Jakarta: After being defeated by Ihsan Maulana Mustofa of Indonesia in the first round of Malaysia Masters last week, the two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China was ousted by former world junior No. 1 Kantaphon Wangcharoen in the first round of the Daihatsu Indonesia Masters in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Wangcharoen was overwhelmed with his victory after he shocked Lin 21-15, 21-19 in 41 minutes.
“Lin Dan made a lot of great shots, but I was just fighting for every point,” said Kantaphon.
Well, after Badminton World Federation (BWF) made it mandatory that world’s top 15 players in the singles and top 10 doubles pairs to play a minimum of 12 tournaments or face a penalty in the 2018 calendar year, it is completely understandable that players such as Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei are going to either pay the fine, or if they do not want to pay the fine, will crash out early in some tournaments to avoid emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion.
Meanwhile, the Rio Olympic Chen Long who also crashed out of the first round of Malaysia Masters last week, barely scraped past Anders Antonsen of Denmark in the first set 24-22 in the first round, before winning the second set 21-10. Chen will face qualifier Suppanyu Avihingsanon of Thailand next.
The World No. 1 men’s singles player and the No. 1 seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark continued his red-hot form, needed only 37 minutes to notch up his first round win against Hsu Jen Hao of Taiwan 21-13, 21-7. Axelsen is set to play Kazumasa Sakai of Japan next.
In women’s singles, No. 1 seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan survived a first-round scare from Michelle Li of Canada before grinding out a 23-25, 21-12, 22-20 victory over the Canadian in front of a raucous crowd at Istora Gelora Bung Karno stadium on Wednesday. Tai will take on teammate Lee Chia Hsin in the second round.
Last week’s Malaysia Masters women’s singles champion, the No. 4 seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand also advanced to the second round by beating Zhang Beiwen from USA 21-7, 21-13. Intanon is scheduled to play Fitriani Fitriani of Indonesia on Thursday.