THAILAND OPEN 2013 Day 2 – Upsets galore as men’s seeds fall

Neither men’s singles nor mixed doubles at the 2013 SGC Thailand Open went according to the plan that the seeding committee envisioned, as the event started instead with some thrilling […]

Neither men’s singles nor mixed doubles at the 2013 SGC went according to the plan that the seeding committee envisioned, as the event started instead with some thrilling upsets.

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

The first and second rounds of the men’s singles were played on Wednesday.  No fewer than six seeded men’s shuttlers fell to unseeded opponents early in the day during first round action, and another three seeded men’s players went down to defeat during the second round, which was completed late Wednesday night.  Meanwhile, the mixed doubles saw the # 1, #5 and #6 seeds fall, in their first round matches in Bangkok.

Men’s singles

Thailand’s top-seeded Boonsak Ponsana, who said that his goal this year was to win at least one championship, saw his chances of obtaining that goal greatly improve with the number of men’s seeds that fell on Wednesday.  No.  2 seed Tommy Sugiarto (pictured above) of Indonesia and No.  3 seed, Thailand’s own Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, both lost their first round matches early in the day.

Sugiarto lost an exciting three-game match to Thai youngster Thammasin Sitthikom (pictured right), 16-21, 21-19, 21-17.  Sugiarto trailed almost the entire third game before tying the match at 17-all, but Sittikom beat back the challenge from the Indonesian veteran, taking the next four points and the match.  Sitthikom proved his victory over Sugiarto was no fluke when he advanced to the 3rd round in the last match of the night by defeating Russia’s Vladmir Malkov, 21-8, 21-13.

Saensomboonsuk, meanwhile, never looked comfortable, as he lost handily by scores 21-17 and 21-13 to Hwang Jong Soo, a recent veteran addition to the Korean men’s singles squad.

Boonsak Ponsana (pictured) beat Chinese Taipei’s Han Chou Chu in a 29-minute match, 21-13, 21-13 early in the day and came back in the evening to defeat France’s Lucas Corvee, in another 29-minute affair to move into Thursday’s third round.

After his first round match, the 31-year-old Ponsana spoke about his recent play, “I feel confident and have been playing well lately.  My ankle feels good and I’m almost fully recovered from the surgery I had.  My goal this year is to win at least one championship, hopefully the Thai Open, and stay ranked in the Top Ten.”

The other men’s seeds that fell in the first round were Finland’s 11th seeded Ville Lang, No.  12 seed Brice Leverdez of France, and No.  15 seed, Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon.  Indonesia’s 4th seeded Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka and Indian shuttlers Ajay Jayaram, the No.  5 seed, and 8th seeded Sourabh Varma.  All lost their 2nd round matches during the night session.

Women’s singles

With the absence of many of the world’s highest ranked women players, we could very well be looking at a repeat of last year’s Thailand Open final, between the world’s 2nd ranked woman, top-seeded Saina Nehwal of India and 2nd seed and world no. 5, Ratchanok Intanon (pictured).  Nehwal, who defeated the Thai sensation on that occasion, started off this year’s edition by powering her way to a relatively easy 21-11, 21-16 victory over Chinese Taipei’s Hung Shih Han.  Intanon had a bit more difficulty, as she was stretched to three games by Indonesia’s Maria Febe Kusumastuti before finally prevailing, by scores of 21-14, 17-21 and 21-14.

Standing in their way, among others, are Thailand’s 3rd-seeded Porntip Buranaprasertsuk, No.  5 seed Sapsiree Taerattanachai, 6th seeded Nichaon Jindapon, 7th seed Busanan Ongbamrungphan, as well as the No.  4 seed, Chinese Taipei’s Pai Hsiao Ma and 8th seeded Gu Juan of Singapore.

Gu almost became the only women’s seed to fail to make it into the second round, as she narrowly defeated yet another Thai youngster, 15-year-old Chochuwong Pornpawee.  Gu fought off two match points in the 3rd game before taking the match, 14-21, 21-7, 24-22.

Mixed doubles

The mixed doubles saw the top-seeded Thai veteran pair of Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam fall to Australian Open champions  Irfan Fadhilah and Weni Angrainni (pictured below).  The world #17 pair are, amazingly, ranked only 6th among Indonesian mixed pairs but will be looking to improve on that this week.

The other mixed doubles seeds to fall were Korea’s 5th-seeded Shin Baek Cheol and Jang Ye Na, the German Open champions, and England’s 6th-seeded Chris Adcock and Gabrielle White.  Chinese Taipei’s Liao Min Chun and Chen Hsiao Huan edged Shin and Jang, 23-21, 15-21, 22-20, while it was Indonesia’s Subaktiar and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja who beat Adcock and White.

Thursday will see the first round of both the men’s and women’s doubles, the third round of the men’s singles, and the second round of women’s singles and mixed doubles.  Badzine will be there to cover all the action live from Bangkok.

Click here for complete Wednesday results

About Gerald Jew