HONG KONG OPEN 2009 Day 1 – Generations Apart

Sung Ji Hyun returns to the Pearl River delta, 3 months after her quarter-final finish in Macau, and took on the very experienced Liliane Chow, who was playing competitive badminton […]

Sung Ji Hyun returns to the Pearl River delta, 3 months after her quarter-final finish in Macau, and took on the very experienced Liliane Chow, who was playing competitive badminton before Sung was even born.  The biggest story of the day, though, was once again the withdrawals which in Hong Kong includes 3 world champions.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: BadmintonPhoto (live)

The sun in southern China seems to smile on Sung Ji Hyun (pictured) and her family.  Her mother, Kim Yunja, won the women’s doubles title here in 1987.  The last time Sung herself made the journey south, she faced down the world #1, veteran Zhou Mi and won.  This time she had to face Liliane Chow of the United States, whose career began in 1989 in nearby Guangzhou.

Sung got her campaign off to an encouraging start when she won the first game 21-7.  She squandered a 15-7 lead in the second though, allowing two-time U.S. Open champion Chow to draw level at 20-all, but finally took it home with the next two points.

Another 18-year-old who saw success was Canada’s Michelle Li, who made it to the main draw in mixed doubles with Rueben Khosadalina, where they will play Marissa/Gunawan of Indonesia.  Khosadalina and Davin Pradwissa fought bravely against Thailand’s Songphon Anugritayawan / Sudket Prapakamol, saving five match points in the second game, but the Thais finally prevailed 21-6, 24-26, 21-12.

The biggest story of the day was the withdrawals of three World Champions.  Mixed doubles champs Laybourn/Rytter Juhl had withdrawn in time for a replacement to be promoted from the qualifiers but Lin Dan and Fu/Cai of China disappeared from the event later, leaving Zhang Yawen and Lu Lan as the only Hyderabad title-winners in action in Hong Kong.

Korea’s Lee Yong Dae sees nemeses disappear from both of his events as Zheng Bo, whom he has never beaten, withdrew, as did Jung/Lee’s first-round opponents, Guo/Xu, thus ensuring there will be no repeat of the Koreans’ first-round disaster in Singapore at the hands of that Chinese pair.

The other two seeds who withdrew late but still before play began on Day 1 were Wang Chen in women’s singles and Fischer Nielsen / Pedersen in mixed.

For complete results from qualifying day at the 2009 Hong Kong Open Super Series, CLICK HERE

OUR  PARTNER HOTEL IN HONG KONG

“Cosmopolitan Hotel Hong Kong is literally opposite to Queen Elisabeth Stadium where you will find yourself in the hotel room 5 minutes after the show.  Most of the guest rooms embrace the race course greenery or the urban view of Hong Kong for an unwinding experience.”

www.cosmopolitanhotel.com.hk

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net