One of the toughest badminton tournaments of the year is underway as the top players in the world attempt to win the Singapore Open.
In this week-long event, the first day represented the qualification rounds and there were already some surprises. If this is any indication of the rest of the tournament, it is certain to be an exciting championship to watch.
Here is a look at the top results and the biggest stories of the day.
UPDATE: Sunday, June 23 at 10 a.m. ET by Justin Onslow
Defending champion Boonsak Posana rolled in straight sets on Saturday to notch a spot in the finals, but Tommy Sugiarto wasn’t prepared to hand him a second straight title.
After Ponsana took the opening game 22-20 on Sunday, Sugiarto surged back with a dominating 21-5 victory in Game 2 and sealed the deal with a 21-17 victory in Game 3.
The Indonesian star was unseeded in the tournament, but he was absolutely dominant on Sunday in securing the Singapore Open title.
On the women’s side, No. 4 Yihan Wang breezed through the finals with a straight-set victory over No. 1 seed Xuerui Li in a match that lasted just 39 minutes. Wang’s 21-18, 21-12 victory was especially impressive considering China’s reigning Olympic Champion entered the tournament looking almost unstoppable atop the world rankings.
The men’s mixed doubles draw was also decided in two sets on Sunday, as Indonesians Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan upended South Koreans Sung Hyun Ko and Yong Dae Lee 21-15, 21-18 in a match that lasted just 34 minutes.
The second-longest match of the finals, the women’s doubles draw was decided in 48 minutes as Qing Tian and Yunlei Zhao of China defeated Japan’s Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi in straight sets, 21-19, 21-16.
*Match information available at TournamentSoftware.com.
UPDATE: Saturday, June 22 at 12:20 p.m. ET by Patrick Clarke
Saturday's action in Singapore was highlighted by unseeded Indonesian star Tommy Sugiarto battling back to defeat sixth-ranked Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam in the men's singles semifinals according to TournamentSoftware.com.
Sugiarto dropped the opening set 22-20, but fought back in the second set, winning 21-19 before easily taking the deciding frame, 21-15.
In the other men's semifinal matchup, defending tournament champion Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand defeated Japan's Takuma Ueda convincingly in straight sets. Following the impressive win, Ponsana looks the like the overwhelming favorite to win the men's title on Sunday.
In the women's singles draw, Chinese stars Li Xuerui and Wang Yihan both advanced to the final. Li won in straight sets over qualifier Yu Sun while Wang battled back from a one-set deficit to knock off Indonesia's Lindaweni Fanetri.
The men's doubles final will come down to a matchup between the Indonesian pair of Muhammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan vs. South Korea's Ko Sung-hyun and Lee Yong-dae, who also won their semifinal match in straight sets on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Sunday's women's doubles championship will be a battle between China and Japan as the Chinese tandem of Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei looks to upset the higher-seeded Japanese pair of Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi.
---End of update---
UPDATE: Friday, June 21 at 12:37 p.m. ET by Joseph Zucker
The semifinals are all set after Friday's action. You can check out all of the results on TournamentSoftware.com.
There weren't any real surprises in the men's singles draw.
Fifth-seeded Boonsak Ponsana beat Wei Feng Chong in straight sets, 21-10, 21-19. He'll be facing off with Takuma Ueda, who took out Kento Momota in straight sets as well.
Nguyen Tien Minh is the other ranked player left in the men's draw. The No. 6 seed advanced after Marc Zwiebler retired in the second set. Nguyen will meet unranked Tommy Sugiarto in the other semifinal.
Top seed Li Xuerui advanced in the women's draw. She had little trouble in dispatching Sapsiree Taerattanachai in straight sets.
No. 2 Saina Nehwal was not quite so lucky. She lost in straight sets to unranked Lindaweni Fanetri in straight sets.
The other big surprise came in the men's doubles draw. Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa were upset in straight sets by Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.
---End of update---
UPDATE: Thursday, June 20 at 3:10 p.m. ET by Benjamin Klein
There were plenty of exciting matches and surprising results on Thursday at the Li-Ning Singapore Open, according to TournamentSoftware.com.
Du Pengyu, the No. 1 seed in the men’s singles bracket, was ousted from the tournament, falling in three sets to Marc Zwiebler. Zwiebler took the first set, and after dropping the second, battled back to win the third, eliminating the top seed.
Kenichi Tago and Wang Zhengming, the No. 4 and 8 seeds, were also upset in the second round of the tournament. No. 5 Boonsak Ponsana and No. 6 Nguyen Tien Minh are the top two seeds remaining.
The top-seed woman, Li Xuerui, is still alive after defeating Belaextrix Manuputi in straight sets. Sung Ji Hyun and Juliane Schenk were bounced for the woman’s singles bracket, each losing to an unranked opponent.
All of the favorites are still alive in men’s doubles. Ko Sung Hyun and Lee Yong Dae advanced to the quarterfinals with a straight sets victory over Ong Jian Guo and Teo Kok Siang.
There weren’t any surprises in women’s doubles either. Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi had the most impressive victory, defeating Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao 21-15, 21-13.
---End of update---
UPDATE: Wednesday, June 19 at 1:05 p.m. ET by Alex Kay
Both the defending champions from last year's Li-Ning Singapore Open have advanced to the Round of 16, along with a plethora of big names and top stars, as per Channel NewsAsia.
Men's singles two-time champion Boonsak Ponsana and women's champ Juliane Schenk are gearing up to defend their titles, with the former advancing past Zulfadli Zulkiffli in two games, 21-12, 21-12.
It took Schenk three games to advance, but she eventually ousted Chan Tsz Ka, 16-2, 21-6, 21-13.
The top seeds are still alive, as men's superstar Du Pengyu knocked out Anand Pawar, 21-16, 21-13 to set up a showdown with Marc Zwiebler.
On the women's side, No. 1-seeded Li Xuerui eventually dispatched Sashina Vignes Waran, 21-10, 21-14. She'll face Belaetrix Manuputi in the next round.
---End of update---
Players Advancing (via TournamentSoftware.com)
|Men's Singles||Women's Singles|
|Lee Dong-Keun ||Thulasi P. C.|
|Sai Praneeth B.||Sun Yu|
|Zulfadli Zulkifli||Aiying Xing|
|Ka Long Ng||Arundhati Pantawane|
Derek Wong Falls Early
One of the top players in Singapore was unable to represent his home country in the main draw after losing in the first round of the qualification process.
Derek Wong opened his day against Malaysian Zulfadli Zulkifli, but the home-field advantage was not enough at Singapore Indoor Stadium. He ended up losing 18-21, 21-15, 21-15, and will have to hope for better success next time.
As for Zulkifli, he won his second-round match as well, and will continue his efforts in the next round against No. 5 seed Boonsak Ponsana.
Xing Aiying Reaches Next Stage
While Wong could not make it through qualifying, another Singapore native was able to come through on the women's side. Xing Aiying won both of her matches and will attempt to keep winning in the main draw.
Of course, it was rarely easy. She defeated Millicent Wiranto 21-14, 18-21, 21-9, and then needed three games to advance past Ngan Yi Cheung too.
After reaching the semifinals of this tournament last year, Aiying is certainly capable of making a deep run once again.
Sai Praneeth B. Cruises Through Qualifying
Although most matches on the day were highly competitive, Sai Praneeth B. had little trouble advancing to the next round.
The Indonesian player had two victories without losing a single game, only struggling a bit late against Riichi Takeshita. He still advanced unscathed with a 22-20 win in the final game.
He will face No. 2 seed Hu Yun, which is a big increase in competition. However, he can make it a match if he plays as well as he did on the first day.
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