The first event of the 2011 SuperSeries has a field truly worthy of an elite event, with the Korean Open Premier Series event next week some of the top players are looking to play their way into some form ahead of the first Premier Series event whilst others are hoping to get their years off to the right start.
Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan both navigated their first round matches in two games to the delight of the fans and tournament organisers alike, with the two scheduled for a semi final encounter to renew their rivalry. Chen Jin had to battle against Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in a three-game, 80 minute encounter which the 4th seed eventually won but there was a Chinese casualty on day one as the 7th seeded Bao Chunlai lost out to Kenichi Tago in a tight two game match.
The Chinese stranglehold on the women’s singles has never been so clear with 5 of the 8 seeds coming from China. All five progressed without trouble in two games, with Liu Xin making the tally of Chinese players 6 in the last 16 of the event. Juliane Schenk is the biggest challenge to the Chinese juggernaut, the 5th seed progressing in two games also. Liu Xin was responsible for the only loss of a seed in the opening round, defeating Bae Youn Joo in three games.
Koo and Tan’s 2011 has started in the worst possible way, a three game defeat to unseeded Hong and Shen of China. Chen and Lin of Chinese Taipei were the other seed to fall in the first round, losing to qualifiers Sapura and Triyachart which has opened up the top half of the mens doubles draw. There were routine wins for 5th seeded Chai and Guo, 4th seeded Hashimoto and Hirata as well the 3rd seeded Chandra and Gunawan to ensure plenty of seeds remained in the draw.
Just 5 months into their partnership and Wang and Yu have shot almost into the top 10 in the womens doubles ranking and their seeds in a SuperSeries event. They were at their dominant best in a two game win over Ng and Ng of Malaysia.2nd seeded Nedelcheva and Russkikh were equally as impressive in their opening round match and the two pairs would meet in the quarter final on Friday with another win apiece. Top seeded Chien and Cheng are also safely into the last 16 with a routine two game win over Matsuo and Naito of Japan.
Top seeded Thai pair of Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam were defeated in their opening round match to the unseeded Japanese pair of Ikeda and Shiota in two tight games. Also losing out in the first round was the 8th seeded Ahmad and Natsir, who lost to Xu and Yu of China in a tame two game defeat. There was a win for newly nationalised Scottish player Robert Blair with partner Gabby White who now take on the Chinese pairing of Xu and Yu. The 2nd seeded Ko and Ha had little trouble in reaching the second round with a two game victory over Ong and Chong of Malaysia. He and Ma were also impressive in their two game opening round match, dropping just 13 points on route to the last 16.