The topsy-turvy nature of form was painfully evident today as some high-profile players crashed out of the Victor China Open 2013.
Until a few weeks ago, Men’s Doubles World champions Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan could do no wrong. Counting four straight titles and a runner-up place at the Denmark Open, the Indonesian pair was unbeatable but their fairytale run came to a rude halt with a first-round loss at Yuan Shen Gymnasium in Shanghai today. The pair they beat for the world title, Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen (Denmark, 2), also exited on a day of upsets in the men’s divisions.
Ahsan/Setiawan capitulated 21-18 21-11 to Korea’s Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong (below; right), the pair that defeated them for the Denmark Open title. Boe and Mogensen offered greater resistance, but they too were outplayed in straight games, 25-23 21-15, by Hoon Thien How/Tan Wee Kiong of Malaysia.
Equally abrupt was the fall of Men’s Singles seventh seed Jan O Jorgensen. The Dane won the French Open Superseries a fortnight ago and appeared in the form of his life. However, he was sent packing by Malaysia’s Liew Daren, who was a first-round loser in Paris as the defending champion. Liew’s 21-17 21-12 victory over Jorgensen was the Malaysian’s first opening-round victory at a Superseries since January.
It was a good day for Malaysia as Liew’s compatriot Chong Wei Feng also scored an upset of sorts, outclassing the in-form Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Thailand) 21-12 21-10. The other notable results were Japanese youngster Kento Momota’s 21-18 21-16 victory over Marc Zwiebler (Germany); fifth seed Tommy Sugiarto’s (Indonesia; BWF home page) 21-19 19-21 21-10 result over Viktor Axelsen (Denmark), and Tian Houwei’s (China) 19-21 21-16 21-14 triumph over Vietnamese sixth seed Nguyen Tien Minh in 76 minutes.
* Emerging Women’s Singles players from China lived up to expectations with some strong performances. Fifth seed Juliane Schenk (Germany) was dismissed 21-7 21-11 by Yao Xue. Recent Korea GP Gold champion Bae Yeon Ju (Korea) was also beaten by Chinese youngster, Han Li, who triumphed 21-12 21-15. Bae’s compatriot Sung Ji Hyun took 86 minutes to battle past another local talent, Suo Di, 14-21 21-17 21-16. Likewise, World champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand needed close to an hour to outwit Chen Xiao Jia, 16-21 21-14 21-8.
* In Men’s Doubles, England’s Chris Adcock and Andrew Ellis (above; left) surprised eighth seeds Angga Pratama/Ryan Agung Saputra (Indonesia) 21-11 21-19. Earlier, Ellis had teamed up with Lauren Smith in Mixed Doubles and eased through to the second round after opponents Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na retired at 11-7.
* Veteran Thai Mixed Doubles pair Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam (above) held off a resolute challenge from Japan’s Kenichi Hayakawa/Misaki Matsutomo to advance to the second round. Hayakawa and Matsutomo saved four match points in the second game but the Thais shut them out early in the third to prevail, 21-17 21-23 21-14.
Lu Kai and Tang Jinhua of China battled hard in a losing Mixed Doubles effort that lasted an hour and 9 minutes versus Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying (16-21 21-18 21-19).
Greysia Polii (left) and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari of Indonesia had a winning start to their China Open 2013 campaign, beating Americans, Eva Lee and Paula Lynn Obanana, 21-17 21-14 in Women’s Doubles.