed Hsu Jen Hao (Chinese Taipei) 21-8 21-15 to remain in the hunt for his first Superseries title.
Interestingly, the quarter-final Men’s Singles line-up will feature players of seven nationalities. Top seed Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia) was joined by compatriot Chong Wei Feng, who made it past qualifier Gao Huan (China) 14-21 21-18 21-15. Wong Wing Ki (Hong Kong; at right) was another three-set winner, beating French Open finalist Viktor Axelsen 18-21 21-17 21-18.
There were two upsets in the Women’s Singles. Germany’s Juliane Schenk (4), a frequent semi-finalist and finalist at several Superseries tournaments last year, was surprised 21-19 21-8 by young Thai Nichaon Jindapon, while seventh seed Jiang Yanjiao of China was also shut out in straight games, by Sung Ji Hyun (Korea) 21-10 21-17. The only two seeds in the quarter-finals are Saina Nehwal (India, 3) and Wang Shixian (China, 5).
The Women’s Doubles is seen as a Chinese stronghold, and with good reason. Four Chinese pairs will be vying for semi-final places – including top seeds Yu Yang/Wang Xiaoli, Ma Jin/Tang Jinhua, and new combinations Tian Qing/Bao Yixin and Cheng Shu/Zhao Yunlei.
• Chris Adcock and Gabrielle White (England; at left), who renewed their combination after a long stint with other partners, scored an impressive victory over eighth seeds Robert Mateusiak/Nadiezda Zieba (Poland) in the Mixed Doubles second round. The 20-22 21-19 21-15 win took an hour and 14 minutes, and gives them an appointment with top seeds Xu Chen/Ma Jin.
• The pair to watch in the Men’s Doubles quarter-finals might be the young Chinese duo and Thailand Open GPG winners Liu Xiaolong/Qiu Zihan. However, they run into Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong (Malaysia) against whom they have a 0-5 record.
• Two promising Women’s Singles players were bounced out. India’s PV Sindhu went down 19-21 13-21 to Porntip Buranaprasertsuk (Thailand) while Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying found China’s Han Li too hard to handle in a 16-21 16-21 loss.
Text by Dev Sukumar | BadmintonPhoto