Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Alexandra Boje scored a significant win over Danish compatriots Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pedersen on the opening day of the YONEX French Open 2018 yesterday.
It was a year ago that Pedersen started her partnership with Christiansen after her long-time Mixed Doubles partner Fischer Nielsen was injured at the TOTAL BWF World Championships last year. Since then, Christiansen and Pedersen have enjoyed some great results on the circuit, while Fischer, having teamed up with the younger Alexandra Boje, has had more modest results.
In the first match between the two pairs, Fischer Nielsen and Boje (featured image) upstaged their higher-ranked rivals, pulling off a thrilling 21-18 14-21 23-21 result after saving two match points in the 87-minute encounter.
Up next for the Danes will be Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai, runners-up last week at the DANISA Denmark Open. The Thais were comfortable winners over China’s Lu Kai/Chen Lu, 21-16 21-15.
There were a few upsets on the opening day. Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen, runner-up at the Denmark Open last week, ran into Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke, 21-11 18-21 21-12, while eighth seed Anthony Ginting (Indonesia) also suffered an early exit, at the hands of Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen, 22-20 21-12.
Other seeded casualties were Men’s Doubles fourth seeds Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda (Japan); Women’s Doubles third seeds Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan (China), and Mixed Doubles fifth seeds Zhang Nan/Li Yinhui.
Kamura and Sonoda, runners-up at the Denmark Open, were outplayed in a closely-contested 69-minute battle by Chinese Taipei’s Lee Jhe-Huei/Lee Yang, 20-22 21-19 21-16. The Chinese Taipei duo will next face Thailand’s Bodin Isara/Maneepong Jongjit in the second round.
Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan were shown the door by Japan’s Naoko Fukuman/Kurumi Yonao, 21-18 21-15.
Last year’s runners-up Lee So Hee/Shin Seung Chan (Korea), who have suffered several early-round exits in recent months, eased past Denmark’s Alexandra Boje/Sara Lundgaard 21-12 21-15. The Koreans take on Russia’s Ekaterina Bolotova/Alina Davletova today.
Second seeds Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi (Japan) also enjoyed a straight-games win, over Malaysia’s Chow Mei Kuan/Lee Meng Yean, 21-15 21-14.
Women’s Singles third seed Pusarla V Sindhu, who’d lost her two previous matches to Beiwen Zhang, turned her fortunes around with a 34-minute demolition of her US rival. Other Women’s Singles winners on the day included second seed Akane Yamaguchi, who beat Michelle Li 21-17 21-12, and Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung, 21-9 21-9 winner over Chinese Taipei’s Lee Chia Hsin.
In Men’s Singles, seventh seed Son Wan Ho struggled to a 16-21 26-24 22-20 victory over Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto in one of the longest matches of the day. The Korean saved three match points in the second game and one in the third before pulling off his victory in 87 minutes.