Dutch Surprise for Seventh Seeds – Day 2: YONEX French Open 2018

Robin Tabeling and Cheryl Seinen upset Mixed Doubles seventh seeds Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying to make the second round of the YONEX French Open 2018 yesterday.

The Dutch pair, who had lost in the first round of all the World Tour Super 500 events and above this year, finally broke into the second round at the World Tour Super 750 event in Paris. After losing a close first game 21-19 to the Malaysians, Tabeling and Seinen recovered quickly, holding the lead all through the second game before prevailing in a tight finish, 19-21 21-18 21-18.

Tabeling and Seinen (featured image) face All England champions Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino, who beat Hong Kong’s Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah 21-15 21-13.

In other matches of the top half, Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir, top seeds Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong (China), Wang Chi-Lin/Lee Chia Hsin (Chinese Taipei) and Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith (England) entered the second round in straight games.

Another England pair, Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock, struggled to make the second round after a tough battle against India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Ashwini Ponnappa. The Indians held the lead all through the third game before they were overtaken at the end by the England duo: 24-22 18-21 21-19.

In Men’s Doubles, fifth seeds Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen ran into one of the fastest-rising pairs on the circuit, China’s He Jiting and Tan Qiang. The Danes had won both their previous encounters, but yesterday the Chinese recovered from a close first-game loss to outplay Astrup and Rasmussen 22-24 21-18 21-17.

Denmark suffered another setback in the same half, with Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen falling to China’s Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan in straight games.

Two Indian pairs – Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty and Manu Attri/Sumeeth Reddy – made the second round with straight-game victories.

Lin Dan Beaten

Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai fell behind rather quickly against Lin Dan, who ran away with the first game at 21-9. The Japanese however established an early lead in the second and did not let his foot off the pedal as he closed it out 9-21 21-14 21-14, winning a second round appointment against top seed and compatriot Kento Momota.

Men’s Singles defending champion Kidambi Srikanth extended his head-to-head record over Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki to 7-3 with a 21-19 21-13 result; the fifth seed takes on Korea’s Lee Dong Keun, who beat Japan Open runner-up Khosit Phetpradab (Thailand) 10-21 21-10 21-15.

In Women’s Singles, Nozomi Okuhara and Saina Nehwal will face off for the second time in two weeks. Nehwal, who beat Okuhara in the quarter-finals of the Denmark Open last week, will have to battle her Japanese rival again after she eased past Okuhara’s compatriot Saena Kawakami in her opening test, 21-11 21-11. Okuhara too had little trouble in her first round, beating Spain’s Beatriz Corrales 21-10 21-12.

China’s Gao Fangjie scored her first win in three matches against Japan’s Aya Ohori, needing 50 minutes to get past her tenacious rival: 23-21 21-18. Gao will take on top seed Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei), who she beat at the China Open in September.

There were no surprises in Women’s Doubles, with the three seeded Japanese pairs making the top half. Denmark Open champions Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota; world champions Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara and sixth seeds Shiho Tanaka/Koharu Yonemoto enjoyed straight-games wins in their opening encounters.

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