WS: Nozomi Okuhara (JPN) beat Ratchanok Intanon (THA) 21-17, 21-15
Even though Ratchanok Intanon was making Nozomi Okuhara run a great deal, there was no reluctance on the latter’s part. The Japanese still managed to stay ahead in the first game.
There were a few Thai drop-shots that were too sharp to reach but the Japanese had read them. Japanese drop-shots, however, left Intanon flat footed.
The second game drew applause from the crowd for each side pulled out their signature shots but Okuhara never not looked in charge of the pace of the match.
WS: Chen Yufei (CHN) beat Nitchaon Jindapol (THA) 21-10, 23-25, 21-6
It wasn’t until the second half of the opening game that Nitchaon Jindapol found the measure of the greatly improved world #2 Chen Yufei.
Nevertheless, Jindapol, had to muster fine skills several times over to counter Chen’s luck on net cords during the second game deuce. The Thai was successful at baiting Chen towards the net and with swift handywork pushing the shuttle overhead beyond reach.
The world #29, Jindapol, couldn’t repeat her 2013 Australian Open final’s appearance as Chen learnt to prevent these situations and subtly overpower the Thai in the rubber game.
MS: Anthony Ginting (INA) beat Wang Tzu Wei (TPE) 21-17, 21-14
Wang possessed comprehensive singles skills but displayed no weapons to truly agitate the light-footed Anthony Ginting.
One of the best points was an extended rally at 11-11 in the first game when Ginting assessed the entire repertoire of his opponent. Wang was able to reach all the shuttles until he was drawn towards the net and Ginting dared to return a net shot with one of his own. Wang didn’t budge either but his last shuttle was killed off by a Ginting backhand.
MS: Jonatan Christie (INA) beat Chou Tien Chen (TPE) 22-20, 12-21, 21-16
A slower start by the Taiwanese helped Jonatan Christie take the first game at deuce.
And then poor judgement on when to take rear line shots as well as applying too strength thereby sending his own shots long of his opponent’s perimeter explains a lot about the Indonesian’s poor second game.
After the opener Chou Tien Chen was slightly hotter in the smashing department while Christie was better at net kills. The match was anybody’s but the deadlock was broken by Chou playing too frequently into the forecourt which was Christie’s forte today.
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