THE KINGDOM’S top three women’s singles players, including defending champion Ratchanok Intanon, marched into the second round of the Malaysia Open Super Series with lopsided victories in Sarawak yesterday.
World No 7 Ratchanok, despite injury concerns prior to her trip to Malaysia, overcame a gritty challenge from Japan’s Sayaka Sato in the first game before prevailing 21-18 21-10 in 32 minutes to clinch her second win over Sato this year after the All England Open.
“She played well in the first game. I raised the level of my game and put pressure on her in the second,” said Ratchanok, who showed no signs of injury sustained on her right ankle in India last week.
“I felt no pain. I thought my ankle would hurt but I felt some stiffness,” said Ratchanok, who will meet countrywoman Busanan Ongbamrungphan, a 21-10 21-7 victor over Hsu Ya Ching of Taiwan, in the second round.
Meanwhile, Nitchaon Jindapol scored a 21-15 22-20 win over Chiang Mei Hui of Taiwan.
In the mixed doubles, Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai rallied to beat Mathias Christiansen and Sara Thygesen of Denmark 21-19 18-21 21-10.
Dechapol later teamed up with Kittinupong Kerden to beat Christiansen and David Daugaard of Denmark 25-27 21-14 21-10 in the men’s doubles. Also joining them were Bodin Isara and Nipitphon Puangphuapet, who upset seventh seed Ricky Karandasuwardi and Angga Pratama of Indonesia 21-18 16-21 21-16.