Hong Kong’s Hu Yun once again spoiled Peter Gade’s day – almost a year after the Dane was sent packing from what he thought at the time to be his last French Open. Hu beat Gade in straight games while Jorgensen and Vittinghus were also beaten on day two of the Yonex Japan Open.
By Miyuki Komiya, Badzine Correspondent live in Tokyo. Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)
Hu Yun may not be featuring among Peter Gade’s Facebook friends after the latter retired. For the second time, the Hong Kong player spoiled the party for the great Dane. Last year, at the Yonex Internationaux de France Superseries, Hu had beaten Gade in the second round for what the Dane had thought might be his last French Open (a tournament that he loves as his own and that he has since re-entered for a last showdown next month). And today, in the Yoyogi stadium, in the Chinese-less Yonex Japan Open, the Dane was once again beaten by Hu,11-21, 20-22. The Dane had not had the best of preparation as he had broken his left wrist a month ago but was looking forward to playing in a city that he loves as this was to be his last Japan Open.
“Of course, I wanted to do better but I broke my wrist some weeks ago. Today I couldn’t move. I still have pains,” said Gade, to AFP. “I brought my family here and I wanted to have a nice day with them. Hu reached the final last week in the China Masters. If I played like normal, it would have been a close match,” he said.
“I love Tokyo. This is one of my favourite cities in Asia. I will come back some day.”
Hu Yun, meanwhile, has once again shown what great form he is in after reaching the final of the Li-Ning China Masters this past Sunday.
Nor did Denmark’s other men’s singles players have much more luck. Hans Kristian Vittinghus and Jan O Jorgensen went down to Japan’s young guard. HK lost to 18-year-old Akira Koga, while Jorgensen was beaten by the 2012 Russian Open Grand Prix winner Kazumasa Sakai (pictured right) 24-22, 21-16. Viktor Axelsen remains Denmark’s only hope in that event as he won his first round match against Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon in three games. The young Danish star will face Lee Chong Wei, who ousted India’s Anand Pawar in two fast games 21-13, 21-9.
Amongst the other casualties of the day, home favourite and 5th seed Kenichi Tago was sent packing by Malaysia’s Chong Wei Feng (pictured below) in three games. The local hero had said in the previous press conference that the Yonex Japan Open was the tournament title that he most wanted to get but he lost in first round. Tago kept his concentration from start throughout the end of 1st game and won it easily 21-8 but in the 2nd and 3rd game, the Malaysian caught the world #9 by surprise at the beginning of each game, and wrapped it up in three by scores of 8-21, 21-16, 21-17 in a match that ran to 56 minutes.
New veteran pair off to good start
Indonesia’s new pair of Alvent Yulianto Chandra and Markis Kido played against young Japanese pair Takuto Inoue / Yuki Kaneko, who won the All-Japan high school tournament last month after being heroes of Japan’s Asian Junior Mixed Team Championship final.
“The first game is always difficult to fit the court, shuttle, light and wind,” said Alvent. As he said, Japanese pair had good start in the first game, but the veterans made themselves at home and won easily 21-13, 21-15 in 20min.
“The Japanese pair trained often together in Unisys when I was staying in Tokyo. So I know their play style very well,” Alvent told Badzine after the match. “The Yonex Japan Open is the second tournament I am playing in with Markis. This time, there are no Chinese nor some other strong pairs so I believe that we have a chance to get our first Superseries title,” added Alvent.
Thailand’s Issara/Jongjit, seeded 6th, were the only seeded casualties in the men’s doubles competition while Gu Juan from Singapore lost to Minatsu Mitani in the women’s singles. All other favourites came through the first round which was played while heavy rain was falling over Tokyo.
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