Local hero Tommy Sugiarto became a part of badminton history by becoming the only player to hand two first-round defeats to China’s Lin Dan. After New Delhi, Sugiarto repeated his feat at the BCA Indonesia Open Super-series badminton tournament. Egged on by the phenomenal crowd support at the famed Istora Senayan Badminton Arena of Jakarta, Sugiarto beat the Super Dan in three games. The Indonesian tournament was also unkind to the red-hot Carolina Marin, who lost in the first round to an unlikely Japanese heroine Yui Hashimoto. Two major casualties on the first day were further compounded, when India’s world no.4 Kidambi Srikanth also fell in the second round to Indonesian qualifier and world no.166 Gintng Anthony. India also suffered as PV Sindhu’s campaign ended in the first round, when she was beaten by Chinese Taipei’s Ya Ching Hsu in 49 minutes. On Thursday, no.1 seed Li Xuerui of China also crashed out in the second round against Japanese Akane Yamaguchi in three games. The other upset was the defeat of star Australian runner-up Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen, who lost his first round match to Hong Kong’s Hu Yun. On second day, Saina Nehwal defeated Sindhu’s first round conqueror, Ya Ching Hsu to enter the quarterfinals. Joining her in the quarterfinal was compatriot Parupalli Kashyap, who disposed of Korea’s Son Wan Ho.
Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto faced the celebrated Chinese Lin Dan in the first round of BCA Indonesia Open 2015. With the entire crowd at Jakarta’s Istora Senayan backing Sugiaarto, the Super Dan was a bit under pressure. Regardless, the Chinese took the first game from Sugiarto 21-19. The Indonesian didn’t panic as he came back strongly in the second game to push Lin Dan with cleverly placed shots on both right and left flanks and mounted vicious counter-attacks whenever possible. The Super Dan couldn’t deal with Sugiarto’s barrage and lost the second game 8-21. The Indonesian continued the momentum in the decider and finished with a fine victory at 19-21, 21-8, 21-16 amid the boisterous applauding from all around. It was the second time after Yonex-Sunrise India Open in Delhi that Sugiarto had inflicted a first round defeat to Lin Dan.
A few hours later, Japan’s Yui Hashimoto created a huge sensation by shocking world champion Carolina Marin in three games. The Japanese played tamely in the first game and lost it 10-21. At that stage, it was difficult to fathom about the shape of things to come in the next game. Hashimoto turned the tide with huge support from all around and leveled game scores 1-1 by taking the second 21-15. As the match entered the decider, Hashimoto grew in confidence even as Marin’s unforced error count rose. Finally, with a convincing 10-21, 21-15, 21-17 victory in 62 minutes, Yui Hashimoto stopped Marin’s impressive winning streak. Next day, the Japanese continued her brilliant play and defeated compatriot Minatsu Mitani 11-21, 21-19, 21-8 to set up a quarterfinal clash with Indonesian qualifier Maria Kusumastuti.
Another Japanese women accounted for top seed Li Xuerui in the second round, when Akane Yamaguchi beat the top-seeded Li 12-21, 21-18, 21-13 to set up a quarterfinal meeting with eighth-seeded Wang Yihan. The Istora Senayan literally turned into a graveyard of high seeded players, when Denmark’s Australian Open runner-up Viktor Axelsen went down tamely in the first round to Hong Kong’s Hu Yun 13-21, 16-21.
Amid all these debacles, India’s Parupalli Kashyap and Saina Nehwal made smooth progress to the quarterfinals. Kashyap, who defeated Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in first round, comprehensively beat world No.8 Son Wan Ho of South Korea 21-11, 21-14 and entered the quarters. However, Kidambi Srikanth suffered an unexpected second round 21-14, 20-22, 13-21 loss to Indonesian qualifier Ginting Anthony. In the women’s doubles competition, the Indian pair of Jwala-Ashwini were thrashed 8-21, 8-21 by China’s Yu Yang and Zhong Qianxin. India’s men’s doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar also ended their campaign losing 13-21, 11-21 to China’s Chai Biao and Hong Wei.
India’s main hope and world no.1 Saina Nehwal continued with the fine touch after her 21-16, 21-18 first round win over Thailand’s Nichaon Jindapon. In her next match against Chinese Taipei’s Ya Ching Hsu, Saina played another emphatic game to win the match 21-13, 21-15. On the opening day Ya Ching Hsu had beaten PV Sindhu in three games. In the quarterfinal on Friday, Saina will have a tougher opponent in no.5 seeded Chinese Wang Shixian, who had defeated the Indian in the Star Australian Open last week.
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