Wang Shixian crashed to only her second loss in 17 matches against Bae Yeon Ju in the third round of the Dong Feng Citroen Badminton Asia Championships 2015 today.
Wang, Women’s Singles runner-up in the last edition to Bae’s teammate Sung Ji Hyun, had beaten the Korean in straight games on 12 of those occasions. The Chinese appeared to have things under control with a 19-17 lead in the first game, but Bae surged past her to take it 22-20. From 10-all in the second, Wang dramatically fell apart as Bae cruised to victory: 22-20 21-11.
Wang’s compatriots Li Xuerui and Wang Yihan – both former champions – entered the quarter-finals without much trouble.
World No.1 Saina Nehwal got past a potentially difficult opponent with surprising ease. Nozomi Okuhara took the match to a decider but Nehwal won with plenty to spare: 21-14 10-21 21-10. Awaiting her in the quarter-finals is Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying (left), who had too many weapons for Iran’s Soraya Aghael Hajiagha. Other quarter-final clashes feature Bae Yeon Ju against Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon; Wang Yihan against Sung Ji Hyun and India’s PV Sindhu against Li Xuerui.
China’s Tian Houwei and Wang Zhengming won three-game battles in Men’s Singles. Wang’s opponent Kashyap Parupalli had survived a marathon 90-minute battle in his previous round, and Wang quelled his challenge after losing a close first game. Tian likewise recovered from a one-game deficit to overhaul Korea’s Lee Dong Keun, 17-21 21-8 21-11.
Tian and Wang joined compatriots Chen Long and Lin Dan in the quarter-finals. Defending champion Lin faces Japan’s Sho Sasaki next, while Chen will run into Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen.
Men’s Doubles No.4 seeds Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa (Japan; above) were pushed to three games by Hong Kong’s Chan Yun Lung/Lee Chun Hei; their quarter-final opponents will be Korea’s Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang, who received a walkover from China’s Zhang Nan/Fu Haifeng. Top seeds Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong (Korea) and No.6 seeds Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan (Indonesia) also progressed into the last-eight.
In Women’s Doubles, Thailand’s Puttita Supajirakul/Sapsiree Taerattanachai (featured image) scored their second successive win over Singapore’s Shinta Mulia Sari/Vanessa Neo, 21-15 21-17, to earn a date with veterans Yu Yang/Wang Xiaoli. The Chinese No.4 seeds shut out Asian Games champions Greysia Polii/Nitya Krishinda Maheswari (Indonesia), 21-14 21-9.
Commonwealth Games champions Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei (Malaysia) got a walkover into the quarter-finals, where they play China’s Ma Jin/Tang Yuanting.
China’s Bao Yixin conceded walkovers in both her disciplines: Women’s Doubles (with Tang Jinhua) and Mixed Doubles (with Liu Cheng). Bao/Liu’s walkover helped Hong Kong’s Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah make the quarter-finals against Praveen Jordan/Debby Susanto (Indonesia).
Mixed Doubles saw the closest match of the day. Korea’s Shin Baek Choel/Chang Ye Na (above) were 15-19 down in the third game against Thailand’s Nipitphon Puangpuapech/Puttita Supajirakul, but claimed the next six points in a row and eventually won the match 18-21 21-19 23-21.
For the day’s results, click here.
Text by Dev Sukumar | Badmintonphoto