S'pore shuttlers score upsets

S'pore shuttlers score upsets
Singapore badminton mixed doubles pair Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Vanessa Neo took advantage of homeground support and advanced to the second round after overcoming India’s Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponnappa 21-15, 21-10.

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.

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