Indonesia’s small but hearty troupe, led by Alvent Yulianto Chandra and Hendra Aprida Gunawan, made a winning start to the Korea Open Super Series.
Playing in Seoul’s Olympic Fencing Stadium on Wednesday, the former national team shuttlers needed just 26 minutes to see off Japan’s Kenichi Hayakawa and Kenta Kazuno 21-15, 21-13.
“We played well enough today. Only in the second game did we lose focus. They changed their tempo, and that let them lead once,” Alvent told the Jakarta Globe by text message.
Hayakawa and Kazuno took a brief 9-6 lead in the second game before the third-seeded Indonesians asserted their dominance again.
Alvent and Hendra will face unseeded Thais Songphon Anugritayawon and Sudket Prapakamol in today’s second round. The Thai duo advanced with a 22-20, 13-21, 21-19 defeat of Baptiste Careme and Sylvian Grosjean of France.
Hendra sounded optimistic about the chances of success, saying, “Each of the Thais is basically a mixed doubles player. We just have to control the match and keep focusing on every point.”
Seeds held largely to form elsewhere in men’s doubles. One seeded casualty was Indonesia-born Tony Gunawan and American partner Howard Bach, with the No. 7 seeds falling 21-13, 21-16 to Ko Sung Hyun and Yoo Yeon Seong.
Eighth-seeded Malaysians Gan Teik Chai and Tan Bin Shen also had a brief stay in Korea, losing 21-19, 21-16 to Fang Chieh Min and Lee Sheng Mu of Taiwan.
Flandy Limpele, Indonesia’s other entry in the tournament, had to work a little harder to reach the second round in mixed doubles. Flandy and Taiwanese partner Cheng Wen Hsing needed three games to get past Kenta Kazuno and Reika Kakiiwa of Japan 19-21, 21-18, 21-14.
They will next face Cheng’s compatriots Fang and Wang Pei Rong. The Taiwan pair advanced after beating fifth-seeded Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Kostiuczyk of Poland 21-11, 10-21, 21-19.
Weny Rahmawati, another Indonesian representing a foreign country, bowed out of the first round of mixed doubles. Weny and Grosjean lost 21-10, 21-14 to Korea’s Yoo Yeon Seong and Park Sun Young.
She still has business in Seoul, though, as Weny and Laura Choinet are still in the women’s doubles draw. The eighth-seeded French pair will play Korea’s Jung Kyung Eun and Yoo Hyun Young, who advanced with a 21-15, 21-16 defeat of Taiwan’s Chien Yu Chin and Wang.
It was not all good news for Korea on Wednesday. Mixed doubles top seeds Lee Yong Dae and Lee Hyo Jung bowed out in the first round to unseeded Tao Jiaming and Zhang Yawen of China 21-13, 21-16.