AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2019 Day 1 – Malaysian’s net working

Malaysia sent two to the main draw in men’s singles as former World Junior Champions were no match, but the highlight for the crowd came from Korea’s former champions. By […]

Malaysia sent two to the main draw in men’s singles as former World Junior Champions were no match, but the highlight for the crowd came from Korea’s former champions.

By Aaron Wong, Badzine Correspondent live in Sydney.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live and archives)

The same for breakfast and lunch

Sydney has given Lu Chia Hung a bronze medal, a winner’s medal (at the 2016 Sydney International) and today a loss during qualification.

It was academic that 2015 World Junior Champion Lu Chia Hung would be up 15-12 in the rubber. Even a lackadaisical drop-shop landing half way up the net from Soong Joo Ven (pictured) to widen the lead to 16-12 didn’t help.

At this juncture, Soong produced fresh bursts of energy to overtake Lu, who only gained one more point. Repeatedly within the same point and across almost every subsequent point, the Malaysian delivered hairpin net shots par excellence that Lu could do little with. Former world #1 Wong Choong Hann, on the coaching bench, high fived his approval after the umpire announced victory to the tune of 21-9, 12-21, 21-17.

Soong, the silver medallist at the 2012 Sydney Youth Olympic Festival, found himself again one step ahead of Lu in this town. Soong dealt two blows to Taiwan to enter the main competition.

Malaysia also delivered a fatal blow to the 2016 World Junior Champion Sun Feixiang. Cheam June Wei made the most of his opponent, having come off a 71-minute match earlier, to record his second victory over Sun, 21-16, 21-19. Earlier Cheam had removed Sun’s compatriot Ren Pengbo.

Goodbye former world #1s

Just when he had his Thai opponent figured out, last year’s world #1 junior Lakshya Sen was faulted for serving too high on his game point. In a split second, the second game turned around to deuce then match point and ultimately conversion for Tanongsak Saesomboonsuk, 21-11, 23-21.

Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo (pictured) was the beneficiary of former world #1 Lee Hyun Il leaving cruise control on for a bit too long. Lee reached match point first but suffered the same fate he’s dealt to countless others. The Indonesian reeled the situation back and went for broke to win 21-19, 12-21, 22-20.

G’day former world #1s

Nevertheless, three other Korean former world #1 men advanced into the main draw.

2014 and 2015 Australian Superseries men’s doubles winners Lee Yong Dae / Yoo Yeon Seong (pictured) were crowd favourites of the day and assigned the far end court which the crowd didn’t complain about migrating to.

The Koreans breezed past the NSW pair of Lukas Defolky / Raymond Tam, 21-8, 21-15. Yoo continually shadow swung his forehand drive stroke in between as if to banish the cobwebs. Indeed, that shot of his often didn’t sound crisp when executed.

2014 Australian Superseries mixed doubles winner Ko Sung Hyun with current partner, 2013 World Championship silver and bronze medallist Eom Hye Won, also had little trouble clearing their Canadian hurdle of Kirsten Tsai / Nyl Yakura, 21-13, 21-12.

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Aaron Wong

About Aaron Wong

Aaron Wong only ever coveted badminton's coolest shot - a reverse backhand clear. He is renowned for two other things: 1) Writing tournament previews that adjust the focus between the panorama of the sport's progress, down to the microscopic level of explaining the striking characteristics of players; 2) Dozing off during men's doubles at the London Olympic Games. Contact him at: aaron @