Odense: Mixed doubles world champions Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei, former men’s singles world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, current women’s singles world No. 1 Saina Nehwal, and reigning men’s doubles world champions Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan all crashed out on a day of shocks at the Denmark Open in Odense.
Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei went toe-to-toe with a defiant Korean pair Shin Baek Cheol/Chae Yoo Jung right up until the very end of first set, then Shin/Chae orchestrated a sudden surge at 20-20 to reel off 2 more points to win first set with 22-20.
The Koreans were steady at the end of the second set, holding off a comeback by Zhang/Zhao to stroll into the Denmark Open mixed doubles quarter-finals with a 21-18 second set victory.
In men’s singles, the sense of disbelief swept through the Odense Sports Park after Lee Chong Wei lost to Wei Nan of Hong Kong in the second round on Thursday – for the first time in their 2nd meetings.
The Hong Kong shuttler was riding a massive wave of form, ending the first set with his great defensive return through his backhand that landed the shuttlecock on Lee’s right mid-court to claim the first set 21-18.
Wei’s ferocious smashes and amazing defense continued to frustrate Lee in the second set. After 16-16, Wei Nan exhibited superior net play and smashes to lead at 20-19, before Lee’s right base-line return went a bit too strong, hitting the shuttlecock out of bounds to allow the 31-year-old Wei Nan to clinch the second set 21-19.
Home favorite No. 2 seed Jan O Jorgensen was stretched to his limit during his three-set victory over Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka of Indonesia, winning 12-21, 21-15, 21-19 in 55 minutes. Lin Dan’s match with Hu Yun of Hong Kong was also a tough one. Lin Dan had to battle from a set down to beat Hu Yun 19-21, 21-10, 21-16 in 65 minutes. Lin will take on No. 6 seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the quarter-finals.
Women’s singles world No. 1 Saina Nehwal of India suffered one of her most shocking losses in quite a while on Thursday. The surprise in Odense came to a lightly-regarded world No. 18 Minatsu Mitani who snapped the second round victory with 21-18, 21-13 in 39 minutes. The win on Thursday was Mitani’s fourth win against Nehwal in their 9th meetings.
On the contrary, another Indian women’s shuttler P.V. Sindhu was dominant to overwhelm No. 3 seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan 21-12, 21-15 to play No. 6 seeds Wang Yihan on Friday.
Men’s pair No. 2 seeds Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan fought hard but couldn’t finish the job, slipping and falling down at the end of both sets to lose the match 23-25, 21-23 against Liu Cheng/Lu Kai of China in 42 minutes.
Women’s doubles No. 1 seeds Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi of Japan failed to make the tournament’s quarter-finals on Thursday, losing to Korean pair Jung Kyung Eun/Shin Seung Chan 21-17, 21-13 in 47 minutes, while Malaysians Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei were sent packing with a 16-21, 21-13 defeat to Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl of Denmark.