The seeds began to topple on Thursday at the Li-Ning BWF World Badminton Championships in Copenhagen. In the afternoon schedule alone, six world top 5 players were ousted, including Denmark’s own Pedersen/Rytter Juhl, who lost to Nitya Krishinda Maheswari / Greysia Polii of Indonesia.
By Don Hearn. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)
It was the first day that seeded players began to meet each other at Ballerup Super Arena in Copenhagen. The world #1s were scheduled for later in the day, but the rest of the top 5 seemed to be in action and they did not have it easy. The highest seed to fall was home favourites Christinna Pedersen / Kamilla Rytter Juhl. They remained winless against world #10 Nitya Krishinda Maheswari / Greysia Polii (pictured above). The Indonesians are now on a collision course with defending champions Wang/Yu but they await their quarter-final opponents first.
The upsets started even earlier than that, however, as world #4 Chris and Gabrielle Adcock lost the first contest of the day, a rematch against the pair they had beaten in the Hong Kong Open final last autumn. Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin (pictured below) may have blown a 19-12 lead and squandered no fewer than six match points but they held on to win it 21-16, 26-24.
Two Korea-Japan contests also produced big upsets. First, Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol sent their ten-month old partnership into the World Championship quarter-finals with a victory over Hiroyuki Endo / Kenichi Hayakawa (pictured above). Immediately afterward, on the same court, two-time World Junior Champions Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan (pictured below) scored their second career victory over Japan’s #3 seeds Misaki Matsutomo / Ayaka Takahashi.
Singles was not to be left out. Minatsu Mitani bounced back from a crushing 8-21 loss in her first game to beat defending champion Ratchanok Intanon (pictured above) in three.
The second longest match of the tournament so far was a see-saw battle between the two bronze medallists from Guangzhou last year, Bae Yeon Ju (pictured) of Korea and India’s P. V. Sindhu. Sindhu came back from a 5-11 deficit in the second game and saved two match points to tie the match. Then she recovered from blowing 5 match points of her own in the decider to take the 19-21, 22-20, 25-23 victory. She will play Wang Shixian in the World Championship quarter-finals for the second straight year.