WORLDS 2013 R16 – Single singles limit for Spain and Korea

Carolina Marin and Bae Yeon Ju became the last singles shuttlers for Spain and Korea respectively at the Wang Lao Ji BWF World Badminton Championships. By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent […]

Carolina Marin and Bae Yeon Ju became the last singles shuttlers for Spain and Korea respectively at the Wang Lao Ji BWF World Badminton Championships.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent live in Guangzhou.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

A cluster of three matches on Day 4 of the Wang Lao Ji BWF World Badminton Championships saw both Spain and Korea trying to push two singles players into the quarter-finals but it was not to be.

The first match for Spain saw anticipation mounting for a repeat of Pablo Abian’s shirt rending performance in the last edition of the (see here).  Pablo Abian (pictured below) had Vietnam’s 7th-seeded Nguyen Tien Minh at his mercy in the first game but was outclassed in the next two.

“One side has the wind and in the first game, I didn’t feel good out there at all,” said Nguyen after his match.  “Abian’s style is very different from other players I play and I just didn’t know how to play.

“He cut my speed.  I like to play very fast but he was able to slow the game down and I made many mistakes and got very angry with myself.  But in the next games, I kept trying and I started to feel and play better.  But he is such a good player.

“I think my next opponent will be Jorgensen,” said Nguyen presciently.  “I think now he is very fit.

“I don’t really care who I have to play, though.  Actually, I came to this tournament not very well prepared because the U.S. Open was just two weeks before so I’m not very fit but I’ll just try my best.

“When I play big tournaments like this, I always get a little nervous because the maximum I have been able to reach is the quarter-final.  But I think I’ve been a bit lucky in the draw because Wong Wing Ki of Hong Kong lost in the first round and he and I played the final in the U.S. Open for one hour and 75 minutes.

“I wouldn’t want to play a Chinese opponent in this hall but I have to in the semi-final.”

Korean no. 1’s keep falling

It was when Spain and Korea met that the big upset ensued, as world #26 Carolina Marin (pictured top) trailed throughout her third game against 5th-seeded Sung Ji Hyun before erasing 3 match points and winning it on her first opportunity.  After losing both men’s singles players in the first round, Sung Ji Hyun (pictured left) became the second top Korean entry to fall and this only foreshadowed what was to come in the men’s doubles just a few minutes later.

In singles, though, now that Spain had their ticket to the quarters on the second opportunity, it was then left to Korea’s Bae Yeon Ju (pictured below) to do the same for Korea and she did so, in straight games.  While Sayaka Takahashi found she could not control the shuttle for the draught on Court 4, she said she found that Bae Yeon Ju remained consistent throughout and eventually came away with the match.

“Sayaka is fairly tall and she has a very good around-the-head forehand,” said Bae Yeon Ju of her opponent.  “I think in this match, she was trying to rush things at the net and she gifted me a number of errors.

“I knew it would be difficult to play against another lefthander and it especially difficult to read the around-the-head shots when they’re coming from the side I’m not used to.  But I’ve been sparring with a left-handed guy at the national training centre to prepare for matches like this and he plays with a little more like a women’s singles style so I think I came ready for the challenge.

“I’ve now beaten Saina a few times so I would say I’m quite confident going into my next match.  But I’m not thinking past just this yet.  I have to concentrate on just one match at a time.

Asked whether being the only remaining Korean, after the upset of Sung Ji Hyun, has added to her pressure, Bae hesitated and smiled, “A little.”

The only upsets on the day in men’s singles were Parupalli Kashyap of India over Hong Kong’s Hu Yun and the one predicted by Nguyen Tien Minh as Jan O Jorgensen beat Boonsak Ponsana in the last match of the day.

Click here for complete Round of 16 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 @