Singapore: The men’s and women’s singles defending champions Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia and Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon together with men’s singles heavyweight Viktor Axelsen of Denmark all crashed out of the OUE Singapore Open on Wednesday.
The 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Sony Dwi Kuncoro fought hard but lost 21-19, 15-21, 18-21 to South Korean Lee Dong Keun in 76 minutes.
In women’s competition, the 2016 Singapore Open champion Ratchanok Intanon looked rusty in the first set when she lost 8-21 to Sayaka Sato of Japan. Although Intanon managed to reel off 7 consecutive points, rallied from 10-18 to narrow the gap at 17-18 in the second set, she failed to force a decider by bowing out 18-21 in the second game.
“Sayaka played very well with strong defense and was very quick. I tried to comeback, unfortunately the gap was too big,” said Intanon after the match.
Men’s singles No. 3 seed Viktor Axelsen’s worrying slump continued Wednesday when he was knocked out of the Singapore Open by unseeded Vincent Wong Wing Ki of Hong Kong 15-21, 15-21 in another shattering blow, one week after he lost to Ajay Jayaram of India in the second round of Malaysia Open last week.
Axelsen admitted he felt exhausted after spending three weeks competing in Asia.
In women’s singles, No. 1 seed Tai Tzu Ying, No. 4 seed Carolina Marin and No. 5 seed P.V Sindhu all through to the second round.