VietNamNet Bridge – Nguyen Tien Minh from Viet Nam advanced to the second round of the Japan Super Series Badminton Tournament by beating Yan Kit Chan of Hong Kong yesterday, Sept 22, in Tokyo.
Minh advances to semi-final
Early exit: Athens Olympic gold medallist Taufik Hidayat was the first top-ten seed eliminated from the Japan Open badminton tournament yesterday. — XINHUA/VNA Photo
Athens Olympic gold medallist Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia was yesterday’s biggest casualty when he crashed in an unexpected loss to Japan’s Sho Sasaki.
World No 8 Minh rallied to beat Chan 16-21, 21-10, 21-14.
Minh, seeded No 7 in this tournament, needed 45 minutes to defeat unseeded Chan, who competed in doubles events until the 2003-04 season.
The Vietnamese athlete struggled in the starting minutes and was dominated by his rival in the first set.
The two-time Olympian corrected his play in the second set and did not give Chan an opportunity to catch up with his strong pace. Minh played quickly until the end of the third decisive set and finished the match before Chan knew what was happening.
Other top seeds including Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, Peter Hoeg Gade of Denmark, and Lin Dan and Bao Chunlai of China also moved into the next round.
World No 1 Lee made quick work of Gurusaidatt Raja Manuri Venkata of India 21-5, 21-9, while defending champion Bao outclassed Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka of Indonesia 21-14, 21-10 in the men’s singles.
Lee, the winner in Tokyo in 2007, and Bao, the 2009 champion, stayed on course for a probable quarter-final meeting in the US$200,000 event.
Two-time Japan champion Peter Gade of Denmark, second seed, breezed past Wong Wing-ki of Hong Kong 21-13, 21-16. While Lin won 21-12, 21-13 over Thai Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in just half an hour.
Sasaki was responsible for the day’s biggest shock when he came from behind to beat Hydayat, seeded No 4, 18-21, 23-21, 21-19. The Indonesian, who reached the final at the world championships last month, failed to take the last two points in the last two games before going down in the first round.
In the next round, Minh, who was eliminated in the semi-final round in last year’s tournament, will face Jan Jorgensen of Denmark who won 21-17, 21-11 over Dicky Palyama of the Netherlands.
In the women’s first round, last year’s finalists Wang Yihan and Wang Xin of China, as well as 2007 winner Tine Baun of Denmark and Pi Hongyan of France stayed in form.
Wang Yihan, seeking to become the first player to win three straight Japan titles, whipped Jeanine Cicognini of Switzerland 21-10, 21-6, while Wang Xin breezed past Pai Hsiao-ma of Chinese Taipei 21-16, 21-14.
European champion Baun defeated Salakjit Ponsana of Thailand 21-13, 21-11, and Pi downed Japan’s Yu Hirayama 20-22, 21-10, 21-12.
Eighth seed Yao Jie of the Netherlands earlier in the day became the first seed to fall, losing to Sung Ji-hyun of South Korea 21-18, 21-15.
The annual Japan Open, which is one of the world’s top level badminton tournaments, organised at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, is the seventh Badminton World Federation’s Super Series competition on its schedule. All finals are scheduled for Sunday.
VietNamNet/Viet Nam News
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