THAILAND OPEN 2013 Day 3 – Thai teens keep surprising

Unlike Wednesday’s first round, which saw many of the seeded players and teams go down to defeat, Thursday’s second round play saw most of the remaining top players and teams […]

Unlike Wednesday’s first round, which saw many of the seeded players and teams go down to defeat, Thursdays second round play saw most of the remaining top players and teams prevail but 3 Thai teens – Thammasin Sitthikom, Busanan Ongbamrungphan, and Puttita Supajirakul – continued to impress.

Story and photos by Gerald Jew, Badzine Correspondent, live in Bangkok

In men’s singles, Thailand’s 17-year-old Thammasin Sitthikom (pictured) continued his winning ways in another close three-game match, defeating Indonesia’s 16th-seeded Andre Kurniawan Tedjono 20-22, 21-10 and 24-22.  The partisan Thai fans helped Sittikom gain his place in the quarter-finals in a match that featured numerous lead changes and match points by both players.

Meanwhile, hometown favourite and No.  1 seed Boonsak Ponsana and will face No.  6 seeded Rajiv Ouseph (pictured below) of England in a Friday quarter-final matchup that will feature the top two remaining seeds left in the men’s draw.  Ponsana secured his spot in the quarter-finals by easily defeating Malaysia’s Soo Tech Zhi, 21-17, 21-7 in his third straight 29 minute match of the tournament

Ouseph, however, faced a much tougher path.  Singapore’s Ashton Chen (pictured below) gave him all he could handle in a close three-game match.  The third game was tied at 19-all when Ouseph hit a drive that appeared to go long, but the linesman saw otherwise, resulting in a match point for Ouseph that he quickly converted to take the game, and match.

Chen, who mildly protested the disputed call, took the defeat in stride: “Those kinds of calls happen, I tried to focus [after the point], but Rajiv played the last point very well, and he deserved to win the game, and the match.  To reach the quarter-finals of a tournament would have been a big step up for me, but hopefully in my next tournament I’ll do better.”

Ouseph commented after the match, “I was a little tired today [after my two matches yesterday], the match was a little closer than I would have liked, but I’m happy to move on.  I believe I’m in Boonsak’s half of the draw and I’ll most likely have to play him tomorrow, so it will be tough, I’ll probably come back and watch him play later tonight.  I’ll take it one step at a time and see what happens tomorrow.”

In women’s singles, India’s top-seeded Saina Nehwal looks to be the favourite to defend the title she won last year, as she continued her strong showing with an easy 31-minute trouncing of Indonesia’s Febby Angguni.  The top Thai women – Ratchanok Intanon, Porntip Buranaprasertsuk, Sapsiree Taerattanachai, Nichaon Jindapon, and Busanan Ongbamrungphan – all moved onto Friday’s quarter-final round, along with Singapore’s Gu Juan.

Intanon and Buranaprasertsuk were both stretched to three games on Thursday.  Intanon had a relatively easy third game to take her match, 21-7, 13-21 and 21-13, but Buranaprasertsuk narrowly escaped with her victory.  With the third game tied at 19-all in a see-saw battle, Buranaprasertsuk took the last two points to cement her spot in the quarter-finals of her first tournament since the All England in March.

Buranaprasertsuk and Ongbamrungphan will face each other in a women’s singles match on Friday, and also team up in the women’s doubles.  They defeated the Korea’s fifth-seeded, brand-new pairing of Choi Hye In and Eom Hye Won in a second round match, 11-21, 21-18 and 21-18.  Also advancing were Thailand’s top-seeded team of Duananong Arookesorn and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul and the unseeded Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai, who defeated defending champions Saralee Thoungthongkam and Narrisapat Lam, 14-21, 21-14 and 21-17.

The 8th seeded Indonesian pair of Greysia Polii and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari (pictured below), who just recently began their partnership, also advanced, defeating the Thai pair of Serithammarak Artima and Peeraya Pantawane, 21-11, 21-17.

Polii spoke about the match and her new partner, “I enjoyed the match.  We’ve only been together for two or three weeks, I’ve changed partners so often lately that I can’t remember how many different partners I’ve had.

“I try to do what the coach says.  He tries to do what’s best for me.  I’m so used to changing partners now.  I just try to make my partner comfortable.”

The men’s doubles saw most of the seeded pairs advance, the top seeded team of Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif and Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari defeated Singaporean’s Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Zhao Jiang Terry Yeo, 21-17, 21-19.  The 2nd seeded Russian team of Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov, 3rd seeds Alvent Yulianto Chandra and Marcus Kido, 7th seeded Chris Adcock and Andrew Ellis, number 5 seeds Shin Baek Cheol and Yoo Yeon Seong and the 8th seeds, Chris Langridge and Peter Mills all advanced to the quarter-finals.

In the mixed doubles, 2nd-seeded Marcus Kido and Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth defeated the Korean pair of Y Yoo eon Seong and Eom Hye Won, 21-15, 21-13 in what was expected to be a much closer match.  Other teams to advance were 8th seeds Tan Aik Quan and Lai Pei Jing, Tseng Min Hao and Cheng Wen Hsing of Chinese Taipei, 4th seeds Riky Widianto and Puspita Richi Dili, 7th seeded Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Vanessa Neo, Edi Subaktiar and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja, and Chris Langridge and Heather Olver.

Click here for complete Thursday results

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