It was an awesome day for all Thai players in the singles, with not a single one unable to qualify for the second round. Flourishing youngsters Ratchanok Intanon and Porntip Buranaprasertsuk both won in the women’s singles, as did their fellow citizen. Another “Tai”, in the person of Taiwan’s Tai Tzu Ying, became the second teen in a week to score an unanticipated victory against 2009 World Champion Lu Lan.
By Elm Vandervorst. Photos (live): Badmintonphoto
There were mixed feelings for the Taipei delegation however as fourth-seeded twosome Fang Chieh Min / Lee Sheng Mu were beaten by Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan in straight sets 21-14, 22-20. Gunawan and Bach won America’s first ever World Championship gold five years ago and showed everybody they are still a duo not to be messed with. It was another early exit for Fang and Lee, who also lost their first rounder in Hong Kong last year. Also eighth seeds Chen Hung Ling and Lin Yu Lang can already prepare to head home, as opponents Chai Biao / Guo Zhendong prevailed 22-20, 21-11
Back to their compatriot Tai Tzu Ying, who out of the blue overcame 2009 World Champion Lu Lan. Tai fell 0-4 behind in the first game but took control later on, claiming the first 21-16. Leading 18-11 in the second set the Taipei shuttler seemed assured of causing the upset of the day. Lu Lan came very close, but not close enough and suffered defeat 19-21. Tai will now meet her second straight Chinese opponent, top seeded Wang Xin.
There were nothing but good times for Thai badminton in both the men’s and women’s singles. Salakjit Ponsana showed how it’s done, needing less than half an hour against Cheng Hsiao Huan to survive another day 21-18, 21-13. Also surviving was her brother Boonsak, who was obliged to play three games against China’s Wen Kai. It was the latter who took control 21-17 in the opening game. Then the older of the Ponsanas had to pull off an amazing comeback from 9-18 in the second. Miraculously he did, eventually succeeding 23-21.
Wen’s resistance wasn’t broken yet and at 19-19 he could still look forward to a possible match versus Park Sung Hwan. That was reckoned without one’s host; in this case Ponsana, who took the third set 21-19 after one hour and 14 minutes! Another thriller for Thailand was played by Ratchanok Inthanon, in a battle between generations, who also needed more than an hour to defeat her 32-year-old rival Ella Diehl 21-23, 21-9, 21-17.
More joy for the upcoming powerhouse as men’s singles participant Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk was stronger in an All-Asian encounter with Arvind Bhat 21-13, 23-21. And last but not least, Porntip Buranaprasertsuk overwhelmed Rena Wang from the US 21-16, 21-15. She can now prepare for her match against Pi Hongyan. The former Chinese shuttler, who has represented France for some years, had no problems with Malvinne Ann Venice Alcala 21-12, 21-15 in her first rounder.