The 2017 Crown Group Australian Badminton Open officially got underway at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre today, with some exciting SuperSeries qualification matches taking place.
Twenty-two-year-old Louisa Ma was one of the best performing Australian of the day, winning her two singles qualification matches to progress through the tournament.
“I’ve never played in such a big setting like this, so I was a bit nervous going out there under the spotlight,” Ma who hails from Victoria said.
“I just had to make sure that I got some rallies going and not go for too much at first and just hang in there.”
Ma will next face Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in the Round of 32, as well as kicking off her doubles campaigns.
Also impressive in the women’s singles was junior world number one Jia Min Yeo of Singapore. Min Yeo easily won her first two qualifying matches to advance in the tournament.
Straight off the back of his second place at the Indonesian SuperSeries on the weekend, Kazumasa Sakai of Japan was back on court this morning, overcoming Australia’s Anthony Joe (21-12, 21-10). Later in the morning however he conceded defeat to Parupalli Kashyap of India (21-5, 21-16). Kashyap, the former world number 6, was simply arriving earlier to all the exchanges against Sakai who showed his fatigue having gone through qualifying in Jakarta and already played seven rounds there.
Denmark's Emil Holst was also unable to resume his fine form from Indonesia and went down 14-21, 13-21, to world number 105 Chen Chun-Wei of Taiwan in his SuperSeries debut.
Chen's jubilation was cut short by his countryman, world number 636 Kan Chao Yu who competed without the aid of a coach to win, 21-15, 23-21.
There was little separating the talent of Japanese athletes Takuma Ueda and Kenta Nishimoto in their match up - the retrieval skills of both men were top notch. The senior Ueda distinguished himself only when Nishimoto made a couple of errors at the tail end of the first game. Taking a risk on his own net shot drive on match point Ueda secured the win and a main draw berth (21-16, 21-19).
For the full results and tournament schedule go to: http://www.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/tournament.aspx?id=F0D1C54B-EF2E-4ED7-8E0F-2139EF1FB98E