The 18-year-old, who had a promising 2012 winning the Japan Open, continued her recent good form, prevailing 13-21 22-20 21-17 in the first round Women’s Singles match over Thailand’s teen, Intanon. Having lost the first game, Tai was in a precarious position in the second game - 12-17 down to the world No. 9 but inched ahead to clinch the game 22-20. Although the third game again was a tight affair, Tai grabbed four straight points from 17-all to enter the second round, where she faces China’s Han Li. This was Tai’s third straight win over Intanon in seven meetings.
The Women’s Singles saw the retirements of the top two seeds from China, Li Xuerui and Wang Yihan, to Porntip Buranaprasertsuk (Thailand) and Bae Yeon Ju (Korea) respectively. Most of the other favoured players – such as Wang Shixian, Jiang Yanjiao (both China), Tine Baun (Denmark) and Juliane Schenk (Germany) progressed without trouble. However, Saina Nehwal (India) survived a mild scare. The third seed was taken the distance by upcoming Thai, Sapsiree Taerattanachai (left), before eking out a 17-21 21-9 21-19 victory in 58 minutes.
It was a good day for Europe in Men’s Singles. Marc Zwiebler (Germany), Viktor Axelsen, Jan O Jorgensen (Denmark), Vladimir Ivanov (Russia) and Ville Lang (Finland) made the second round. China had a mixed day, with second seed Chen Long retiring, and the loss of Macau Open champion Chen Yuekun (to Russia’s Ivanov, 21-19 21-15). However, fourth seed Du Pengyu eased into the second round with a rout of Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen 21-7 21-12, while qualifier Gao Huan (BWF home page) surprised his senior compatriot Chen Jin 14-21 21-14 21-15. Top seed Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia) was given a three-game workout by China’s Wang Zhengming 17-21 21-14 21-16.
• Olympic champions, Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng (Men’s Doubles), retired in their first-round encounter.
• In Mixed Doubles, European champions Robert Mateusiak/Nadiezda Zeiba (Poland) avenged their Bitburger Open loss to Anders Kristiansen/Julie Houmann (right) by beating the Danes 21-13 25-23. They will next play Chris Adcock/Gabrielle White (England).
• In Women’s Doubles, Japan’s Miyuki Maeda, playing with Reika Kakiiwa instead of regular partner Satoko Suetsuna, won her first-round match against Bulgaria’s Petya Nedelcheva/Dimitria Popstoikova 21-15 21-16.
• Russia’s Vladimir Ivanov had a good day. Apart from his singles win, he combined with Ivan Sozonov to win his Men’s Doubles match as well, ousting Markis Kido/Alvent Yulianto Chandra (Indonesia) 21-13 21-15.