Photo credit: Badmintonthaitoday.com
With one day left of Thailand Masters we can conclude that this week in Bangkok has been quite rough on the seeded players. Only four of the ten top two seeded entries made it into the semifinals.
The first upset was seen already on Wednesday in first round of men’s single where 3rd seeded Kantaphon Wangcharoen lost against compatriot Sitthikom Thammasin. Suppanyu Avihingsanon, seeded 4, continued the negative development as he was sent out by Wong Wing Ki Vincent in first round as well.
And as if that wasn’t enough, second seeded Khosit Phetpradab also lost his first round match to Zhao Junpeng. In other words first round was very tough for the local men’s singles as Thailand’s 2nd, 3rd, and 4th seeded entry was out after just one match.
First top seed falls out
In second round on Thursday no less than five entries seeded for minimum semifinals left the tournament. This time it was all the other categories that saw some of the favorites being eliminated. Women’s single saw the biggest upset as top seeded Nitchaon Jindapol lost to Fitriani Fitriani – who by the way has reached the final.
Cai Yanyan who was seeded four also failed to pass second round, just as the two men’s double entries Wahyu Nayaka Arya Pangkaryanira/Ade Yusuf Santoso (4) and Aaron Chia/Wooi Yik Soh (2). Some of the few Europeans in Bangkok this week, French duo Emilie Lefel/Anne Tran (4), concluded the early exits for players seeded for the semifinals by losing a very close straight game match with 20-22 19-21.
Quarterfinals add to the “sad list”
In the quarterfinals Friday there were more exits for the players who were expected to be on court Saturday. Akbar Bintang Cahyono/Winny Oktavina Kandow (4) lost in mixed doubles to Tang Chun Man/Ng Tsz Yau (8), and the three top seeded women’s double pairs were all sent out as well.
3rd seeded Chayanit Chaladchalam/Phataimas Muenwong, 2nd seeded Nami Matsuyama/Chiharu Shida, and 1st seeded Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai were all eliminated without collecting a single game for the top three seeds.
The several times Pan American Champion, Michelle Li, was the last one on the “sad list”. Li was seeded 3 and lost just one round before the expected semifinal as Deng Joy Xuan proved too strong in straight games.
That brings us to the semifinals Saturday. Here we still had three top seeded entries and one second seeded. And to make it short; today was a good day for these top seeded players. All of them won and will play the finals Sunday.
Malaysians Goh Liu Ying, Chan Peng Soon, Goh V. Shem and Tan Wee Kiong recently left the national training centre at home and play their first tournament as independent players in Bangkok. The two constellations have helped each other with coaching during the whole week and this has proven very successful; both pairs are in the final.
Goh Liu Ying and Chan Peng Soon, top seeded this year and winners from 2018, reached the final by defeating Tang Chun Man and Ng Tsz Yau in straight games. Goh V. Shem and Tan Wee Kiong also won their semifinal in straight games against Akira Koga and Taichi Saito.
The third top seeded entry in Sunday’s finals is Lin Dan. The 35-year old Chinese legend has reached the final after playing nothing but three-game matches the whole week. Today he eliminated his compatriot Lu Guangzu with 21-18 in third game.
Busy Sunday awaiting Thai player
Sapsiree Taerattanachai is going to have a busy Sunday. As a matter of fact the Thai player has already had a busy week as she entered the Thailand Masters in two categories. Today she was in two semifinals and she and her partners left the court as winners in both of them.
As second seeded in mixed double Sapsiree Taerattanachai and Dechapol Puavaranukroh qualified for the final after defeating compatriots Nipitphon Phuangphuapet and Savitree Amitrapai (6). Yesterday she and Puttita Supajirakul eliminated the top seeded women’s double, Thais Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai, and today Ekaterina Bolotova and Alina Davletova cashed in a loss to the unseeded Thai duo as well.
That finally brings us to the finals of Thailand Masters, which look like this:
Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying, MAS (1) vs. Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree
Taerattanachai, THA (2)
MD: Goh V. Shem/Tan Wee Kiong, MAS (1) vs. Lu Ching Yao/Yang Po Han, TPE (5)
MS: Lin Dan, CHN (1) vs. Kean Yew Loh, SIN
WD: Puttita Supajirakul/Sapsiree Taerattanachai, THA vs. Li Wenmei/Zheng Yu, CHN (5)
WS: Fitriani Fitriani, INA vs. Busanan Ongbamrungphan, THA (8)