Sung Ji Hyun crashed out in the first round of the Yonex French Open 2013, just three days after finishing runner-up in Denmark.
Korea’s top Women’s Singles player, seeded 6, found out what a difference a few days make, surrendering tamely to young PV Sindhu of India (centre below). The 21-8 21-12 result took less than half hour. Sindhu’s second-round opponent is Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour who earned a hard-fought 21-12 17-21 21-19 victory over Bulgaria’s Kristina Gavnholt.
Sindhu’s senior compatriot, Saina Nehwal, who was runner-up last year, had some trouble getting past Nichaon Jindapon (Thailand). Nehwal lost the first game, but wrested control of proceedings thereafter, winning 12-21 21-16 21-13. The fourth-seeded Indian has the opportunity to avenge her BWF World Championships loss to Bae Yeon Ju (Korea), who she faces next. Other seeds to progress into the second round were Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand, 2), Juliane Schenk (Germany, 3), Wang Shixian (China, 7) and Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei, 8). Defending Women’s Singles champion Minatsu Mitani also made it to the second round, past qualifier Sabrina Jaquet (Switzerland) 22-20 21-11.
In Men’s Doubles, Denmark Open champions Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong (Korea, 8) scored a significant victory over Fu Haifeng/Hong Wei (China). The second game was a humdinger, with Fu/Hong failing to convert two game points and Lee/Yoo squandering a match point. Fu/Hong stretched the match to a third game after converting their third game point but Lee/Yoo were equal to the task and thwarted their rivals 21-17 22-24 21-14.
England’s Chris Adcock/Andre Ellis (BWF home page) also won a close match against formidable Chinese opponents Cai Yun/Chai Biao. The England pair lost the second game after saving six game points but kept their composure, prevailing 21-16 23-25 21-18.
Thai doubles shuttler Maneepong Jongjit had mixed fortunes. He made it to the second round of Men’s Doubles with Nipitphon Puangpuapech, beating Laurent Constantin/Matthieu Lo Ying Ping (France) 21-9 21-17, but his campaign in Mixed Doubles ended. Jongjit and Sapsiree Taerattanachai were outplayed 21-18 21-14 by senior compatriots Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam.
* Mixed Doubles pair Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying won the match of the day, 19-21 21-16 25-23. Their 82-minute tussle against Hirokatsu Hashimoto/Miyuki Maeda of Japan saw the Malaysians stave off a match point in the third game.
* Olympic Women’s Doubles champions Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei (China, 5) returned to competition as a pair after their semi-final loss at the BWF World Championships. Tian/Zhao had little problems in seeing off the challenge of Indonesia’s Vita Marissa/Aprilsasi Putri Lejarsar Variella, 21-13 21-10.
* The Women’s Doubles has a strong draw, with World champions Yu Yang/Wang Xiaoli heading the list of contenders which includes Denmark Open champions Bao Yixin/Tang Jinhua. Scottish-Bulgarian duo Imogen Bankier/Petya Nedelcheva (left) take on top seeds Yu/Wang after beating England’s Gabrielle White/Lauren Smith 21-18 22-20 in the first round.