Top seeds cruise, Olympic champions crash out
Saina Nehwal celebrated her career high No 3 world ranking with a quarter-final spot while reigning Olympic champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan, once again, were shown the exit by Chinese Taipei’s Fang Chieh Min-Lee Sheng Mu in the second round of the Djarum Indonesia Open.
Malaysia’s World No 1s – Lee Chong Wei in men’s singles and Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong in men’s doubles – continued their march into the last eight of the USD250,000 tournament with relatively easy wins.
Chong Wei beat Germany’s Marc Zwiebler 21-9, 21-14 while Kien Keat-Boon Heong did not even lift their rackets as they were given a walkover by Chinese Taipei’s Liao Min Chun-Wu Chun Wei. Kien Keat-Boon Heong will take on Japan’s Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata, who defeated another Malaysian pair, Chow Pak Chuu-Hong Chien Hun 17-21, 21-19, 21-15.
Chong Wei will take on Japan’s Kenichi Tago in the quarter-finals.
“He (Tago) is a dangerous opponent. Although I beat him at the All England Championships this year, he has improved and it will be a good match,” said Chong Wei.
On the possibility of playing Indonesia’s Sony Dwi Kuncoro, who beat Chong Wei in the quarter-finals of the Singapore Open, in the semi-final, the Malaysian said he was only thinking of the match against Tago.
Chong Wei will be joined by compatriot Wong Choong Hann in the last eight after the Malaysian beat South Korea’s Shon Wan Ho 21-18, 21-17.
But it was the Markis-Hendra and Chieh Min-Sheng Mu match which kept the fans on the edge of their seats.
The game was punctuated with long rallies and superb defense by both pairs before the Indonesians drew first blood by taking the first game 27-25 unlike at the Singapore Open semi-finals where the Indonesians lost in straight games.
However, any thought of revenge was soon forgotten as the Chieh Min-Sheng Mu stepped up their game in the second game to win 21-16. In the decider, the Indonesians, visibly the more tired side, lost the third game 21-10.
In the women’s singles, Saina, after her two back to back titles (India Open and Singapore Open Super Series) moved up the world rankings to the No 3 spot and lived up to her top billing by handing Bulgaria’s Petya Nedelcheva a 21-12, 21-17 defeat.
The Indian will take on Russia’s Ella Diehl for a place in the last four.
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