XD - Day 3 : Favorites on their ways except ELLIS and SMITH
The 4 best mixed double pairs were scheduled early this afternoon. Yuta WATANABE and Arisa HIGASHINO will be seen at the quarter finals as well as Dechapol PUAVARANUKROH and Sapsiree TAERATTANACHAI. It is not the case of Marcus ELLIS and Lauren SMITH who were pushed out by Mathias CHRISTIANSEN and Alexandra BOJE. Praveen JORDAN and Melati DAHEVA OKTAVIANTI did a great come back to qualify and therefore still hope to defend their title.
Yuta WATANABE and Arisa HIGASHINO are thinking about the brace
This first pair of the day to play on court number 4, Yuta WATANABE and Arisa HIGASHINO (N.3, Japan) were fighting HOO Pang Ron CHEAH Yeah See (N.27, Malaysia). They only played once against each other and it was the recent Denmark Open winners who were victorious. The match was a tough one, the Malaysians were ahead at the beginning (3/1) but the Japanese came back to lead 11/10 at the interlude. 5 points in a row until 15/10 enabled them to finish peacefully the set 21/16. The second set began just like the first one : 11/10 for the Tokyo Olympics Bronze medalists. It was tight until the end, especially with a 18-18 tie. However, best players strike at the best moment and the Japanese finally qualified : 21/16 21/19. They will be opposed to CHAN Peng Soon / GOH Liu Yong (N.8, Malaysia) who obtained their tickets against a Japanese pair : 21/19 21/14. After the game WATANABE did not hide his ambition : “This game was very tough but we are prepared for tough games. We are always targeting the title even tough we always consider ourselves as challengers”.
Mathias CHRISTIANSEN on fire
Meanwhile, on court number 2, Marcus ELLIS and Lauren SMITH (N.7, England) had to deal with Mathias CHRISTIANSEN and Alexandra BOJE (N.16, Denmark). Clean and strong first set from the seeded number 4 (21/11) where The Danes seemed tactically lost. However, they came back stronger in the following set. A lot more pressure on the serves from Mathias CHRISTIANSEN helped them take the lead and keep it until the end : 21/14 in favor of Axelsen’s country fellows. They kept that pressure on the third one, especially by pushing Marcus ELLIS who did not look confident at all about his defense skills. Lauren Smith’s partner even took a break to breath at 14-4. After this, the English team slowly came back on the game until 17/14 ! But it was too late since the 2017 French Open finalist and his partner reached 21/17. Mathias CHRISTIANSEN admitted that they “were completely off in the first set and we needed our coach to give the energy we needed. Then we had the better movements and the better energy to finally win”. Tactically speaking, Alexandra BOJE added that they “wanted to push them a lot to put amuch stress in their rackets”. They will be opposed to Supak JOMKOH and Supissara PAEWSAMPRAN (N.39, Thailand) who earned their tickets against a Malaysian pair : 20/22 23/21 21/14.
Seeded number 1 in great shape
Dechapol PUAVARANUKROH / Sapsiree TAERATTANACHAI (N.4, Thailand) were facing Selena PIEK and Robin TABLEK (N.18, Netherlands). Faster on the court than their opponents, the 2021 Toyota Thailand open champions were quickly a few points ahead, giving them some comfort to win the first game 21/15. The second one was way tougher but they managed to find their way to reach the next round : 21/17. A few minutes their first reaction was : “The second set was definitively tougher than the first. They really began to play after the 11 break. They attacked harder, especially with their dropshots and their great smashes. We had to play faster than them to win”. In less than 24 hours, they will face GOH Soon Huat and LAI Shevon Jamie who defeated the European Champions : 21/9 21/13.
JORDAN and OKTAVIANTI out of nowhere
Praveen JORDAN and Melati Daeva OKTAVIANTI (N.5, Indonesia) had a harsh battle against Satwiksairaj RANKIREDDY and Ashwini PONNAPPA (N.22, India). The Indians trapped the former French Open champions in the first set 21/15 by pushing Oktavianti in the back of the court. They started well the second set, leading 11-9 at the break. But the seeded number 2 came back at 14/14 to win 21/17. Nevertheless, the Indian team took control of the last set, being ahead almost all along. But once more, the 2020 Yonex All England champions came back from nowhere to crucify their challengers 21/19. JORDAN confessed that they “are very happy. (they) have some good memories here in 2019. (…) (they) had to be patient on court and to be focus point per point.”.