INDONESIA OPEN 2015 R16 – Top-seeded women go down

Day 3 of the 2015 BCA Indonesia Open Superseries Premier started and finished the same way, with the exit of top-seeded women, but in the meantime, Indonesia’s men also got […]

Day 3 of the 2015 BCA Premier started and finished the same way, with the exit of top-seeded women, but in the meantime, Indonesia’s men also got into the upset racket, so to speak.

Mathilde Liliana Perada and Naomi Indartiningrum, Badzine correspondents live in Jakarta. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

The top players in the world are in Jakarta competing at their best to win this tournament, which not only provides US$800,000 in prize money but is also a dress rehearsal for the World Championships, which will be held in the same venue in just over two months’ time. Unfortunately, for several shuttlers currently at the top of the world, this round was not their lucky day.

Bookend upsets of #1s

Day 3 opened with the defeat of Japan’s world #1 pair, Misaki Matsutomo / Ayaka Takahashi.  They were beaten by unseeded world #10 Koreans Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan (pictured).  The straight game loss put the two-time World Junior Champions in the Indonesia Open quarter-finals for the second straight year.

The Superseries Finals champions were unable to struggle successfully against the aggressive game played by these Koreans.

“Today’s match was very difficult.  Our opponents are so hard to beat and also Ayaka and I are exhausted so we hadn’t prepared well for this match,” said Misaki after their fifth meeting with Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan.

“We’ve met before, in China,” said Lee So Hee.  “We have analyzed their game and determined ways to overcome our opponents.  For today, we also prepared by strengthening our defense and attack to get points.”

Shortly afterward, Japan’s only other remaining representative was also suspended, this time at the hands of the Chinese, as Naoko Fukuman / Kurumi Yonao were defeated by Tang Jinhua / Tian Qing.  This ends Japan’s challenge in women’s doubles in Jakarta as the biggest upset – of 4th-seeded Kakiiwa/Maeda by World #27 Heather Olver / Lauren Smith – had already happened in the first round.

Akane Yamaguchi (pictured) may not be ranked quite as high as the Koreans but while Lee and Shin are vying to reach their first Superseries semi-final, the young Japanese shuttler already has two Superseries finals under her belt.  In fact, she could well celebrate her 18th birthday on Saturday by booking a spot in a 3rd such.

Yamaguchi finished off Day 3 by sending women’s singles top seed Li Xuerui packing.  She thus joins Saina Nehwal and P. V. Sindhu as the only active players to have beaten all four of the top Chinese players.

3 more seeds sent home

Four, five, six: the seeds continued to fall in men’s singles from early in the day.  One of them was less of a surprise than a reaffirmation.  Wang Zhengming  of China was forced to finish his appearance in Indonesia after being defeated by last year’s runner-up, the now unseeded Kenichi Tago of Japan.

“Today I did not play well as I should have.  I was not able to perform to my ability even though I tried hard to catch up in the score,” Wang admitted, pouring out his disappointment after the match.

The defeat of Wang Zhengming was preceded by that of Son Wan Ho from Korea.  The fifth seed lost to the unseeded Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kashyap Parupalli (pictured). In the first game, Kashyap left Son in his dust, winning 21-11 and while the Korean tried to catch up in the second, unfortunately, it was not a lucky day for Son.

“I moved very well and also these conditions suit my game.  That’s why I have always done well in the Indonesia Open,” said Kashyap.

“I was better prepared than he was and I believed that I had a chance and that I could win,” added the Indian, who will face the mighty Chen Long in the quarter-final.

Indonesia’s ‘one-up-boy-ship’

Indonesia’s two teens in the men’s singles just keep struggling to outdo one another.  Jonatan Christie might have beaten the former world #4 in qualifying, but Anthony Ginting beat the former #3.  On Wednesday, Ginting beat a current top 30 member but Christie trumped that by beating a top ten resident.

On Thursday came two more big surprises from the host representatives.  With Christie eyeing an upset of the former world #1 who has won two Grand Prix Gold titles in the last year, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting (pictured) just had to pre-empt that with a victory over the current world #3, who has won two Superseries events in the past 12 months.

Facing the 4th-seeded Kidambi Srikanth (pictured bottom), Ginting was under pressure throughout the first game, which he ceded 14-21.  In the second game, Ginting successfully led for much of it, though it was still level at 20-all.  Finally, the home hero was able to snag the last two points to force the third game.

In the early half of the third game, the match held tight, with Ginting holding only a slight lead, 11-10 at the interval.  Fast movement, a combination of tight net play and movement on the attack brought the world #166 a run of points that put him up 18-10 before he finally completed the game with the score 21-13.

“Thank God I was able to win today,” said Ginting after the match.  “In the first game, I was quite surprised by the way Srikanth played.  His shots and pace were too fast, but in the next two games, my coaches reminded me not to be afraid of the opponent.  I have to be brave, because my opponent is the more favoured in the match.  So in the second and third games, I did variations of punches and played patiently.”

Ginting takes on Japan’s Kento Momota in the quarter-finals.  Jonatan Christie, who did indeed score his own upset over Korean veteran Lee Hyun Il (pictured), must take on Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark.

Click here for complete Thursday results

Mathilde Liliana Perada

About Mathilde Liliana Perada

Mathilde has been a Badzine Correspondent since 2013. She is currently living in Jakarta and is working for a financial advisory firm. She also spends her time writing about badminton and helps local badminton communities to organize events related to badminton.