The first day of the BWF World Tour Super 750 Fuzhou China Open produced one major upset and one worrying development. The former was the ouster of World Champion Pusarla Venkata Sindhu of India through a first-round loss to world no. 42 Pai Yu Po of Chinese Taipei. The latter was the retirement of Olympic Champion Carolina Marin from her match against top-seed Tai Tzu Ying.
Sindhu's loss is not as shocking as many people would construe it. The Indian shuttler has now earned a deserved reputation for being completely off the boil in tournaments which are not major, such as World Championships and World Tour finals. Since winning the World Championships, her performances have been rather poor.
Marin, on the other hand, was unlucky to be handed a match against world's top player in the very first round itself. But her luck was to get even worse as she lost the first game and couldn't continue due to a sickness. The match ended with the score at 21-13, 13-1 in the favour of Tai.
On her Twitter account, the Spaniard has posted a message for all her fans stating: "I tryed (sic) to give my best but I've been sick for the last few days. I'll be ready again soon!" All badminton fans would also hope for a speedy recovery.
One more surprising result was the ouster of Indonesia's Anthony Sinisuka Ginting. He lost out to Hong Kong's NG Ka Long Angus in just two games â 21-18, 21-9.
Other results were along expected lines. Kento Momota of Japan won his match against Malaysia's Daren Liew with great ease as the latter retired after losing the first game 21-17. Former World Champion Viktor Axelsen also entered the second round with a relatively easy win.
South Korea's teenage sensation AN Se Young made a great start to her tournament by defeating Sayaka Takahashi of Japan 21-17, 21-16. Beiwen Zhang couldn't overcome her poor form and lost to Indonesia's Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in a three-game match. HE Bing Jiao, on the other hand, had a simple two-game win over her Thai opponent. Fourth seed Nozomi Okuhara also eased her way into the second round with an easy victory in 40 minutes.
The remaining first-round matches will be played tomorrow. Whether they will also produce upsets, only time will tell.