(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Eye-catching results in round one
Date: 1/8/2020 3:56 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
The main draw for all categories commenced at the BWF Super 500 Malaysia Masters in Kuala Lumpur. The day threw up some eye-catching results already in round one. 

French mixed doubles pair Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue came out victors in a marathon three-game match against Hong Kongers Chang Tak Ching and Ng Wing Yung, a pair they have failed to take a game off previously. The European Games bronze medallists overcame the disappointment of just missing out on winning in two games to stick it out to win the hard way, 21-16, 19-21, 21-17. 

Danish duo, Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra Bøje, who are also in need of valuable ranking points, were given a late Christmas present when seventh seeds, Seo Seung Jae and Chae Yujung, retired from the match after only five points. 

Swift work in singles
Carolina Marin, even by her very high standards, stunned the crowd with her first game in Kuala Lumpur. In what was billed to be a tight opening round for Marin, against fourth-seeded Akane Yamaguchi, the first game was over in a flash, with the Spaniard winning 21-4. 

Although the Japanese star was not ready to give up and fought bravely in the second game, saving three match points to force settings, but it was not quite enough to set up a decider, and Marin held on to a 24-22 win. She will now face Cai Yan Yan of China. 

Fifth seed Axelsen made short work of Tommy Sugiarto, 21-13, 21-8, and now will play Kenta Nishimoto of Japan. In similar efficiency, fellow Dane Rasmus Gemke defeated the number 11 in the world, Sai Praneeth, 21-11, 21-15. He will now face the sixth seed Jonatan Christie, a repeat of the entertaining second round of the 2019 Danish Open where Gemke won. 

Third time lucky
Anders Antonsen, number three seed, faced the home crowd favourite, Lee Zii Jia. Antonsen played Lee twice in 2019, both times in Indonesia, and both straightforward victories. However, this time it was in Malaysia. The Dane looked very confident and assured in the opening game, taking it 21-14. The first half of the second game was even until a few key rallies went the way of the Malaysian to the delight of the crowd. Lee was then able to use this momentum and surge to a 21-10 game win. 

In the deciding game, Lee was using the energy from the crowd to his advantage and changed ends 11-4 up. There was no slowing down, and Lee went on to take the final game 21-8. 

For the full results and fixtures, click here.
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