No Rest for Simon: Badminton Champ Faces Tougher French Field (pic)

Simon Santoso will go up against China's top shuttlers at the French Open.

In the end, Simon Santoso had all of 48 hours or so to celebrate his first Super Series title.

Simon’s surprise run to the Denmark Open men’s singles championship ended with his 21-14, 21-6 defeat of unseeded German Marc Zwiebler. Simon Santoso will go up against China's top shuttlers at the French Open.

His victory gave Indonesia its third Super Series title of the year and avoided another embarrassing shutout.

“I think Marc was still really tired from his match against Sony [on Saturday],” Simon told state-run news agency Antara. “I didn’t give him a chance to develop his game from the beginning.”

The world No. 6 only has two days to rest, though, as the French Open begins in Paris on Wednesday. His task there will be much harder as China’s top shuttlers return to the tour after sitting out the Denmark Open. Simon opens against Japan’s Sho Sasaki, whom he beat in the first round in Denmark. A quarterfinal meeting with No. 1 seed Lin Dan and a semifinal against third-seeded Chen Jin also lurk in his half of the draw.

“I just have to concentrate on my games, whoever I play against. I never take my opponents lightly,” Simon said.

Sony Dwi Kuncoro arrives in Paris after reaching the semifinals in Odense, where he lost to Zwiebler. World No. 5 Taufik Hidayat returns to action after sitting out the Denmark Open.

Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan, the defending champions in men’s doubles, hope to improve on their semifinal showing in Denmark and win their second Super Series title of the year.

Yonathan Suryatama Dasuki and Rian Sukmawan start their campaign against fifth seeded Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif and Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari of Malaysia.

“I’m confident we can beat the Malaysians. We’ll fight hard to at least qualify for the quarterfinals, where we will likely meet Markis and Hendra,” Rian told the Jakarta Globe. “If we can go to the last four, Indonesia at least will have one doubles team in the semifinals.”

Adriyanti Firdasari, the only Indonesian in women’s singles, faces a potential second-round against Denmark Open champion Tine Rasmussen. If Adriyanti can defeat Larisa Griga of Ukraine, she could meet the fourth-seeded Dane, who beat her 11-21, 21-13, 21-15 in the Denmark quarterfinals.

“I lost in Denmark because I played with hesitation against Tine. I won’t make the same mistake if I meet her again in Paris,” Adriyanti said.

In addition to sixth-seeded Shendy Puspa Irawati and Meiliana Jauhari and No. 8 seeds Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Greysia Polii, pro shuttler Vita Marissa will compete in women’s doubles with Cynthia Tuwanakotta of Switzerland.


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