Tai Tzu Ying and Juliane Schenk lent their prowess to enable PB Djarum to win its opener against Renasas. Meanwhile Suryanaga and Unisys became the only men’s and women’s teams, respectively, to finish Day 2 with two wins.
By Don Hearn. Photos: Ira Ratnati (live)
If Lee Chong Wei took until his second appearance to prove his value to the PB Musica team with a win over Wang Zhengming of China, the PB Djarum women’s team had no doubt that they had done well in recruiting Tai Tzu Ying (pictured) and Juliane Schenk for the Djarum Badminton Superliga.
Tai and Schenk both won convincingly over their opponents, neither of whom were ranked in the top 50 in the world. Maria Febe Kusumastuti and Jauhari/Marissa each contributed additional points in the 4-1 victory over Renasas, who rested veteran doubles star Satoko Suetsuna.
“I am very excited to play here and I want to do my best to win every game I play,” said Juliane Schenk (pictured) after her match. “It’s been a pleasure to play in Indonesia, where the crowd is very loud.
“Doing a lot of jump smashes is my playing style but I must admit that I have to be careful when I do it because I need to manage my stamina.”
Group Y in the women’s competition gets interesting now as Korea Ginseng won their match to draw level with Renasas in the standings. The only women’s team with two wins so far is Unisys in group X. They beat Jaya Raya 4-1 on the strength of three upsets in singles.
The upsets began in the women’s division with the Malaysia Tigers in the morning. Tee Jing Yi started off by shocking Thai star Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 23-21, 21-18 and then Sonia Cheah got revenge over Aprilia Yuswandari for her December defeat in Korea by winning in three games to help Malaysia to a 4-1 victory over PB Mutiara Bandung.
In the men’s division home team Suryanaga got its second victory as their singles aces Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Hu Yun, and Wong Wing Ki remained undefeated against the best from Unisys.
PB Musica bounced back from defeat on Day 1 to take their second tie, this time with Lee Chong Wei spearheading the charge against PB SGS PLN. Lee enjoyed a straight-game win over Wang Zhengming, the only Chinese National Team shuttler active in Surabaya this week.
Lee’s win was followed up by victory for Rendra Wijaya / Rian Sukmawan and then Tommy Sugiarto beating Taufik Hidayat.
Musica’s oldest competitor, however, was not so lucky. Sigit Budiarto (pictured) – former World Champion with present team-mate Rendra Wijaya’s brother Candra – came up short when he and Fran Kurniawan fell in two quick ones to Macau Open champions Lee Sheng Mu / Tsai Chia Hsin.
“I wanted to know if I still had the will and spirit to win,” said Sigit Budiarto. “After retiring, I haven’t been playing badminton any more and my focus has been more on being a coach to the junior boys at PB Djarum.”
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