by Simon Daish
Hong Kong Stars Fall
One of the biggest upsets of the day was produced by Lauric Jean after the no.26 seed from Belgium accounted for top seed Ho Kwan Kit in the last 32 of the Men’s Singles tournament.
Earlier in the day Ho Kwan Kit came through his opening round fixture against Spain’s Joan Masip with little difficulty (8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6, 11-5) but the Hong Kong star couldn’t replicate that outcome one round later as Lauric Jean stormed to a five games victory (11-8, 14-12, 13-11, 4-11, 12-10).
Day one drama for the top seeded player in the Men’s Singles draw and it was a similar story for the no.3 seed with Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang also exiting the competition; he fell to Diogo Carvalho of Portugal at the second hurdle (11-9, 11-13, 11-2, 12-10, 4-11, 11-5), who moves on to face ninth seed Nima Alamian in the Round of 16.
Kazuhiro Yoshimura successfully negotiated an opening round scare against Russia’s Petr Fedotov (9-11, 7-11, 15-13, 11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9) but the seventh seed’s luck expired in the following stage as the Japanese contestant suffered a six games defeat at the hands of Brazil’s Vitor Ishiy (11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-9).
First Round Woes For Notable Names
The Women’s Singles tournament also experienced day one drama as a number of seeded competitors failed to progress beyond the Round of 32 including Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz; the no.7 seed struggled to find her rhythm against Yoon Hyobin, falling to the Korean by four games to two (11-6, 11-7, 5-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-7). Another athlete from Korea Republic to claim an opening round scalp was Kim Youjin, who came out on top in her battle with 12th seed Paulina Vega (11-2, 11-4, 11-4, 11-9).
Hong Kong’s Ng Wing Nam, seeded eighth, lost in straight games to Italian qualifier Li Xiang (11-7, 12-10, 11-7, 11-5) while there were also last 32 eliminations for the no.9 and no.13 seeds Viktoria Pavlovich and Lily Zhang.
Japan’s Saki Shibata came very close to joining the list of major opening round exits but showed great determination to avoid that fate, fighting back from three games down to beat Poland’s Katarzyna Grzybowska-Franc in a dramatic seven game thriller (9-11, 5-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5, 11-4).
Day Concludes With Doubles Drama
The shocks were still coming thick and fast at the close of the day as main draw action from the two doubles competitions got underway.
Top seeds for the Men’s Doubles event but Lam Siu Hang and Ng Pak Nam’s title hunt was brought to an early halt following a disappointing first round outing against the 27th seeded partnership of Raj Mondal and Sourav Saha (6-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 12-10). The second seeds of the Women’s Singles event also endured an opening round defeat as Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm and Hungary’s Georgina Pota lost out to Japanese opponents Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata (7-11, 7-11, 14-12, 11-7, 11-4).