Jakarta: Home favourite Tommy Sugiarto cruised into the second round of the badminton world championships, with a straight-game victory over European Games victor Pablo Abian as the tournament got under way on Monday in Jakarta.
Sugiarto, Indonesia’s top medal hopeful, defeated the Spaniard 21-16, 21-13 and will now face unseeded Hong Kong shuttler Wei Nan.
The 15th seed looked a little unsteady in the first set, with Abian taking an early lead and threatening to upstage the Indonesian champion before a rowdy home crowd.
But Sugiarto recovered with a string of quick points to claim the first set, before overpowering the visitor in routine fashion in the second.
“I rushed to attack early on, and did not relax,” he told a post-match press conference.
“I tried to get the confidence back to reverse the situation.”
Singapore’s top player Derek Wong beat Tan Yuhan 21-14, 13-8 after the Belgian retired. He will next meet either English 16th seed Rajiv Ouseph or Thai Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, to whom he lost in the SEA Games quarter-finals in June.
The Republic’s leading mixed doubles pair also had little trouble advancing, Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Vanessa Neo overcoming Canada’s Nyl Yakura and Brittney Tam easily by 21-12, 21-9. But they face an uphill task next against fifth-seeded Danes Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen, who are the 2012 Olympic bronze medallists.
Sugiarto said conditions were tricky early on, with a breeze penetrating the indoor stadium and creating problems, but the situation improved in the second set.
Abian said he started well but could not maintain the form that had helped him defeat Sugiarto at the 2011 Spanish Open.
“It was a difficult match, it was very tough,” he said.
Wei had to fight hard to secure his second-round showdown against Sugiarto, only just prevailing over American Howard Shu in a three-game cliffhanger that ended 21-19, 24-26, 21-18.
Elsewhere, 10th seeded Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap made light work of Holland’s Erik Meijs, beating him 21-17, 21-10 on the first day of badminton’s most prestigious tournament.
Fourth seed Kento Momota missed out on an opening-round bye and will square off against Germany’s Dieter Domke later on Monday afternoon.