HONG KONG OPEN 2011 R32 – Seeds advance

The first round action of the 2011 Yonex Sunrise Hong Kong Open kicked-off today with a a few notable upsets and a total of six seeds exiting the tournament. The […]

The first round action of the 2011 Yonex Sunrise kicked-off today with a a few notable upsets and a total of six seeds exiting the tournament. The host country also lost 16 of its representatives after today’s first round.

By Gregory Chan.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

No problems for top seeds

It was a good start for all the top seeds, winning their matches in less than half an hour.

The first mixed doubles match of the day saw the tournament’s top seed and current World Champions Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei facing the tricky Korean pair of Lee Yong Dae / Ha Jung Eun. But the Chinese pair had little difficulties in disposing of their opponents, winning in 2 straight games 21-14, 21-9 in less than 30 minutes.

Their Chinese compatriots and top seeds in the women’s doubles Wang Xiaoli / Yu Yang were equally convincing, advancing to the second round by beating the German pair Sandra Marinello / Birgit Michels with a quick 21-13, 21-8 win. Next up for the World Champions are Malaysian veterans Chin Eei Hui / Wong Pei Tty, who received a walkover today from their Hong Kong opponents.

The men’s doubles top seeds Cai Yun / Fu Haifeng, had a very straightforward win over their unheralded Korean opponents Kim Ki Jung / Shin Baek Cheol. Their second round encounter with the Fang Chieh Min / Lee Sheng Mu, a former top-10 pairing from Taiwan, will be a real test to the current World Champions.

In the singles department, another World Champion and top-seed from China, Wang Yihan , didn’t lose more than 10 points in either game of her victory over Canadian Joycelyn Ko (21-9, 21-6). All the other seeded players are safely through to the second round, with the exception of 6th seed Juliane Schenk, who lost to Ai Goto of Japan in three games 17-21, 21-13, 16-21.

Malaysia’s number 1 singles player, Datuk Lee Chong Wei had his first match today in the Hong Kong Coliseum against Pablo Abian of Spain. In 2 quick games, 21-13, 21-15, the top seed advanced to the second round to face Denmark’s rising star Viktor Axelsen. It will be interesting to see how the youngster measures up against a player like Chong Wei. On his 3-game win today and next match, Viktor posted in his Facebook page “That means I’m on to the second round, where I will be up against world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei…… Tough one, but It will be a good experience for me, and I will go on court and do my best as always!


Peter Gade also had a light workout against Kevin Cordon, beating his Guatemalan opponent 21-10, 21-5. “I knew he could be dangerous and I guess I was well prepared and played a very good game. Very focused and at a very high speed controling Kevin from start to finish.. As I expected, there was a lot drift on the court and [I] was good in taking advantage of that..” posted Peter in his Facebook page after his win.

Another Danish star, Jan O Jorgensen, who had a health scare a few months ago during the Denmark Open, also won against Japan’s Kenichi Tago 21-9, 17-21, 21-15. Next up for Janis China’s 5th seed Chen Jin, who has a 1-1 head to head against the Dane.

Notable upsets and close calls

The first upset of the day was caused by the dangerous Chinese pairing of He Hanbin / Bao Yixin. The Chinese pair, winners of this year’s Indonesia Open GP Gold tournament, took out the silver medallists of this year’s World Championships Chris Adcock / Imogen Bankier, seeded 6th for the tournament, in straight games 23-21, 21-10. Chris Adcock would later go on to lose his first round men’s doubles match as well 16-21, 17-21 against the Indian pair Rupesh Kumar K.T / Sanave Thomas.

The winner of the Bitburger Open two weeks ago, Malaysian youngsters Chang Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying, who are slowly making their way up the world rankings, beat the struggling 7th seeds and former Hong Kong Open winners Robert Mateusiak / Nadiezda Zieba 21-19, 21-7. It was the second meeting between the two pairs, with their head-to-head now 2-0 for the Malaysians. Japanese 8th seeds Shintaro Ikeda / Reiko Shiota were also sent packing, losing 14-21, 19-21 to China’s Hong Wei / Pan Pan.

The only upset in the men’s doubles category was a biggie, as 2005 World Champions Howard Bach / Tony Gunawan of the USA beat China’s 6th seeds Chai Biao / Guo Zhendong 21-14, 21-13. This is the 3rd first-round exit in 3 tournaments for the Chinese pair.

Fortunately Chinese star 3rd seed Lin Dan avoided joining the upset list, needing an hour and 3 games to beat India’s Parupalli Kashyap 16-21, 21-17, 21-14 to advance to the second round. Next up for Lin Dan is Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki, who took over an hour to get past Takuma Ueda of Japan in the last match of the day. Wong won the match 22-20, 13-21, 21-10.

Lin Dan’s compatriot, number 5 seed Chen Jin, was 4 points away from exiting the tournament when his opponent, Hu Yun was leading by a set and 17-13 up in the second. Chen Jin however managed to crawl back and steal the second set 22-20 from his Hong Kong opponent, and then ran away with the third, winning it 21-10.

Also needing 3 games to advance in the men’s doubles was one of the tournament’s favourites , Jung Jae Sung / Lee Yong Dae. The Korean second seeds lost a close first game 20-22  despite saving 2 game points, but then had no problems winning the remaining 2 games 21-15, 21-10.

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