The national badminton team yesterday made good their promise to do better at this year's OUE Singapore Open - starting with two upsets in the opening round of the main draws.
Women's doubles pair Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari first took out world No. 5 pair Jang Ye Na and Kim So Young of South Korea, beating them 21-19, 21-18.
Men's singles player Derek Wong, the world No. 47, defeated Denmark's Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, who is ranked 30 rungs above him.
The Singaporeans were buoyed by a 3,300-strong crowd at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, with Yao crediting the backing from the local fans for helping to lift their confidence.
She said: "We had a lot of supporters behind us today and the homeground advantage made a difference."
The Singaporean duo, winners at the 2010 edition, are ranked No. 18 and had just two months earlier been beaten in straight games by the same opponents.
She added: "We chose to play a patient game this time, and we adapted our strategy throughout the match rather than allow our opponents to dictate the play."
The pair will meet world No. 13 Ko A Ra and Yoo Hae Won, another South Korean pair, today.
Wong, meanwhile, displayed nerves of steel in his match. The 25-year-old fought back twice - first from 1-7 down in the first game, then from 8-16 in the rubber game to seal victory against an opponent he had lost to twice before.
"It's my first time making it to the second round of the Singapore Open but I know there's still a long way to go," said Wong, who will play Indian B. Sai Praneeth today.
Mixed doubles pair Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Vanessa Neo (No. 14) also earned a place in the second round after breezing past India's No. 36 Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponnappa 21-15, 21-10.