Women’s Doubles defending champions Luo Ying and Luo Yu suffered their earliest tournament exit in over a year, falling in the first round of the Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open today.
The top seeds from China, whose last first round exit was at the Macau Open in November 2014, crashed to a 21-13 21-14 defeat against Japan’s Shizuka Matsuo/Mami Naito.
There was another notable upset in Women’s Doubles. World Junior champions Chen Qingchen and Jia Yi Fan reversed last week’s loss to Denmark’s Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl at the Yonex-Sunrise India Open, beating the No.4 seeds 21-16 22-20.
“There was a bit of drift in the hall and we found it difficult,” said Rytter Juhl. “They played better than us. It’s not that they improved since last week; we should’ve handled it better.”
Men’s Singles saw the exit of Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen (7) and India’s Kidambi Srikanth. Chou lost a three-game battle to young Indonesian Jonatan Christie, 21-13 12-21 21-8, while Srikanth’s poor form in World Superseries continued with a 23-21 9-21 21-10 loss to Thai veteran Boonsak Ponsana.
“From the beginning my strategy was to press first and it worked in the first game,” said Christie. “I think anyone can win here, as long as one is bold and confident, because the wind is a big factor. So for tomorrow I want to play confidently and try to pull out the game. I want to think of it as just another session.”
First round winners included India Open champion Kento Momota (Japan) over India’s HS Prannoy; Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen over Japan’s Sho Sasaki, England’s Rajiv Ouseph over China’s Wang Zhengming and Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki over Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto.
Home hero Lee Chong Wei shrugged off poor recent form to dismiss Japan’s Takuma Ueda 21-11 21-8.
“The conditions are a bit difficult but I’m used to it now,” the second seed said. “I’m not taking anything for granted. I want to do well here. I made too many mistakes at the All England and India Open, perhaps the pressure had got to me. I want to ensure that I’m seeded within the top four at the Olympics.”
Local Women’s Singles hope Tee Jing Yi eased into the second round past qualifier Jauza Fadhila Sugiarto 21-8 21-13. Strong contenders Li Xuerui (2) of China, her compatriots Wang Yihan and Wang Shixian, Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun and India’s Saina Nehwal also made the second round without much trouble.
All England champion Nozomi Okuhara overcame a sluggish start and a doughty opponent in Thailand’s Busanan Ongbumrungpan to post a 18-21 21-17 21-17 victory.
Malaysian Men’s Doubles pair Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong enjoyed a quick win over Chinese Taipei’s Chen Hung Ling/Wang Chi-Lin, 21-10 21-16, to enter the second round. Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa (6), China’s Wang Yilyu/Zhang Wen and Indonesia’s Berry Angriawan/Ryan Agung Saputra too had straight games opening round wins.
Malaysian veterans Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong won an entertaining battle against Japan’s Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda. The Malaysians had three opportunities to close out the match in the second game, but each time the Japanese kept the contest alive and took the match to a third. Koo and Tan led all the way in the decider and wrapped it up 21-19 24-26 21-17 in 72 minutes.
Indonesia had a good day in Mixed Doubles. Second seeds Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir quelled a potentially difficult contest against China’s Wang Yilyu/Chen Qingchen in quick time, 21-18 21-14, to advance to a second round meeting with Germany’s Michael Fuchs/Birgit Michels.
Ronald Alexander/Melati Daeva Oktaviani upset Australian Open champions Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah (Hong Kong) 21-19 16-21 21-16, while All England champions Praveen Jordan/Debby Susanto overcame Japan’s Kenta Kazuno/Ayane Kurihara 21-14 21-15.
No.6 seeds Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen prevailed over Japan’s Keigo Sonoda/Naoko Fukuman after an hour-long battle, 20-22 21-11 21-15. Last week’s India Open champions Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong (China) stumbled in the first round to Korea’s Yoo Yeon Seong/Chang Ye Na 21-9 9-21 21-11.