Dubai: First day in the BWF Destination Dubai World Superseries Finals at the Hamdan Sports Complex served up couple of surprises, as some of tournament favorites were defeated on Wednesday.
First on the court was the mixed doubles, and Hong Kong’s mixed doubles pair Reginald Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah made their marks on the first day of the Dubai World Superseries Finals with a 21-15, 21-12 upset over World No.1 Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei of China in their first Group A match. World No. 2 mixed doubles pair Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin also suffered the same fate as their compatriots did in Dubai by posting a loss to Praveen Jordan/Debby Susanto of Indonesia in their mixed doubles Group B match.
Next, the women’s singles saw World No. 2 Saina Nehwal, who came into the match with a 4-0 head-to-head record against Nozomi Okuhara of Japan, could not play her best game as her ankle injury restricted her on-court movement. Nehwal eventually lost to Okuhara 14-21, 6-21. Nehwal will play World No. 1 Carolina Marin in another Group A match on Thursday.
Carolina Marin was barely troubled by defending champion Tai Tzu Ying, winning her opening match 21-16, 21-9.
In the men’s singles match, Chen Long saw off his teammate Tian Houwei 21-13, 21-13, while current World No. 9 Kidambi Srikanth looked a pale shadow of himself, while World No. 5 Kento Momota produced a controlled aggressive game and fortified his defense to dominate the match completely. Momota comfortably pocketed the match with 21-13, 21-13 victory against Srikanth.
Meanwhile, Korea’s Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong overcame a stubborn Fu Haifeng/Zhang Nan pair with 16-21, 21-10, 21-12, staying on course to defend their World Superseries Finals men’s doubles title.