SINGAPORE OPEN 2013 R32 – And then there was one…

The home team is down to one solitary entry at the Li-Ning Singapore Open Superseries while China was stubbornly upset-resistant on Day 1. By Don Hearn.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live) Despite […]

The home team is down to one solitary entry at the Li-Ning while China was stubbornly upset-resistant on Day 1.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Despite a rash of withdrawals announced on Monday evening, the 2013 Singapore Open still boasts a formidably strong field.  Among the evidence of this is the fact that the Singapore contingent was whittled down to one pair after just one day of main draw action.

2010 women’s singles champion Yao Lei and new mixed partner Terry Yeo (pictured above) were the only local players to make it through to the second round.  They beat Hirokatsu Hashimoto / Miyuki Maeda, a relatively new Japanese mixed pairing created in January with two top 10 doubles players.

Gu Juan (pictured below) fought hard to force a third game with Saina Nehwal but ended up among the seven Singapore losses of the day.

China brooks no upsets

After several lacklustre results in the early rounds of all three Superseries Premier events this year, Team China refused to cede an upset on Day 1 in Singapore.  Wang Shixian and Wang Yihan edged Bae Yeon Ju and Busanan Ongbamrungphan (pictured above) respectively, while Sashina Vignes Waran (pictured below) went down quickly to world #1 Li Xuerui.

China did try to get in on the upsets itself and succeeded with Sun Yu – still ranked only #74 in the world despite her Macau Open title – beating Yui Hashimoto.  However, elsewhere, Chen Yuekun went down to Indonesia Open runner-up Marc Zwiebler (pictured above) in three games and Chai Baio / Hong Wei (pictured below) were unable to repeat their Swiss Open final performance against top seeds Ko/Lee of Korea and fell in straight games.

Malaysia was short on luck on Wednesday as well.  They lost their highest-ranked representatives in all but mixed doubles.  Some of these were definite underdogs, such as Sonia Cheah (pictured above) – who is actually the second-ranked Malaysian citizen after Sashina Vignes Waran – against Sung Ji Hyun and Liew Daren against Wang Zhengming.  Even Goh/Lim losing to Indonesia Open champions Ahsan/Setiawan was more or less expected.

Others were straight-up upsets, however, such as world #13 Hoo/Woon losing to the brand new pairing of Sapsiree Taerattanachai and 17-year-old Puttita Supajirakul of Thailand.  Malaysia didn’t fare so well in the attempted upset department, either. Mohamad Arif Abdul Latif (pictured below) did get his first game against Rajiv Ouseph of England but was dominated in the next two.

Thailand had a day of mixed success.  Kunchala Voravichitchaikul was handed two losses.  In mixed, she and Songphon Anugritayawon (pictured above) went down to India’s Arun Vishnu / Aparna Balan.  In men’s doubles, though, Maneepong Jongjit / Nipitphon Puangpuapech (pictured below) took out 7th-seeded Angga Pratama / Ryan Agung Saputra of Indonesia.

Several reigning World Junior Champions saw their way into the second round.  Two-time girls’ doubles champions Lee So Hee / Shin Seung Chan (pictured above right) of Korea were the instruments of Voravichitchaikul’s exit in women’s doubles, where she and Duanganong Aroonkesorn were the #4 seeds.  Then boys’ doubles champion Ng Ka Long (pictured above left) of Hong Kong bested former top 10 player Sho Sasaki.  Japan could take solace in the advancement of their own World Junior Champion, however, as Kento Momota beat Tan Chun Seang to advance to the second round.

Finally, England got in on the upsets as Chris Langridge / Heather Olver (pictured below) were one of two pairs to remove mixed doubles seeds.  They took care of Indonesia’s 8th-seeded siblings Markis Kido / Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth, while Chris Adcock / Gabrielle White offed 6th-seeded Poles Robert Mateusiak / Nadiezda Zieba.

Click here for complete Wednesday results

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @