(Photo: Badminton Photo)

World number three knocked out

1/13/2021 2:23 PM |  BadmintonEurope.com |  Alan Raftery
On day two of the Thailand Open, the outpouring of three-game matches seemed to dry up today, but there was no shortage of big results. 

The Denmark Open champion, number three in the world and one of the favourites to take the title in Bangkok, Anders Antonsen, faced Malaysia’s Daren Liew in his opening round today. There was much anticipation from the Dane in his Vlogs that he is creating to document his experiences in Thailand. Speaking to his fans yesterday he said.

-The preparation is done, and the tournament is about to start. I’m finally ready to get back in action and play some badminton again. I hope to find a high level even though it has been a while since we last played. 

In the opening game against Liew today Antonsen was clearly not at the races and struggled to match the high-tempo rhythm of his opponent. A stark contrast to Antonsen’s dominant victory against Liew in his silver medal run at the 2019 World Championships. 

With it all to do, the score line at the beginning of the second game was not a pleasant sight for Antonsen fans, 11-4 down at the interval. A sudden four-point surge seemed to kickstart a comeback from the Dane, although the closest he managed to claw back to is a two-point margin at 16-14 and 18-16, but Liew, 33, ten years older than Antonsen, was able to pull away to a 21-12, 21-18 win, and will now play Lee Cheuk Yiu in the second round. 

Europeans march forward in the mixed doubles
European Games bronze medallists, Thom Gicquel/ Delphine Delrue flew the flag for France today with a good start to their campaign. Facing Denmark’s Mikkel Mikkelsen/ Rikke Søby, they were able to secure a 21-15, 21-10 win. 

-It was so great to win. There was a lot of stress at the beginning because the last tournament was 10 months ago, so it was tough to begin the match but I think we enjoyed it a lot as it was really great to play again, Gicquel stated enthusiastically. 

Adding comment about how they were able to manage the initial nerves better than others, Delrue states.

-We expected the beginning not to be easy, but after the break, I think we played good and in the second set we enjoyed the game and had a great result so we are happy. 

The delighted duo will now face a sterner test in world number 11 pair from Malaysia, Tan Kian Meng/ Lai Pei Jeng. Gicquel explains how they will prepare. 

-Now we know the hall is very slow so we have to be very high on the court and take the attack a lot because it is tough to be under pressure and move the shuttle. We will prepare with video and everything for the next match. 

England vs Denmark
Navigating their way through the tricky opening round is Danish pair Mathias Christiansen/ Alexandra Bøje, after defeating home favourites Nipitphon Phuangphuapet/ Chasinee Korepap in just 30 minutes, 21-14, 21-12. 

In a similar scoreline, seventh seeds Marcus Ellis/ Lauren Smith repeated the two-game result from the Denmark Open against Germany’s Jones Ralfy Jansen/ Kilasu Ostermeyer, and now will face the aforementioned Danes. 

Christiansen will have positive memories from when playing with Christinna Pedersen at the 2018 European Championships, defeating Ellis/ Smith in the semifinal. Although tomorrow may have a very different feel to it. It will be a great match to watch. 

For the full results and fixtures, click here



 
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