Photo credit: Tang Shi
With 51 matches played on the second day of the World Championships we can call it a night in Nanjing. The day started with an amazing match in women’s single between Ratchanok Intanon and Mia Blichfeldt.
The two girls played the second-longest match of the day before they found a winner. You can read our summary of that match right here.
Women’s single was also where we saw the biggest upset of the day and we have to say goodbye to one of the outsiders for the medals already on day 2. It was the 20-years old Thuy Lhin Nguyen (ranked 77) from Vietnam who delivered quite a surprise when she sent out Canada’s Michelle Li (ranked 15) after 65 minutes in a very close match that ended 23-21 in third game. A fantastic result for the young Vietnamese but for sure not what Michelle Li had come to Nanjing for.
Another North American was also close to leaving the tournament in her first match. Beiwen Zhang from USA had lost first game against Chloe Birch from England and at 16-16 in second game it was not yet sure if Zhang would be able to bag the match. However, she managed to win both second and third game and can now prepare for a match against top seeded Tai Tzu Ying from Chinese Taipei.
With Saina Nehwal’s win in two games against Turkey’s Aliye Demirbag, a big clash is now waiting for us in third round where the Indian silver medalist from 2015 and bronze medalist from 2017 is up for a battle against the World Champion from 2013; Nehwal is facing Ratchanok Intanon against whom she has a 9-4 lead.
Only one shot left for three Asian countries
Indonesia had big expectations to their two men’s singles Jonatan Christie and Anthony Sinisuka Ginting but only one of them managed to pass through first round on the winning side. Christie was up against Daren Liew who is the only defender of the Malaysian colors in men’s single after Lee Chong Wei’s withdrawal.
And Liew had no problems making his country proud as he won his match against Christie fairly easily in two games. For Indonesia it went better in the other match. Ginting was up against Suppanyu Avihingsanon who together with Khosit Phetpradab was Thailand’s only shots in men’s single after this morning’s withdrawal from Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk. The Indonesian won 21-19 21-14 leaving one player in the men’s single category for both Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.
Malaysia is craving their first WC gold!
Olympic silver medalists from 2016 and runners-up at the All England 2017, Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying from Malaysia, are among the biggest hopes for their country’s hunt for a World Championship gold medal. Malaysia has won 19 medals at the previous World Championships – but none of them are gold so this time it must be!
It will be a hard journey though but the Malaysia pair started out fine today as they won in two straight games against Saurabh Sharma and Anoushka Parikh from India. Chan and Goh are ranked 9 in the world and seeded 8 in Nanjing and they will have English opponents in their next match where Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith are waiting.
Malaysia’s other hope in mixed double is 7th seeded Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai. They won against Jacco Arends and Selena Piek from the Netherlands in their first match today and will try to stop the “European killers” from India in next round, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa from India. The Indians have reached third round after first eliminating a Danish pair yesterday and the 15th seeded Germans today.
Deserved Indian rest
Rankireddy plays in two categories at the World Championships. Apart from mixed double with Ashwini Ponnappa he also played the longest match of the day with his men’s double partner Chirag Shetty. The two faced England’s bronze medalists from the 2016 Olympic Games, Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge, and with a world ranking of 25 and 23 it was just meant to be a close match. After 80 minutes of playing the score board showed 21-19 12-21 21-19 for Rankireddy and Shetty. Rankireddy played a total of 132 minutes today – we’d say he deserves a nice rest tonight!
It could very well have been a totally different outcome though. During first game the umpire made a fault and gave the Indians the point after a challenge, which was unsuccessful. Ellis and Langridge didn’t notice because they didn’t look at the graphic on the screen. We wonder how they will react when they discover the point should have been for them instead…