AUSTRALIAN OPEN Day 1 – Chen checks in

On a qualification morning bereft of any rubber matches, Chen Chun-Wei created the upset of the morning by downing one of the giant killers from last week’s Indonesia Superseries Premier, […]

On a qualification morning bereft of any rubber matches, Chen Chun-Wei created the upset of the morning by downing one of the giant killers from last week’s Indonesia Premier, Emil Holst.

By Aaron Wong, Badzine Correspondent live in Sydney. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Planets unaligned for Holst

Last week in Jakarta, Emil Holst of Denmark had eliminated world #2 Viktor Axelsen, Grand Prix Gold winner Lee Dong Keun and could have taken the first game from eventual finalist Kazumasa Sakai but the form on display in Australia today was poor accuracy on smashes and unrealised opportunities at punishing mid-court shuttles.

Currently enjoying his highest men’s singles world ranking of #105 and his first taste of Superseries, the rough and ready Chen Chun-Wei (pictured) from Taiwan produced sweet timing on non-jump smashes because he moved into position quite far behind the shuttles. Holst was able to expose inexperience in his opponent’s footwork around the second game interval. Nevertheless, enthusiasm in the Taiwan player’s spirit and his signature shot was helped by tentativeness in the Danish fingers so Chen went through 21-14, 21-13.

“It’s my second time visiting Sydney, I was here for last year’s International Series,” a clearly pleased Chen said about his successful opening campaign at this level.  “Never having played me is how come I could do well and being left-handed against him probably helped too.”

This outcome means two left-handers from Taiwan shall meet in the next round of qualification.

Normal Nishimoto, handicapped Heo

“I couldn’t do more today after sustaining injury in Indonesia” said a crestfallen Heo Kwang Hee. “So I look forward to doing better in Canada and the USA.”

This explains the former World Junior Champion’s agenda-less campaign against one of the rock-solid retrievers and adroit all-round players of today, Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto (pictured).

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Aaron Wong

About Aaron Wong

Aaron Wong only ever coveted badminton's coolest shot - a reverse backhand clear. He is renowned for two other things: 1) Writing tournament previews that adjust the focus between the panorama of the sport's progress, down to the microscopic level of explaining the striking characteristics of players; 2) Dozing off during men's doubles at the London Olympic Games. Contact him at: aaron @ badzine.net