Friday, August 12, 2016
TEXT BY DEV SUKUMAR | BADMINTONPHOTO
After a morning of upsets, conventional results prevailed in the second session today, with Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov and Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen booking their quarter-final places.
In Group C, Boe and Mogensen were impressive in a straight-games rout of Poland’s Adam Cwalina/Przemyslaw Wacha, but Ivanov and Sozonov ran into surprising resistance from Australia’s Matthew Chau/Sawan Serasinghe in Group A.
Yonex All England champions Ivanov and Sozonov were expected to steamroll the young Australians, and while they came away victors in straight games, 21-16 21-16, there were periods in the match when the Russians felt the pressure. The Australians were sharp and stole frequent winners, with Serasinghe creating the openings at the net with his nifty left-handed shots, and Chau firing winners at awkward angles. At 15-all in the second, the Australians sniffed the opportunity to take the match to a third, but they were undone by some inconsistent play that saw them gift five straight points off the first or second shot.
“Going in, there was no pressure on us as they are the All England champions,” said Serasinghe. “We tried to stick to our gameplan, we’d done some videos analysis on them. They were more consistent than us and more experienced – that made the difference in the end.
“We will get a lot of confidence from this match. We played well against the World No.1 pair yesterday, and definitely these matches will boost our confidence.”
“At the Superseries level, we’ve played only the Australian Open and the Indonesia Open this year,” added Chau. “That apart, we haven’t played any Superseries. We never get a chance to play against this level. It’s nice to test ourselves and come up with something which is positive. We didn’t do too badly.”
No.4 seeds Fu Haifeng/Zhang Nan eased to the quarter-finals with a 21-11 21-16 result over Germany’s Michael Fuchs/Johannes Schoettler in Group B.
Fuchs and Schoettler got their fans in the crowd excited in the second game as they stayed level for the most part, but the Chinese tightened the screws at the end and the Germans were left to ponder the missed opportunity.
“We had the right tactics in the second, we moved better, the transition from defence to offence was better, we had better hitting points in midcourt, so we were able to put pressure on them,” said Fuchs.
“In the first game they pushed us away all the time, had complete control of the mid- and front court, we did not get any chance to play offensive shots.
“They’re a fantastic pair, it’s tough to get the rallies going. We adapted well in the second. Unfortunately in the end, we made two simple mistakes, just two or three good serves and that was it.”
Malaysia’s Mixed Doubles pair Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying got their second straight victory, and will qualify for the knock-out stage from Group C alongside Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir. The Malaysians beat Australia’s Robin Middleton/Leanne Choo 21-17 21-15.
Group D’s two qualifiers were also decided, with Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na shutting out Dutch pair Jacco Arends/Selena Piek 21-10 21-10 and making the quarter-finals with Japan’s Kenta Kazuno/Ayane Kurihara, who earlier beat USA’s Phillip Chew/Jamie Subandhi.
In the two singles matches in the session, Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen got off to a strong start, beating Estonia’s Raul Must 21-8 21-15, while his Women’s Singles compatriot Line Kjaersfeldt also emerged victor, beating Finland’s Nanna Vainio 21-9 21-8.
In Women’s Doubles, Indonesia’s Greysia Polii/Nitya Krishinda Maheswari (Group C) and Yu Yang/Tang Yuanting (Group D) expectedly won their second straight matches and made the knock-out stage.