Any surprise Indonesia’s women can come up with, the men can do just as well.
One day after unseeded Adriyanti Firdasari upset women’s singles No. 1 Zhou Mi in the first round of the Japan Open Super Series, Simon Santoso did likewise to men’s singles top seed Lee Chong Wei.
Simon held off the Malaysian No. 1 19-21, 21-15, 21-19 at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Wednesday, capping another successful day for Indonesian shuttlers in their push to end the country’s Super Series title drought.
Indonesia has not won a Super Series championship since the Malaysia Open in January.
Lee did not go down without a fight, erasing a 15-7 deficit in the third game to pull level at 19.
He failed to pull out the result, though, and quickly left the court without speaking to reporters.
“When I took the lead in the final game, I slowed down a little bit, giving [Lee] the chance to fight back. But I was patient in the end and able to beat him,” Simon told Agence France-Presse.
“He’s one of the best players in the world, he’s currently the No. 1 player. Patience was the key to my victory today.”
Simon advanced to face compatriot Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the quarterfinals.
The No. 5 seed and defending Japan Open champion beat China’s Chen Long 21-19, 15-21, 21-14.
“I shall win tomorrow,” Sony told AFP. “I’m very confident. It doesn’t matter which country [Simon] is from.”
Fourth-seeded Taufik Hidayat also advanced to the quarterfinals, beating Andrew Smith of England 21-13, 21-14 to set up a match against No. 6 seed Park Sung Hwan of Korea.
Adriyanti failed to match her first-round performance in women’s singles, falling 15-21, 21-19, 27-25 to Nicole Grether of Germany.
Indonesia’s other big upset on Thursday came in mixed doubles. Hendra Aprida Gunawan and Vita Marissa upset the form book by knocking off No. 2 seeds Zheng Bo and Ma Jin of China 11-21, 21-9, 21-17.
Their reward is a quarterfinal match against fifth seeds and recently crowned world champions Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl of Denmark.
The previous world champions, Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir, cruised to a 21-7, 21-8 victory against Japan’s Takeshi Kamura and Koharu Yonemoto. Nova and Liliyana lost to Laybourn and Rytter Juhl in the 2009 world championship final.
Rian Sukmawan and Yonathan Suryatama Dasuki won the tournament’s latest all-Indonesia match, beating countrymen Mohammad Ahsan and Bona Septano 21-15, 21-19 in the men’s doubles second round.
Top seeds Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan, meanwhile, eased into the quarterfinals with a 21-12, 21-7 defeat of former national team shuttler Flandy Limpele and Halim Haryanto Ho, an Indonesia-born player representing the United States.
Eighth-seeded Alvent Yulianto Chandra and Hendra Aprida Gunawan rounded out Indonesia’s quarterfinal trio, beating Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun and Kwon Yi Goo 21-12, 21-16. No. 4 seeds Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark, Alvent and Hendra’s quarterfinal opponents, advanced by beating Indonesia’s Luluk Hadiyanto and Joko Riyadi 21-14, 22-20.
Both of Indonesia’s women’s doubles teams reached the last eight.
Fourth-seeded Shendy Puspa Irawati and Meiliana Jauhari overcame Japan’s Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito 17-21, 21-14, 21-13, and No. 6 seeds Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Greysia Polii advanced with a 21-15, 18-21, 21-15 victory against Petya Nedeltcheva of Bulgaria and Anastasia Russkikh of Russia.