Day 4 – Quarter Finals
It was only a matter of time before both Japan’s Minatsu Mitani and Ayumi Mine progressed over their Indonesian and Chinese opponents respectively.
The comprehensive court coverage of Mine left few gaps for Han Yue to explore with success and so won through 21-15, 21-13. Mine appeared unworried about losing the odd point on trying to retrieve a sharp smash from a taller opponent but otherwise her defensive hand skills were also impeccable and more creative such that this became a threat too.
Men’s singles lost three former Superseries champions.
In this their first ever meeting, Hong Kong’s Lee Cheuk Yiu removed the top men’s seed and 2017 Singapore Superseries champion Sai Praneeth from India in straight games, 23-21, 21-13.
Praneeth’s footwork was made to work the full diagonals backwards to rescue many a fast push from the net. It was Lee’s ploy to avoid any high lifts up the centre which were punished in the first game.
Tommy Sugiarto also suffered a straight through loss to China’s Zhou Zeqi, 12-21, 15-21. On a good day Sugiarto’s experience should have been enough to carry him through but his defence was regularly cracked outright by Zhou’s smashes.
2016 Singapore Superseries champion Sony Dwi Kuncoro’s turnaround of the match in the second game aroused the vocal chanting of his countrymen in the crowd. He combined mild deception and smart changes of pace to level proceedings with Zhao Junpeng and received a yellow card in the process, quite likely for his war cries coming across as intimidation.
In the decider, Zhao won by taking the initiative to press ahead early which piled the pressure and worry on Kuncoro’s shoulders, 21-8, 16-21, 21-17.
Indonesia’s second seeds Wahyu Nayaka / Ade Santoso who are known for their vocal antics on smashes had a battle on their hands unlike their first seeded compatriots Angriawan/Hardianto.
Last year’s Sudirman Cup Korean pairing of Choi Sol Gyu / Seo Seung Jae engaged their opponents in fierce rallies. The Koreans preferred the flat ones whereas either Nayaka or Santoso were equally dangerous at putting away a high lift.
Nayaka’s fault service gave Korea match point but they accidentally let Santoso into the net area to intercept and bring about deuce. The Koreans had a chance to level the deuce but their overcooked return while one of their opponents was on the floor sailed long of the back line to give it to Indonesia, 21-19, 14-21, 23-21.
Get your tickets to 2018 Crown Group Australian Badminton Open thru Ticket Booth https://events.ticketbooth.com.au/events/22970