THAILAND OPEN 2012 Day 3 – Tops Seeds All Advance

All of the number one seeds at this year’s SCG Thailand Open 2012 took their expected places in Friday’s quarter-final round as Thursday’s action saw the completion of the third […]

All of the number one seeds at this year’s SCG 2012 took their expected places in Friday’s quarter-final round as Thursday’s action saw the completion of the third round in men’s and women’s singles and mixed doubles, and the first and second rounds of the men’s and women’s doubles.

By Gerald Jew, Badzine Correspondent live in Bangkok.  Photos: Gerald Jew (live) and Badmintonphoto (archives)

Top-seeds Lin Dan of China, India’s Saina Nehwal (pictured), Denmark’s Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen, China’s men doubles pair of Liu Xiaolong and Qiu Zihan and the women’s doubles team of Xia Huan and Tang Jinhua all moved into Friday’s quarterfinal round.  With the exception of Lin, who again was forced to play a three game match to secure his win, all of the other top seeds won their matches in two relatively easy games to advance.

Men’s singles

Thailand’s fifteenth-seeded Suppanyu Avihingsanon (pictured), after losing the first game 11-21 against the mighty Lin Dan, came back to take the second game 21-19 behind a highly partisan Thai crowd.

However, any thoughts of completing what would have been the 22-year-old Suppanyu’s biggest victory of his career quickly dissipated in the rubber game.  Lin jumped out to a 10-3 lead and never looked back as he took the fifty-five minute match by a score of 21-10.

The only other seeded player left in the men’s draw, India’s twelfth-seeded Sourabh Varma survived a tough three-game match against seventh-seeded Alamsyah Yunus of Indonesia, winning by scores of 18-21, 21-13 and 22-20.

Malaysia’s Wong Choong Han, a crowd favourite in Bangkok, lost to India’s Sai Praneeth B. in a gruelling 13-21, 21-18, 22-20 match for the 35 year-old Wong.

Asked whether he would be back for next year’s Open, Wong, almost too tired to talk, said, “Yes, I’ll be back, no I won’t, maybe I will, I don’t know,” leaving some doubt as to his return.

Also lurking in the men’s draw is Indonesia’s Sony Dwi Kuncoro, who has been playing well of late.  Kuncoro beat Malaysia’s sixteenth-seeded Mohamad Arif Abdul Latif by scores of 20-22, 21-19 and 21-15.

Chinese Taipei’s Chun Shih Kuei earned the right to face Lin Dan on Friday evening by beating Thailand’s favourite badminton son, Boonsak Ponsana, 21-18, 21-19, in a forty-three minute evening match that marked the end of the Thai involvement in the men’s singles draw.

Women’s singles

The top three seeded women’s singles players, Saina Nehwal, Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon (pictured below) and Porntip Buranaprasertsuk all moved into the quarters with two-game victories.

Nehwal beat Australian Open champion Han Li (pictured above) of China, 21-17, 21-13.  Meanwhile, Intanon swept Yao Xue of China 21-18, 24-22 and Buranaprasertsuk defeated Malaysia’s Lydia Cheah by scores of 21-18, 22-20.

China’s head national coach Li Yong Bo personally coached former World Champion Wang Lin in her 21-12, 25-23 win over the fourth-seeded P.  V.  Sindhu.  Wang, who is trying to make it back to the top of the women’s badminton rankings after a serious knee injury and two rounds of surgery, looked impressive in her win.

Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan lost to China’s Sun Yu to end her Cinderella story, at least temporarily.  Sun, one of tallest players on the women’s tour, took the match by scores of 21-12, 21-19.

Mixed doubles

In a quick twenty-six minute match, Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen justified their top seeding by easily defeating Indonesia’s Lukhi Apri Nugroho and Annisa Saufika, 21-6, 21-14.

Pedersen commented after the match, “We feel we are ready and prepared.  We want to do well and we’re satisfied (with the win).  We are here (in Bangkok) more for the competition, to warm up and prepare for the Indonesian Open and the Olympics.”

Joachim Fischer Nielsen (pictured) added, “We played strong with good speed.  It was a nice win, we’ll get ready for tomorrow,” as he watched his Friday quarter-final opponents, Ong Jian Guo and Lim Yin Loo of Malaysia in their winning effort.

Asked if the Bangkok heat and humidity was affecting them, Pedersen said, “We’re used to coming to Asia [and the heat].  We drink a lot more water, but we like the warm weather.  Denmark is too cold.”

Thailand’s Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam, the second-seeded team, beat Adi Pratama and Nadya Melati of Indonesia, 21-18, 25-23.

The two other seeded teams remaining in the mixed doubles draw, Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Vanessa Neo of Singapore and Indonesia’s seventh seeds Fadhilah Irfan and Anggraini Weni, also advanced.

Men’s Doubles

The men’s doubles saw the India Open winners and the second seeded team, Thailand’s Bodin Issara and Maneepong Jongjit (pictured below), retire early in their match against Korea’s Kang Ji Wook and Lee Sang Joon.  Issara, who sprained his ankle in practice two weeks earlier, didn’t feel his ankle was strong enough to compete.

Jongjit said of his partner’s injury, “It’s not serious, but we don’t want to take the chance of further injury.  Our goal is to compete in London and Bodin needs to get stronger.  He can still practice, but will need to take it easy [for a while].  We think he will be fine for London.”

The top-seeded pair, China’s Liu Xiaolong and Qiu Zihan, defeated Malaysia’s Gan Teik Gan and Ong Soon Hock, by scores of 21-16, 21-15, in a thirty-seven minute affair.

Korea’s third seeded team of Kim Ki Jung and Kim Sa Rang also advanced, beating the recently reunited 2008 World Junior Champion pair Mak Hee Chun and Teo Kok Siang, 21-19, 21-14.

Women’s Doubles

The number one seeds in the women’s doubles draw, Xia Huan and Tang Jinhua secured their spot in the quarterfinals, beating Korea’s Choi Hye In and Kim So Young, 21-14, 21-16.

The Chinese pair will face off against the Indonesian team of Suci Rizky Andini and Della Destiaria Haris, the eighth seeds, who beat the Korean team of Kim Chan Mi and Ko A Ra, 21-16, 21-19.

Also advancing into Friday’s quarter-finals will be the Indonesian duo of Vita Marissa and Nadya Melati, the third-seeded pair.  Other seeds to advance were sixth-seeded Duanganong Aroonkesorn and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul of Thailand, the seventh-seeds, Eto Rie and Yu Wakita of Japan and Cheng Shu and Pan Pan of China, the fifth-seeded team in the women’s doubles draw.

The quarter-final matches begin Friday at 3:10 PM at the Sports Complex at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University.  Badzine will be there live to cover the action.

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