Top Gun Taufik Eases Into Third Round at Asian Championship (pic)

China’s Lin Dan hitting a shot against Suppanyu Avihingsanon of Thailand during the Asian Championship on Wednesday.

Taufik Hidayat is still on course for his fourth Asian Championship title after winning two matches on Wednesday.

Indonesia’s top men’s shuttler, the No. 1 seed in men’s singles, opened with a 21-6, 21-9 win against Indra Mehata of Nepal before beating Vietnam’s Le Ha Anh 21-10, 21-16 in the second round at Siri Fort Stadium in New Delhi. China’s Lin Dan hitting a shot against Suppanyu Avihingsanon of Thailand during the Asian Championship on Wednesday.

“I had an easy day, but I don’t want to think about going to the final,” Taufik told the Jakarta Globe. “There are still many matches to go, and I’ll take it one at a time.”

Taufik, the Asian champion in 2000, 2004 and 2007, next faces Taiwan’s Hsueh Hsuan Yi, who beat Dinuka Karunaratne of Sri Lanka 21-19, 21-14.

The 28-year-old is one of the favorites, along with second-seeded Lin Dan of China, to win the title in the absence of world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.

“I can say I have a pretty good draw. I think I have a chance to go all the way,” Taufik said.

Lin also eased his way into the tournament, beating Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon 21-11, 21-14 in the first round and knocking off Anand Pawar of India 21-14, 21-12 in the second.

Andre Kurniawan Tedjono joined Taufik in the third round after beating compatriot Nugroho Andi Saputro 21-18, 21-18. Indonesia’s other men’s singles shuttlers were not as fortunate, with Tommy Sugiarto falling 21-14, 21-16 to No. 13 seed Kashyap Parupalii of India in the second round and Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka going down 21-14, 21-15 against Taiwan’s Chou Tien Chen.

Indonesia enjoyed success in mixed doubles, as well. Tantowi Ahmad and Greysia Polii scored a surprising 21-19, 21-14 victory over No. 4 seeds Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam of Thailand, while Devin Lahardi Fitriawan and Liliyana Natsir ousted India’s Tarun Kona and Shruti Kurian 21-9, 21-9.

Muhammad Rijal and Debby Sutanto could not follow suit, though, as they lost 21-18, 13-21, 21-11 to Taiwan’s Lee Sheng Mu and Chien Yu Chin.

In women’s singles, Linda Weni Fanetri fell 21-18, 21-11 to Singapore’s Xing Aiying, while Maria Kristin Yulianti lost 15-21, 21-18, 21-16 to No. 2 seed Zhou Mi of Hong Kong.


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