Jakarta: Here you go again, both Rio Olympic champions in men’s singles and women’s singles Chen Long and Carolina Marin were knocked out of Indonesia Masters on Friday. Badminton fans were still confused, and their confusion was apparent to where they began to wonder whether the defeats of Chen Long and Carolina Marin were in fact due to both players were trying to save energy for bigger tournaments or they really didn’t play well thus causing them to fall out of the tournaments.
BadmintonPlanet.com had reported yesterday that top players have started their own form of ‘soft protests’ such as crashing out early, retiring from the match and skipping tournaments over the hectic 2018 calendar year, where Badminton World Federation (BWF) had made it compulsory for the top 15 men’s singles players and top 10 men’s doubles players in the world to compete in at least 12 selected tournaments. Players such as Lee Chong Wei, Lin Dan, Viktor Axelsen, Carolina Marin, Saina Nehwal, and Nozomi Okuhara had voiced their dissatisfactions and had worried about overplaying and potential burnout during the 2018 season.
Chen Long who lost to Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia in the Malaysia Masters first round last Wednesday, was defeated by Ginting again on Friday at 11-21, 21-16, 18-21 in 67 minutes. Ginting will set up a semi-final crash with No. 6 seed Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan.
Chou, meanwhile, outlasted Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark 15-21, 21-16, 21-18 in another men’s singles quarter-final match and will take on Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai who benefited from top seed and world champion Viktor Axelsen’s injury withdrawal yesterday.
In women’s competition, the No. 3 seed Carolina Marin of Spain lost to He Bingjiao 19-21, 21-12, 16-21. He Bingjiao will meet No. 1 seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan.
The world’s No. 1 women’s singles player Tai overcame Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea 21-11, 21-8 in just 29 minutes on Friday.
Japan’s World champion Nozomi Okuhara and India’s PV Sindhu also high-profile casualties in the women’s singles quarter-finals. Okuhara was beaten by last week’s Malaysia Masters champion Ratchanok Intanon, 17-21, 10-21 while Sindhu lost to compatriot Saina Nehwal 13-21, 19-21.