Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen, the world No. 2, was yesterday forced into a three-set decider by Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk at the Yonex Thailand Open.
The local, who ranks 39th worldwide, came out firing in the first game 16-21, but quickly lost momentum going down 21-10, 21-14.
Wang Tzu-wei, the world No. 12 from Taiwan, took three sets to beat France’s 37th-ranked Brice Leverdez 21-12, 14-21, 21-16.
In the doubles, Taiwan’s Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin easily beat Denmark’s Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen 21-13 in the first set, before clinching the match 21-18 in the second set.
Spain’s Carolina Marin sailed through the first round as she made a fast start to her season, six months before her Olympic title defense.
The former world No. 1 made short work of France’s 37th-ranked Qi Xuefei, winning the first game in just 15 minutes before sealing it 21-10, 21-12.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
“I feel really happy to be back on court after some months without tournaments. I have really missed it a lot,” Marin said. “I wanted to get back this competition feeling, that adrenaline. I came with determination to win, but also to keep my focus on my game plan.”
“Winning here is what I want. I would like to win a title here,” she said.
Thailand’s best hope, former world No. 1 Ratchanok Intanon, is through to round two after polishing off Singapore’s Yeo Jia Min in straight sets 21-15, 21-15.
In the men’s singles, third seed Anders Antonsen made a surprise early exit in the first round going down 12-21, 18-21 to Malaysia’s Liew Daren, who is ranked 41st.
“Before this tournament I didn’t know I would even play because I was on the reserves list, so to make it at the last minute and also win my first round against the third seed, it has really surprised me,” Liew said.
Meanwhile, the BWF said that it is working with Thai health authorities to ensure COVID-19 tests are comfortable after Indian player Kidambi Srikanth developed a nose bleed during a swab collection.
The world No. 14 had described tests conducted at the event as “unacceptable” in a Twitter post that was accompanied by an image of blood dripping down his face following a fourth mandatory test on Tuesday.
On Monday, Egyptian mixed doubles player Adham Hatem Elgamal tested positive for COVID-19 and withdrew from the tournament.
Indian star Saina Nehwal was among three other players who tested positive, but were allowed to play because their infections were historic, the BWF said.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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