Photo credit: Tang Shi
Mixed Malaysian feelings
Malaysia has three mixed double pairs in the draw of China Open this week. Two of them have already played today while one plays tonight. The outcome gave mixed feelings for the Malaysians.
Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying had a tough draw against the world number 1, Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong (1). The Malaysia duo won the first encounter between the two pairs at Indonesia Open in July but last week the Chinese World Champions equalized to 1-1 head-to-head. Zheng and Huang eliminated Chan and Goh in the semifinal of Japan Open in three games.
Today was a close match where Chan and Goh were lacking behind only to catch up with the Chinese at 18-18 in first game. That was all they got in first game though as Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong won the following three points to take the game 21-18.
If an early exit should be avoided for the Malaysians the mission was clear; they had to win second and third game now. In Japan they also lost first and won second game so why not?! It was not a mission impossible. It also looked fine up to 8-8 but then the Chinese pulled away and Chan and Goh never came back. The Chinese world number 1 and World Champions lived up to their seeding and won 21-17. They are now ready for second round against the Indians Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa.
First win for Indian mix
Rankireddy and Ponnappa needed three games before they had surpassed British duo Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith in their first round match. It started off well for the Indians who took first game easily with 21-13 but the Brits came back in a very close second game; 22-20.
Third game was a one-way street for Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa. 9-2 and 15-8 was too solid leads for the Brits to catch up with and the Indians got their first victory against Ellis and Smith in three attempts. With 21-17 in third game the Indian duo is ready for tomorrow.
Comfort for Malaysia
The second Malaysian mixed double with Tan Kian Meng and Lai Pei Jing had an easier draw though they were still underdogs. Ranked 24 they were up against a Danish duo, the winners of Spain Masters Niclas Nøhr and Sara Thygesen who are number 16 in the world. It was also 1-1 between these two pairs prior to the match today, with the Danes having won the last encounter in March.
Things also looked very good for Nøhr and Thygesen as they had four game points at 20-16 in first game. It had been a quite close affair so far but the Danes managed to pull away toward the end of the game. Four game points were enough though. Tan and Lai won 6 consecutive points and bagged the game 22-20. Quite a disappointment for the Spain Masters Champions.
Second game belonged to the Malaysians who steadily increased their lead to 19-12. Things looked over but then Niclas Nøhr and Sara Thygesen brought back excitement to the match as it was their turn to win 6 consecutive points. They didn’t come any closer though and Tan Kian Meng and Lai Pei Jing are ready for second round with 21-18. That way Malaysia got a little comfort after seeing Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying losing their match.
Selected results from today’s matches at China Open:
MS: Shi Yuqi, China (2) vs. Tommy Sugiarto, Indonesia 23-21 21-13
WS: Gao Fangjie, China vs. Tai Tzu Ying, Chinese Taipei (1) 21-17 21-16
WS: Carolina Marín, Spain (6) vs. Mia Blichfeldt, Denmark 21-13 21-13
MD: Huang Kaixiang/Wang Yilyu, China vs. Lee Jhe-Huei/Lee Yang, Chinese Taipei 21-11 21-16
MD: Ricky Karandasuwardi/Angga Pratama, Indonesia vs. Takuto Inoue/Yuki Kaneko, Japan (7) 21-19 21-14
MD: Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, Indonesia (1) vs. Wahyu Nayaka Arya Pangkaryanira/Ade Yusuf Santoso, Indonesia 17-21 21-13 21-13
WD: Tang Jinhua/Yu Xiaohan, China vs. Naoko Fukuman/Kurumi Yonao, Japan 21-11 21-10
WD: Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan, China (3) vs. Emily Kan/Isabel Zhong, USA 21-11 21-13
WD: Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota, Japan (1) vs. Anggia Shitta Awanda/Ni Ketut Mahadewi Istarani, Indonesia 21-16 14-21 26-24
XD: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Ashwini Ponnappa, India vs. Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith, England 21-13 20-22 21-17
XD: Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong, China (1) vs. Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying, Malaysia 21-18 21-17
XD: Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing, Malaysia vs. Niclas Nøhr/Sara Thygesen, Denmark 22-20 21-18
Stay tuned! More updates from China Open are on the way…