Sony Dwi Kuncoro avenged his defeat earlier this year in his home event against 4th seed Du Pengyu of China, in a day where seeds kept falling, while Hans Kristian Vittinghus is the last man standing for Denmark.
By Raphael Sachetat. Photos: Yohan Nonotte for Badmintonphoto (live)
Since his back injury a few years ago, Sony Dwi Kuncoro (photo) has not reached his best level but hints of previous matches this year tell he could be back soon. The former Asian Champion took 1 hour and 22 minutes – the longest match of the day – to beat in form Du Pengyu, who is actually one of the best Chinese still competing, with the status of #4 seed.
Dwi Kuncoro had lost to Du Pengyu (photo) in the Djarum Superseries Premier in Jakarta last June in the quarter-final and couldn’t find a better time and place to get even – in Du’s backyard this time. The Indonesian won by the slightest margin – 11-21, 21-17, 21-19 – and will take on Chinese new wonder Wang Zhengming in the second round.
It was a bad day for some other seeds as Jan O. Jorgensen (photo) bit the dust against China’s Gao Huan, who had an extra day to get used to the hall. Jorgensen had fared well here in the past, reaching the final of the event but was making his debut for the 2012 edition in the coldness of Shanghai. Sho Sasaki, 6th seed, was shown the exit as well by Chong Wei Feng, who may have taken Liew Daren’s example in France to start shining in the absence of “the boss” Chong Wei. Daren had a good day as well, winning his opening match against India’s tricky Jayaram in three games.
Hans Kristian “No extra pressure”
Hans Kristian Vittinghus (photo) beat Taiwan’s Hsu Jen Hao after a hard battle, 21-4, 14-21, 21-17. It was a good feeling for the Dane as it was the first time he beat his opponent of the day.
“I wouldn’t say he’s my nemesis. The first time I lost to him I never should have [in Spain, where he lost 21-23 in the decider]. I blew some big leads after winning the first set. When I lost in India, I had so much pain in my knees, so it’s never been like I felt it was impossible to beat him. But he is a tough guy to play as he is very patient and getting a lot back in,” said Vittinghus. The Dane will be flying the Danish flag now, as Gade has officially retired, Jorgensen is out and Axelsen hasn’t flown to China.
“I’ve experienced that position a couple of times before and I have to admit it is a bit of a strange feeling because I’ve always been used to having Jonassen or Gade around. But when I’m on court I don’t feel any extra pressure at all,” added HK. He will take on Chong Wei Feng in the second round before a possible easier third round as Simon Santoso withdrew from the tournament.
It was a tough day for Korean women’s singles with Bae Yeon Ju having to retire against Juliane Schenk and Sung Ji Hyun edged out by Sapsiree Taerattanachai. The only other big surprise was the loss of Yao Jie to Deng Xuan and the half surprise of Porntip beaten by Wang Lin in three games. Eriko Hirose, meanwhile, showed she’s still in good shape after her 1:06 win over India’s Sindhu.
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