INDONESIA OPEN 2012 R16 – Cosmic possibility came true

Is Chen Long cursed?  Guatemala’s Kevin Cordon famously beat him at last year’s World Championships.  And at this year’s Indonesia Open, the one who beat Cordon has also beaten Chen. […]

Is Chen Long cursed?  Guatemala’s Kevin Cordon famously beat him at last year’s World Championships.  And at this year’s , the one who beat Cordon has also beaten Chen.

By Aaron Wong, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live in Jakarta)

Still a stretch

It has been a wait to witness India’s Kashyap Parupalli make his mark in world badminton and he has done so by ousting top seed China’s Chen Long 21-17, 21-14, in the second round of the 2012 Djarum Indonesia Open Premier.

However, it cannot be considered a breakthrough performance because the world #3 Chen Long, although not appearing injured, played with an unusual lack of urgency, not unlike his first-round opponent, Hafiz Hashim of Malaysia.

It has to be a confidence boost for Kashyap, who has recently seen his countryman Ajay Jayaram surpass him as India’s number top singles player since the end of the eras of Anup Sridhar and Chetan Anand.

The much taller Chen Long was still a test for Kashyap, a player whose style of play calls to mind Holland’s Dicky Palyama simply because they both move around the court and execute shots in a perfectly textbook way.  Kashyap definitely needed to stretch to reach a lot of shots and take extra steps unlike his opponent, while Chen helped himself lose by committing unforced errors when his shots did not cross the net or sent smashes wide during the longer rallies.

Counting eggs before they hatch

Psychologists have determined that the mind of human beings when presented with a deceptively simple arithmetic question will typically be lazy and give an instinctive answer instead of working it out.  Perhaps this translates to sport, too, because a puzzle is a puzzle.  This is not to suggest that Chen Long was guilty of purposely underestimating his opponent but that everyone, including himself, expecting to beat Kashyap has caused him to exist less in the moment during the actual match.

Living in the moment

Someone who was truly living in the moment was Hans-Kristian Vittinghus when he took down former world number one and 8th seeded Lee Hyun Il of Korea 22-20, 21-11.

“I was playing well today for most of the match, but so was Hyun Il in the first game. But I stuck to my game plan even when it wasn’t looking good at 19-14 down. It paid off though and I got back and won the game,” Chuffed the Dane on his Facebook page.

“After losing that game, Hyun Il seemed to lose a bit of confidence and I just kept playing better and better. I’m pleased with my performance today and also very proud to have now beaten him three times in a row.”

The Dane is another player who has passed Kashyap in the world rankings of late.  Both Superseries quarter-final debutantes, Kashyap and Vittinghus, have earned the pleasure of playing each other.  May the best man go forth into his first ever semi-final in the battle of all the shots in the textbook versus bountiful enthusiasm.

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Aaron Wong

About Aaron Wong

Aaron Wong only ever coveted badminton's coolest shot - a reverse backhand clear. He is renowned for two other things: 1) Writing tournament previews that adjust the focus between the panorama of the sport's progress, down to the microscopic level of explaining the striking characteristics of players; 2) Dozing off during men's doubles at the London Olympic Games. Contact him at: aaron @