Guangzhou: World No. 1 men’s singles player Kento Momota from Japan got off to a strong start by playing a lot of long rallies to see off Wang Tzu Wei of Taiwan 21-10, 21-9 in 29 minutes to set up a match up with Anders Antonsen of Denmark in the second Group A match on Thursday.
However, World No. 2 Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan had to work hard to survive a big scare from Indonesia’s World No. 8 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, claiming his first victory against the Indonesian in 2019 with 11-21, 21-15, 25-23 in 77 minutes. Chou will face Viktor Axelsen next.
Much to the delight of home fans, home favorite Chen Long who came into the tournament with the 2019 French Open title, was able to recover from losing the second set, producing some electric exchanges against Viktor Axelsen to eventually took down the Dane 21-17, 10-21, 21-17. Chen will meet Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the second Group B match on Thursday.
In men’s doubles, Malaysia’s Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik who just won the SEA Games gold medal on Monday, were unfortunately stumbled in their Group B opening match against World No. 2 Hendra Setiawan/Mohammad Ahsan by going down 19-21, 16-21.
Chia denied the defeat was due to they have not recovered from the fatigue of playing at SEA Games.
“Today’s game I don’t think it’s too bad because we’re still playing according to our game plan. Nevertheless, we fell behind quickly in both the first and second set, and when we tried to chase the points, it was either too late or we committed a lot of mistakes by trying to close the gap,” said Chia. Chia/Soh will meet Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin of Taiwan on Thursday.
Another close battle in the men’s doubles saw World No. 1 Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia took revenge against Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen of China for their last year’s defeat by winning 21-18, 14-21, 21-18.
Meanwhile, the mixed doubles match between Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying and China’s Wang Yi Lyu/Huang Dong Ping turned out to be very one-sided with the Chinese pair easily wrapped up the match 11-21, 14-21 in their first action in Group A.