Photo credit: Tang Shi
There must be something in the water in Tokyo that the seeded players don’t like. Some kind of kryptonite maybe? Several seeded pairs were eliminated on day two of the Japan Open when first round was played in men’s and women’s doubles.
It started off fine though when the World Champions in women’s double kicked off today’s program. Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara haven’t lost a match since 13 July when they lost in the quarterfinal of Thailand Open. Apart from taking gold at the World Championships last month they also grabbed the title in Spain Masters little over a week ago.
Matsumoto and Nagahara are seeded 8 and had no major problems in defeating Russians Ekaterina Bolotova and Alina Davletova in straight games in the opening match this morning. Tomorrow they are up against Maiken Fruergaard and Sara Thygesen from Denmark who got a free ride into second round as their opponents today had withdrawn.
Good start converted to bad follow-up
This expected win was followed up by an unexpected loss to another seeded pair from Japan. 5th seeded Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto were up against Tang Jinhua and Yu Xiaohan from China who are ranked 29 in the world. It was the lower ranked Chinese who controlled the match all the way though. After 44 minutes the first seeded pair was out as Tang and Yu won the match in straight games.
The 7-seeded Japanese men’s double duo, Takuto Inoue and Yuki Kaneko, couldn’t revenge the women’s double’s loss to the Chinese when they also met a pair from China. He Jiting and Tan Qiang pulled the longest straw in three games against the local favorites who had started off fine with 21-13 in first game. Eventually things were turned around and it’s He and Tan who are in the second round now.
The revenge finally came
Japan’s revenge did come later though. Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi had the pleasure of Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan, who are seeded 4, in first round. The Chinese didn’t deliver as expected while Hoki and Kobayashi were on top. That resulted in a ticket for second round as the Japanese duo won in straight games.
The two times Mads from Denmark also failed to live up to expectations as they were eliminated by the Taiwanese Lee Jhe-Huei and Lee Yang. The Taiwanese are not bad though and hold a spot as number 12 on the world ranking while the Danes are ranked 6 as well as seeded 6. Two games were enough for Lee and Lee though and tomorrow they have the pleasure of Asian Games silver medalists Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto from Indonesia.
Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan from Korea were seeded 7 on women’s double and they also left the tournament today, but that was due to injury. They retired leading 11-8 against Emily Kan and Isabel Zhong from USA after just 5 minutes of play.
Selected results from first round of men’s and women’s double at Japan Open:
WD: Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara, Japan (8) vs. Ekaterina Bolotova/Alina Davletova, Russia 21-9 21-12
WD: Tang Jinhua/Yu Xiaohan, China vs. Shiho Tanaka/Koharu Yonemoto, Japan (5) 21-17 21-10
WD: Gabriela Stoeva/Stefani Stoeva, Bulgaria vs. Naoko Fukuman/Kurumi Yonao, Japan 15-21 21-11 21-9
WD: Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai, Thailand (6) vs. Ariel Lee/Sydney Lee, USA 21-2 21-8
WD: Misato Aratama/Akane Watanabe, Japan vs. Anggia Shitta Awanda/Ni Ketut Mahadewi Istarani, Indonesia 21-16 21-18
MD: Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda, Japan (3) vs. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty, India 21-12 21-17
MD: Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan, Indonesia vs. Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe, Japan 21-17 20-22 21-17
MD: He Jiting/Tan Qiang, China vs. Takuto Inoue/Yuki Kaneko, Japan (7) 13-21 21-19 21-17
MD: Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, Indonesia (1) vs. Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov, Russia 21-15 21-15
MD: Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen, Denmark (5) vs. Mark Lamsfuss/Marvin Emil Seidel, Germany 21-11 22-20
MD: Lee Jhe-Huei/Lee Yang, Chinese Taipei vs. Mads Conrad-Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding, Denmark (6) 21-19 21-16
MD: Attri Manu/Reddy B. Sumeeth, India vs. Goh V. Shem/Tan Wee Kiong, Malaysia 15-21 23-21 21-19
MD: Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi, Japan vs. Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan, China (4) 21-14 21-18
MD: Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto, Indonesia vs. Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi, Malaysia 21-17 21-18
MD: Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, Denmark (8) vs. Ricky Karandasuwardi/Angga Pratama, Indonesia 21-13 21-11
MD: Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen, China (2) vs. Chung Eui Seok/Kim Dukyoung, Korea 21-15 21-16
Stay tuned! There are more Japan Open updates on the way…