Just as she did two years ago, Jennifer Tam of NSW knocked out of women's singles a visitor who had traveled half way around the world to play at the Australian Badminton Open. Last time it was a South African, this time Russia's Ekaterina Bolotova fell by the wayside, 8-21, 21-15, 21-19.
Subsequently, Tam managed a respectible 15-21 in the first game against one of China's troops, Xue Yao, and even drew a war cry which is proof of stretching one's opponent despite losing the point in question. But Xue, taller and more experienced from being a full-time player, thereby possessing of cut dropshots that fly faster and benefitting from a longer arm's span reach on shuttles was able to expose the Australian to covering more court which ended the second game quicker than the opener, 7-21 for Tam.
In men's doubles, Victorians Matthew Chau / Sawan Serasinghe recorded a convincing win over Malaysians Lee Yan Sheng / Lin Woon Fui, 21-16, 21-14. It was hardly apparent the Malaysian pair contained a left hander because it produced no advantage whatsoever whereas the Aussies made the most of this aspect of their combination.
"It helped that we'd recently played in a huge stadium at the Sudirman Cup", Chau remarked of their abilities to stamp their authority on the match and not let up through getting used to conditions quickly.
MEN'S SINGLES - RUNNER-UP BLUES
The headline match of the day went the Korean's way when Lee Dong Kuen outlasted last year's men's singles runner-up Simon Santoso 15-21, 21-19, 21-13, after 72 minutes.
Clearly, both men had prepared specifcally for each other and illustrated the characteristics they are known for. Simon with his astute play and fantastic net shots, and Dong Kuen as usual able to keep a level head in the midst of long stormy periods.
Ultimately, the key difference was the number of unforced errors from Simon's racquet. More than a dozen shuttles flew wide, if only mildly, when his opponent was completely not in sight. This was sufficient in keeping the scoreline close and for the Korean not to lose hope.