Badminton Life

Top Seed Troubled by a Tricky Start

Being the top seed of a tournament should give a player an easy start to an event but there are times when it does not always go in the favour of the player ranked as being the best.

The recent Singapore Open saw the top player get off to an extremely troublesome start, which would certainly not have been welcomed by him. However, this is exactly the type of thing that is loved by fans and other players so needless to say there was a lot of excitement and attention being placed upon this match.

Lee Chong Wei from Malaysia was the number one player going into the event and he must have felt he would have enough in his locker to ease past Sho Sasaki from Japan in the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The match eventually lasted 55 minutes and it took three sets for Chong Wei to emerge the victor.

The first set went well enough and the 21-11 score line was a fair representation of the dominance shown by the Malaysian star but Sho Sasaki battled back strongly in the second set. Chong Wei was close to finishing the match off but his Japanese rival hung on in there and tied the game with a 22-20 win.

This would undoubtedly have startled the nerves for both players but it appears as though his second set took a lot out of Sho Sasaki and his resistance was much weaker this time around. Lee Chong Wei bounced back and clinched the final set 21-8 to finally get past his difficult opponent and set up a second round match against his team mate Wong Choong Hann.

Matches pitting friends and team mates are always interesting to see if they really go at each other or if perhaps they know a bit about their opponent that perhaps other players do not. Choong Hann had a two set victory in his opening match to set up this tie but it wasn't an easy one either.

It took 46 minutes for the match to be concluded and the score line of 24-22, 21-19 indicates how close the match was and it is fair to say that both eventual winners were pushed to their limits in getting through. It was tough luck on Lee Tsuen Seng to lose in such a manner but he can take pride in how strongly he played.

This isn't the only all Malaysian match in the tournament as there was another in the first round, causing more headaches within the Malaysian camp and forcing fans and officials to pick sides to give backing to. Kuan Beng Hng, a qualifier in the event managed a convincing two set victory over Nusa Mahsuri's Mohd Roslin Hashim and the 21-15, 21-18 result was a fair reflection of the match. The reward for knocking out a countryman is a tie against the eighth seed, Boonsak Ponsana who hails from Thailand.

With such an exciting first round of action for the Malaysian stars, it can only be hoped that one of their players manages to go all the way to the final and attemt to win the tournament to give them some reward for the amount of excitement and pleasure they have served up so early on.

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