Mixed fortunes in early rounds for Indonesia’s Thomas Cup heroes

PETALING JAYA: It was a roller-coaster ride for Indonesia in the Denmark Open as some of their Thomas Cup winning squad members were sent packing in Odense.

World No. 1 Marcus Fernaldi-Kevin Sanjaya went down fighting 21-17, 17-21, 21-23 to their teammates Muhammad Shohibul Fikri-Bagas Maulana in the men’s doubles second round yesterday.

Shohibul-Bagas will take on Denmark’s top pair Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, who defeated another Indonesian pair Pramudya Kusumawardana-Yeremia Erich 21-15, 21-18.Anthony Ginting, who won Indonesia’s first point in the men’s singles after beating Lu Guangzu in the tie against China in the Thomas Cup final, did not even clear the opening round.

In fact, Anthony retired after trailing 1-4 to Frenchman Thomas Rouxel.

Another singles player Shesar Hiren Rhustavito also suffered the same fate when he went down 20-22, 15-21 to Hong Kong’s Lee Cheuk Yiu in the first round.

The other casualties were world No. 2 Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan, who crashed out in the opening round.

There were, however, still good news from Jonatan Christie and third ranked pair Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto.

Jonatan checked into the men’s singles quarter-finals after an easy 21-11, 21-9 win over Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan in the second round yesterday to set up a meeting with Kento Momota of Japan.

Will Jonatan be able to maintain his form to score a win against Momota, who came back from a slow start to beat K. Srikanth of India 23-21, 21-9?

Based on his form, the match could favour Jonatan, who turned hero for Indonesia just a few days ago after he defeated Li Shifeng for the winning point.

World No. 7 Fajar-Rian did well to beat Lu Ching-yao-Yang Po-han of Taiwan 21-18, 21-18 to set up a second-round match against M.R. Arjun-Dhruv Kapila of India and should reach the last eight without much difficulty.

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