Sydney: On a day of upsets, Olympic mixed doubles champions Tontowi Ahmad-Lilyana Natsir of Indonesia who just won the Indonesia Open last Sunday, crashed out of the 2017 Australian Open on Wednesday as Malaysian pair Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing took them down 21-17, 21-16 in the first round in just 39 minutes.
Tan/Lai who lost to the Indonesian pair in the quarter-finals of the Indonesian Open last week, levelled their head-to-head record to 1-1 after Wednesday’s victory. The Malaysian duo will play Japan’s Yugo Kobayashi-Misaki Matsutomo in the second round.
“They may be not be fully fit yet after playing so hard to win the Indonesia Open last week,” said Lai.
“We stayed focus, and were really excited with the big win,” added Lai.
After advancing to the semi-finals of Indonesia Open last Saturday with new partner Peck Yen Wei, Malaysia’s top mixed doubles player Chan Peng Soon was paired with yet again another new partner at the Australian Open. Chan Peng Soon/Cheah Yee See dropped their first set, but bounced back to beat Japan’s Takuro Hoki-Sayaka Hirota 14-21, 21-19, 21-14 to meet Hendra Tandjaya/Sekartaji Putri of Indonesia on Thursday.
Reigning Olympic women’s singles champion Carolina Marin saw her Australian Open title bid ended by Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in Wednesday’s first-round match, losing 12-21, 19-21.
This was Marin’s second consecutive first round exits. The Spaniard was knocked out of the first round of Indonesia Open by 19-year-old Chen Xiaoxin of China last Tuesday.