Anggia Shitta Awanda and Della Destiara Haris of Indonesia stunned top seeds Bao/Tang on Day 3 of the Li-Ning BWF World Badminton Championships.
By Don Hearn. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)
At last year’s World Championships, all but one top seed survived until the finals but in 2014, only three remain after the first two rounds of play in Ballerup Super Arena in Copenhagen. It was Indonesia’s #3 pair Anggia Shitta Awanda and Della Destiara Haris (pictured) that decapitated the women’s doubles field, sending Bao Yixin and Tang Jinhua packing in two straight games.
Bao and Tang came to Denmark having been beaten only 3 times in international play but after winning 9 of their eleven tournaments in the past year, they now seem to be struggling with the biggest events, their 3 losses this year have come at the All England, Uber Cup, and now the Worlds. In fact, the first of those 9 titles came at last autumn’s Dutch Open, when they beat Awanda and Haris in the final.
The youngest members China’s large and talented contingent were also shown the door. With 2013 World Junior Champions Li Junhui / Liu Yuchen now ranked #19 in the world, it was a massive upset even for former world #1 pair Koo Kien Keat / Tan Boon Heong.
Koo, in particular, brought confidence, creativity, and even a little comedy to the court as he controlled the net, played fantastic defense, and pulled 3 between-the-legs shots in winning rallies in the latter half of the second game. The Malaysians go on to face 6th seeds Lee/Tsai, who advanced after Koo/Tan’s compatriots Goh/Lim were unable to finish their match earlier in the day.
Canada’s Michelle Li (pictured) continued her brilliant run in Copenhagen. For the second time in her career, she beat a current top ten player. This time, it was Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk who went down in three games to the newly-crowned Canada Open and Commonwealth Games champion. Next, she must face Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, who loss at the All England marked Li’s first success against a top ten player.