Lee Chong Wei suffered another early exit as he crashed out of the Yonex French Open 2017 to Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto.
The Malaysian seventh seed, who has fallen in the early rounds of three of his last four tournaments, was once again in patchy form, misfiring frequently and misjudging the shuttle far too often. Nishimoto wasn’t required to dig deep as Lee fell away from 13-all in the second, giving his opponent a 21-14 21-15 victory in 37 minutes.
Qualifier Nishimoto (featured image) next takes on India’s Sai Praneeth, who came away irritated with himself despite pulling off an escape act from 16-19 in the third to beat Thailand’s Khosit Phetpradab 21-13 21-23 21-19.
“I should have won it in straight games,” said a miffed Praneeth. “It was an easy match, I was up 16-8 in the second but I lost it and I was really under pressure because it was my match. Everything was going too far out and I couldn’t find the lines. You know how it is – the mind always thinks negatively. I was just lucky to win, but I’m not at all happy with myself.”
Praneeth’s compatriot HS Prannoy ensured his second round spot beating Denmark Open runner-up Lee Hyun Il (Korea) 21-15 21-17. Prannoy’s next opponent will be Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus. The Dane outplayed second seed Son Wan Ho, also Korea, 21-16 21-19.
Men’s Doubles saw a number of surprises. No.4 seeds Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen were stumped 21-19 21-13 by Indonesia’s Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Arianto, while new Malaysian combination Goh V Shem/Teo Ee Yi were just as dismissive of Hong Kong’s Or Chin Chung/Tang Chun Man.
“I’ve lost thrice to this pair, so I really wanted revenge,” said Alfian. “But I kept control of myself, because too much ambition is not good for you. So we just played as if there was nothing to lose. We prepared with the right strategy and we followed our coach’s instructions on not allowing our opponents to get comfortable with their play.”
No.8 seeds Chen Hung Ling/Wang Chi-Lin (Chinese Taipei) were among other seeds to fall, to young Chinese He Jiting/Tan Qiang 21-19 12-21 21-14.
In Women’s Singles, Denmark Open champion Ratchanok Intanon staged a fightback in the first game against Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi, saving game point before taking the first game 24-22; the second was slightly easier, and she wrapped up the match in 43 minutes: 24-22 21-16.
Fourth seed Carolina Marin (Spain) didn’t have as many problems against Japan’s Minatsu Mitani. The Spaniard was comfortable for the most part as she recorded a 21-17 21-18 victory over the 2012 champion.
Top seed Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei) however struggled to overcome China’s Chen Xiaoxin. Despite dominating the rallies and forcing Chen to chase the shuttle for most of the match, Tai lost her grip on the proceedings in the second, and needed a third game to close out the contest 21-9 19-21 21-16.