By Rizal Abdullah

World No 1 and top seed Datuk Lee Chong Wei kick-started his campaign in the 2017 Wuhan – City of Automobile Badminton Asia Championships in Wuhan on Wednesday with on a winning note.

The Malaysian ace rode to a 21-19, 21-11 win over his Japanese opponent Kazumasa Sakai in 41 minutes. He faces another Japanese opponent in the next round – qualifier Kenta Nishimoto who did well to register a shock 21-14, 21-9 win over Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto.

On his close fight in the first set against Sakai the 34-year-old Chong Wei said it was not a concern as it was his first match and it takes some time to “get the feel” to settle down.

“Once I got into the rhythm it was comfortable and I felt confident,” said the Malaysian who defeated China’s Chen Long in the final last year also in Wuhan.

Chong Wei is the star attraction in Wuhan and he been getting all the attention from the local print and electronic media in this city – which is dubbed the “City of Automobile”.

Meanwhile second seeded Chen Long of China, who did not compete in last week’s China Masters in Jiangsu and pulled out midway from the recent Malaysia Masters in Kuching, Sarawak with a wrist injury, took to the courts against a rookie from the Philippines.

The Rio Olympics champion was on court for only 27 minutes as he toyed with Ros Leonard Pedrosa for a 21-11, 21-4 win.

However, it was not the same for newy crowned China Masters champion Tian Houwei as India’s Ajay Jayaram shocked the No 5 Chinese seed 21-18, 18-21, 21-19 after a tough 70 minute battle.

Five time world champion Lin Dan, who won the Malaysia Open early this month and seeking his fourth Asia title swept to the second round with a 21-15, 21-10 over up and coming Korean youngster Lee Dong Keun.

In the women’s singles top seed and world No 1 Tai Tzu Ying gave a polished display as walked away with a  21-10, 21-8 win over Vietnam Thuy Linh.

There was disappointment for India’s No 8 seed and former world No 1 Saina Nehwal who crumbled to a 19-21, 21-16, 21-18 defeat at the hands of Japan’s Sayaka Sato on a day when Rio Olympic silver medallist and compatriot made up for the disappointment a 21-8, 21-18 win over Indonesian Dinar Dyah Ayustine to advance to the second round,

It was also smooth sailing for defending women’s doubles champions Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi who won their first round match against Singapore’s Ong Re-ne-Crystal Woing Jia Ying 21-12, 21-18.

Malaysia’s Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei came back from a set down to get past Thailand’s seventh seeds Puttita Supajirakul-Taerattanachai 13-21, 21-18, 21-19.

In the mixed doubles China’s top seeds Zheng Siwei-Chen Qingchen were given a fright by India’s Pranaav Jerry Chopra-N. Sikki Reddy before prevailing 21-15, 14-21,21-16. 



Men’s Singles

Chou Tien Chen (Tpe) beat Niluka Karunaratne (Sri)  21-19, 21-16

Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Tha) beat Ryan Ng Zin Rei (SGP) 21-13, 16-21, 21-14

Ihsan Maulana Mustofa (Ina) beat Zulfadli Zulkifli (Mas) 21-14, 16-21, 21-15

Kenta Nishimoto (Jpn) beat Tommy Sugiarto (Ina) 

Hsu Jen Hao (Tpe) beat Hu Yun (Hkg) 21-13, 21-14

Ajay Jayaram (Ind) beat Tian Houwei (Chn) 21-18, 18-21, 21-19

Chen Long (Chn) beat Ros Leonard Pedrosa (Phi) 21-11, 21-4

Son Wan-ho (Kor) beat Nguyen Tien Minh (Vie) 21-16, 21-9

Chong Wei Feng (Mas) beat Lin Yu Hsien (Tpe) 16-21, 21-14, 21-13

Vincent Wong Wing Ki (Hkg) beat Kanta Tsuneyama (Jpn) 21-11, 16-21, 21-14

Lin Dan (Chn) beat Lee Dong Keun (Kor) 21-15, 21-10

Angus Ng Ka Long (Hkg) beat H.S. Prannoy (Ind) 21-16, 13-21, 21-19

Khosit Phetpradab (Tha) beat Wang Tze Wei (Tpe) 21-11, 21-16


Men’s Doubles

Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (Mas) beat Sachin Dias-Buwenaka Goonathileka (Sri)

Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen (Chn) beat Bodin Isara-Nipitphon Phuangphuapet (Tha) 21-6, 21-16

Chen Hung-ling-Wang Chi-lin (Tpe) beat Tim Isriyanet-Kittisak Namdash (Tha) 21-16, 21-12

Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe (Jpn) beat Law Cheuk Him-Lee Chun Hei (Hkg) 21-10, 21-10

Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda (Jpn) beat Dipesh Dhami-Ratnajit Tamang (Nep) 21-10, 21-4

Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (Mas) Liao Kuan Hao-Lu Chia Pin (Tpe) 21-15, 13-21, 21-16


Women’s Singles

Tai Tzu Ying (Tpe) beat Nguyen Thuy Linh (Vie) 21-10, 21-8

Sayaka Sato (Jpn) beat Saina Nehwal (Ind) 19-21, 21-16, 21-18

P.V. Sindhu (Ind) beat Dinar Dyah Ayustine (Ina) 21-8, 21-18

He Bingjiao (Chn) beat Kim Hyo-min (Kor) 17-21, 21-15, 21-14

Chen Yufei (Chn) beat Busanan Ongbamrungphan (Tha) 21-13, 21-13

Aya Ohori (Jpn) beat Sarah Joy Barredo (Phi) 21-13, 21-3

Pornpawee Chochuwong (Tha) beat Chiang Mei Hui (Tpe) 21-11, 21-16

Soniia Cheah (Mas) beat Soraya Aghaeihajiagha (Iri) 21-10, 21-7


Women’s Doubles

Ng Wing Yung-Yuen Sin Ying (Hkg) beat Lim Yin Loo-Yap Cheng Wen (Mas) 21-12, 14-21, 21-18

Huang Dongping-Li Yinhui (Chn) beat Chwo Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean (Mas) 21-9, 21-16

Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei (Mas) beat Puttita Supajarikul-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) 13-21, 21-18, 21-19

Chae Yoon-jung-Kim So-yeong (Kor) beat Ashwinin Ponnappa-N. Sikki Reddy (Ind) 22-20, 21-16

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