Sydney, Wed, 09 May 2018
MORNING - Round 1
Ranked as high as world #30 last year, Sabrina Jaquet waved the flag on behalf of European women’s singles when she ousted up and coming Korean youngster Kim Ga Eun in three games. 21-16, 13-21, 21-14.
In men’s singles, Niluka Karunaratne was defeated by China’s Zhou Zeqi, 21-17, 22-20. The experienced Sri Lankan campaigner was on course practically all the way to earning the second game but one tentative typical forehand netshot during a long rally erased his narrow lead.
During the deuce, Zhou remained steady as all Chinese players can until Karunaratne’s all or nothing flat push faltered into the tape of the net because he slipped during its execution.
2013 World Junior champion Heo Kwang Hee of Korea also met demise at the hands of an unheralded Chinese player. Lu Guangzu let the whole stadium hear his jubilation the moment he came out on top, 21-9, 16-21, 21-18.
AFTERNOON (of upsets) - Round 1
Australia’s top women’s singles player Wendy Chen was responsible for deleting the Japanese eighth seed from this year’s tournament, 8-21, 21-15, 22-20.
A typically slow start and horrific early scoreline for the Queenslander didn’t crush her ambitions. Crucially, Chen stayed fitter to be able to win the next two games over higher ranked, world #68 Shiori Saito.
Chen’s lead throughout the deciding game and conversion on match point were the result of delicate netshots.
An uncharacteristic performance by second seeded Michelle Li of Canada against China’s Han Yue meant a ticket home after the first hurdle.
Han had clearly studied for Li’s repertoire of shots. On the other hand, Li lacked the magic touch of Wendy Chen and accumulated unforced errors at the net until to the tune of 11-21, 11-21.
2016 World Junior champion Sun Feixiang won the flat drive rally contest against eighth seeded Liew Daren of Malaysia, 21-15, 21-18. Liew’s comeback late in the second game was thwarted by a foot injury.
Japan’s Riichi Takeshita continues in the tournament care of his relentless machine like shot precision in disposing of Ajay Jayaram, 20-22, 22-20, 21-17.
Lucky number seven seed Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong barely cleared the close battle with Lakshya Sen, 22-20, 13-21, 21-19. Lee’s consistent energy on cross court smashes from both sides thrilled the crowd.
World ranked #433 Ou Xuanyi / Ren Xiangyu dealt a swift death to their fourth seeded compatriots’, He Jiting / Tan Qiang, chances of claiming their first men’s title, 21-16, 21-18.
Ou/Ren were too hot to handle from the get go especially with their timing on interceptions at the net. He Jiting never fully regained his composure in spite of leading in the second game.
Sensationally, Sabar Karyaman Gutama / Frengky Wijaya Putra of Indonesia defeated the high profile Malaysian-Korean combination of former world #1s Tan Boon Heong / Yoo Yeon Seong, 21-19, 20-22, 21-18.
The fitness of Tan/Yoo were exposed time and again in crucial long rallies when retrieving sudden dropshots in the forecourt. Yoo framed more than a few framed defensive lifts while Tan’s signature high and deep defence ultimately hit long of the rear perimeter.
For the full results and tournament schedule, go to https://www.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/matches.aspx?id=0B2351D8-4D29-4E7A-B3DB-8CBF2E65CF32&d=20180509