World number two Taufik Hidayat, although pushed to a rubber set match, defeated Febriyan Irvanaldy from Mutiara Bandung 21-15, 15-21, 21-14 during the opening of the 2011 Djarum Badminton Superleague in Surabaya on Sunday.
Taufik, playing for SGS PLN Bandung, is among several top seeds who clinched easy victories in the preliminary rounds of the Rp 1.3 billion (US$147,000) club tournament. The only top seed losing during the first day was world number eight Bona Septano.
Taufik’s SGS PLN Bandung teammate world No. 10 men’s doubles competitor Hendra Aprida Gunawan and partner Flandi Limpele were victorious against Ricky Karanda and Ricky Widianto from Mutiara Bandung with scores of 21-13 and 21-19.
World No. 8 men’s double team Mohammad Ahsan and Fran Kurniawan from Djarum Kudus bested Agripina Prima and Angga Pratama from Jaya Raya Jakarta 21-15 and 21-13.
World no.13 Simon Santoso from Tangkas Alfamart Jakarta won against Pandu Dewantoro from Musica Champion Kudus 21-10 and 21-11. Simon stopped Pandu’s moves with crossed dropshots, sharp smashes and net play.
The Bona Septano and Joko Riyadi pair were defeated by Afiat Yuris Wirawan and Yohanes Rendy 15-21, 18-21.
World number one Lee Chong Wei, who was previously announced as playing for SGS PLN Bandung, had yet to play in the first round of the tournament. Chong Wei is expected to play on Monday when SGS PLN Bandung meets PB Tangkas Alfamart.
“We expected him to play the next day because PB Tangkas Alfamart is a tough team,” SGS PLN Bandung Herman Suharja said, as quoted by Kompas newspaper on Sunday.
The women’s division play would be run late in the evening, featuring, among others, the world number eight pairing of Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari, world number ten pair Shinta Muliasari and Yao Lei of Singapore and world number 27 Maria Febe Kusumastuti.
Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) chief Djoko Santoso said that the championship could serve as a training ground for badminton athletes gearing up for the Thomas and Uber Cup.
“This is an event where Indonesian badminton athletes could cultivate their skills and mental strength,” he said.