SINGAPORE OPEN 2010 OPEN RD 2 – Still a Wei for favourites

World #1 Lee Chong Wei and reigning world champion Lu Lan barely scraped through the second round of Li Ning Singapore Open Super Series 2010.  Both somehow survived unexpected scares […]


World #1 Lee Chong Wei and reigning world champion Lu Lan barely scraped through the second round of Li Ning Super Series 2010.  Both somehow survived unexpected scares from unseeded players en route to their quarter-finals. Chong Wei was almost thwarted by Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka (pictured) from Indonesia while Lu Lan faced an arduous battle against tough Dutch shuttler Judith Meulendijks.

By: Serla Rusli, Badzine Correspondent, reporting live from Singapore Indoor Stadium. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Chong Wei seemed to be back on his top form in the first game after his shaky first round match against French Brice Leverdez. The first seed outshone Dionysius with an overbearing 21-13 score. However, the unstoppable Indonesian youngster slowly climbed up the ladder in the second game and silently overtook Chong Wei from point 9 onwards. Dionysius – who played third singles for Indonesia in Thomas Cup 2010 – closed out the second with a satisfying 21-19.

I’m not in very good condition today,” said Chong Wei of his performance.

The crowd was all prepared to lose their favourite early in the tournament again this year as Dion’s relentless attacks seemed to trouble the Malaysian spearhead throughout the tiebreaker. Only towards the closing of the nail-biting game that Lee showed his prowess as the world’s best player. “I tried to increase the pace of my game towards the end. Dion also made a lot of unforced errors, and I took advantage of that.” He zoomed to gain seven straight points and clinched the match at 21-16.

However, sin2010-LulanChong Wei likely has yet to face his toughest matches in the Singapore Open. His quarter-final clash against the solid performer Sony Dwi Kuncoro will be another challenge, and his quest to earn back the Singapore Super Series crown he won in 2008 seems a long way off.

The same fate also befell on the fourth seed Lu Lan (pictured) from China. She went through a tight match against Judith Meulendijks. The Chinese supporters were only able to breathe a sigh of relief when the reigning world champion got away with the scare from the dangerous Dutch at 19-21, 21-19, 23-21.

It was a really tough match just now. I really had to thank my opponent for giving me the chance to climb back from my defeat when she started making unforced errors.” She patiently picked up her points even when she was discouragingly lagging at 17-11. “However, what really kept me going throughout the match were the fantastic crowd support and my own willpower,” said the cheery lady.
In the quarter-final, Lu Lan will be taking on Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk, who ousted Maria Febe Kusumastuti (INA) in another close match that ended 23-21, 18-21, 21-18.
No go for top men’s and women’s doubles
The same luck was not bestowed upon the men’s and women’s doubles favourites of  the Li Ning Singapore Open 2010. In a rematch of the Swiss Open Super Series 2010 finals, World no. 1 duo Koo Kien Keat / Tan Boon Heong was tamed once again by Korean upcoming powerhouse Ko Sung Hyun / Yoo Yeon Seong.  The Koreans kicked off their partnership with a finals appearance at the Asian Championships 2009 but their victory at Switzerland over the world #1 came together with their first ever Super Series title.
Ko/Yoo will have to take on another Malaysian pair, Gan Teik Chai/Tan Bin Shen, to book their spots in the semi-finals.
sin2010-robertsonThe defending men’s doubles champions Anthony Clark / Nathan Robertson (photo) were the next in line to taste disappointment in Singapore. They had to surrender to Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen from Denmark.  The Danish duo failed to maintain their pace in the first game but fought to snatch more points from the English pair to complete the match with 14-21, 21-19, 21-19.

Even though we have never lost to them before, of course we are very happy that we won over the defending champions,” commented Boe. We did not play very well today. We took our morning match as a practice for us to get used to the court, but we still could have played better in tonights match.”

The Japanese squad has to face the devastating reality that they are going home empty-handed. Their last-standing hopes Miyuki Maeda / Satoko Suetsuna and Mizuki Fujii / Reika Kakiiwa – seeded first and second respectively – joined their compatriot Ai Goto in exiting the tournament early. Maeda/Suetsuna were upset by Jwala Gutta / Ashwini Ponnappa from India while Fujii/Kakiiwa was stopped by Indonesian pair Greysia Polii / Meiliana Jauhari in another nerve-wrecking race of the day – 23-21, 10-21, 21-19.

We still can’t believe that we won. The Japanese really gave us a lot of pressure, and we were really at loss of what to do. They seemed to have answers to all our shots and attacks. That’s why I think that it is really a miracle that we somehow made it through,” explained Greysia, who was still trying to catch her breath after her match. The duo will have to take on seventh-seeded Koreans Ha Jung Eun and Jung Kyung Eun in the quarter-finals.

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About Serla Rusli