CHINA OPEN 2015 R16 – World Champions, Grand Prix winners fall

Following the losses of Ratchanok Intanon and Tontowi Ahmad / Liliyana Natsir yesterday, Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan became the next World Champions to exit the China Open. Winners of […]

Following the losses of Ratchanok Intanon and Tontowi Ahmad / Liliyana Natsir yesterday, Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan became the next World Champions to exit the . Winners of the Korea Masters, which ended Sunday, were also shown the exit this afternoon.

By Ooi Ee Lyn, Badzine Correspondent. Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

Ko Sung Hyun / Kim Ha Na arrived in Fuzhou after earning a Grand Prix Gold title at home on Sunday to follow up their pair of wins in Europe last month.  However, they were shown the exit this afternoon after losing their match 15-21, 21-11, 21-16 to Praveen Jordan / Debby Susanto (pictured).  Ko/Kim stepped into their fifth meeting against Jordan/Susanto this year with an advantage of having won three of the four previous meetings in 2015, but it was Jordan / Susanto who had the upper hand today.

The Indonesian pair levelled out their head-to-head record to three victories each while earning a spot in the China Open quarter-finals, where they will play against Olympic champions Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei.  The top seeds survived a threatening attack from Lee Yong Dae / Lee So Hee today.

Another Korea Masters Grand Prix Gold winner who was forced out today was Lee Dong Keun, fresh from defending his title after beating Lee Hyun Il on Sunday. Lee Dong Keun lost his match to Youth Olympic gold medallist Shi Yuqi, who made it through from the qualifying rounds in Fuzhou. Earning himself his first quarter-final ticket of the year, the 19-year-old will meet Son Wan Ho on Friday for a shot at pushing his boundaries to make the semi-final in his home Open. Son ousted Kento Momota (pictured) in straight games before leaving the court to Shi and Lee this afternoon.

In the men’s doubles, two-time World Champions Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan were defeated by Wang Yilu / Zhang Wen (pictured below) in possibly the biggest upset of the day. The world #2 had a good start, taking the first game 21-15, but began to slow down after the 4-all tie in the second game. The Indonesians never managed to take the lead after that, and they eventually lost the following games 11-21, 14-21 to the Chinese underdogs. World #1 pair Lee Yong Dae / Yoo Yeon Seong later joined the list of big names who were shown early exits, as they lost their match to Li Junhui / Liu Yuchen after letting the match point slip in the deciding game.

Korea Masters Grand Prix Gold runners-up Jung Kyung Eun / Shin Seung Chan were sent out by Amelia Alicia Anscelly / Soong Fie Cho of Malaysia after losing the match in straight games of 18-21, 19-21.  Jung and Shin continue to clamber up the world rankings, moving up 10 spots today on the strength of their podium finish on Sunday.  However, the loss erased the slight hope they had of being a last-minute addition to the list of Dubai qualifiers.

Not yet sharing similar fate – as far as Dubai is concerned – is Akane Yamaguchi of Japan.  The women’s singles runner-up in China last year found Tai Tzu Ying (pictured bottom) too strong for the day. Yamaguchi exited the China Open after losing 15-21, 19-21 to Tai.  Yamaguchi is still the only realistic chaser of the Dubai pack and Tai and Sung Ji Hyun are still the only players she has a realistic chance of catching to grab a ticket to the Superseries Finals.

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About Ee-Lyn Ooi