Photo credit: Tang Shi
We joked about kryptonite in the water yesterday but maybe it is no joke at all. Several favorites and seeded players were eliminated in Thursday’s matches in Musashino Forest Sport Plaza.
Today is a day many of the seeded players would just like to forget as soon as possible. Favorite for the women’s single title, top seeded Tai Tzu Ying, is surely one of them as she failed to live up to expectations against Chen Xiaoxin from China. The two opened the ball on the TV court and the Chinese only needed 40 minutes to send Tai back home to Chinese Taipei. Chen, who ranks 33 in the world, won in straight games and especially second game was impressive as the Chinese led all the way to victory.
Goodbye to the Olympic Champions
The reigning Olympic Champions in women’s double, local heroes Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi, were seeded second in Tokyo. They did have an easy day in the office in first game but then things got serious. Their opponents, Du Yue and Li Yinhui from China, stepped up and put pressure on the Japanese duo.
In an extremely close second game they forced the match into a decisive third game by winning 27-25. In third game things were basically over at interval; Du and Li were up 11-1 and there was nothing more to do for Matsutomo and Takahashi. After 86 minutes of play the Chinese had qualified for the quarterfinal while the Japanese duo must wait another year for success on their home ground.
Local WC bronze medalists are out
In men’s double Japan’s silver medalists from the World Championships Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda continued the sad streak for the favorites of the day. The Japanese duo, seeded 3, had a strong fight against Koreans Kim Won Ho and Seo Seung Jae, ranked 29 in the world, and it was the Koreans who pulled out successfully from the match. 65 minutes and 21-18 in third game sent out the local favorites and pushed Kim and Seo into tomorrow’s quarterfinals.
WC silver medalist joins the sad list
Pusarla V. Sindhu joined the club of favorites who didn’t deliver today. She was seeded 3 this week and was India’s second women’s single in Tokyo who failed to surpass Chinese opponent Gao Fangjie, ranked 14. Gao won against Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka in first round and followed up with a straight games win today. With the victory against Sindhu today she brought herself to a 2-0 head-to-head lead against the tall Indian.
No glory for Hong Kong duo
Hong Kong’s 4th seeded mixed double pair, Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet, was already down 0-2 head-to-head against Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino from Japan when they started their match today. Losing first game the Hongkongers came back in second and forced the match into a third decisive game. But just like many of the other favorites of the day, it was an early exit for Tang and Tse who lost 16-21 to the Japanese.
Off-day for European favorites
The Adcocks were seeded 7 but lost in straight games against Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti form Indonesia and Danish top men’s double Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen were stopped by a Dutch pair they hadn’t had any problems with earlier. Jelle Maas and Robin Tabeling turned around the match after losing first game and took second and third with 17 and 12. Quite a good result from the two Dutchmen.
Denmark had quite an off-day as their other men’s double, 8th seeded Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, also left the tournament today. They did face a strong pair though, bronze medalists from the World Championships Chen Hung Ling and Wang Chi-Lin from Chinese Taipei who are ranked just two spots below the Danes. But after just 36 minutes it was over and out and the Taiwanese are in the quarterfinal.
Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja from Indonesia, Chou Tien Chen from Chinese Taipei, and Son Wan Ho from Korea concluded the long list of favorites and seeded players who failed to deliver today. Sure Chou can be a little excused as he was up against Lin Dan, but that doesn’t change the fact that there were many surprises during the day.
A total of 11 seeded players/pairs were eliminated in the matches today…
Results from matches with seeded players on the losing side today:
WS: Chen Xiaoxin, China vs. Tai Tzu Ying, Chinese Taipei (1) 21-18 21-14
WS: Gao Fangjie, China vs. Pusarla V. Sindhu, India (3) 21-18 21-19
WD: Du Yue/Li Yinhui, China vs. Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi, Japan (2) 12-21 27-25 21-11
MS: Lin Dan, China vs. Chou Tien Chen, Chinese Taipei (5) 10-21 21-15 21-19
MS: Lee Don Keun, Korea vs. Son Wan Ho, Korea (4) 21-13 21-13
MD: Kim Won Ho/Seo Seung Jae, Korea vs. Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda, Japan (3) 16-21 21-18 21-18
MD: Jelle Maas/Robin Tabeling, Netherlands vs. Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen, Denmark (5) 14-21 21-17 21-12
MD: Chen Hung Ling/Wang Chi-Lin, Chinese Taipei vs. Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, Denmark (8) 21-16 21-15
XD: Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino, Japan vs. Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet, Hong Kong (4) 21-14 15-21 21-16
XD: Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti, Indonesia vs. Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock, England (7) 23-21 21-18
XD: Takuro Hoki/Koharu Yonemoto, Japan vs. Hafiz Faizal/Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja, Indonesia (8) 19-21 21-15 21-14
Stay tuned! There are more Japan Open updates on the way…