Maybank Malaysia Open 2012 Day 2: First Round (Round 32)
Day 2 of the Maybank Malaysia Open 2012 started at 8:30am. It was pretty much quiet for the morning matches.
The audience seats were pretty much empty, most probably due to the Malaysian home players not playing in the morning.
The top Malaysian players’ matches (Lee Chong Wei and Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong) started only in the afternoon.
People began to fill the stadium as it got closer to the afternoon session.
Highlights on Some Major Matches
Nathan Robertson/Jenny Wallwork vs Chris Adcock/Imogen Bankier
Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier
Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier formed their partnership not long ago and became the runner up in the 2011 Badminton World Championships at London.
They are currently the highest ranked mixed doubles pair in England (ranked 16 in the world).
In terms of world ranking, they’ve done relatively well because they had only begun their partnership last year, a quarter ago.
Not to forget that Chris is only 23 years old while Imogen is 24 years old in 2012!
It’s just a matter of time before they develop their partnership – possibly becoming the world’s best badminton mixed doubles pair.
Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork
To date, Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork are the more established pair.
The English pair had been playing together for quite a while now. Nathan is 35 years old while Jenny is 25 years old in 2012, a very big age gap there!
In the first game, Chris Adcock went for a more strategic style. He focussed on accuracy rather than power. He only executed a full power smash when there was a clear chance.
Nathan’s smashes weren’t as good as when he was during his prime, but he certainly used his experience and skills to place his shots superbly.
Chris and Imogen started strong at first game.
However, Nathan and Jenny started to find their rythm in the second game. This was when the game started to become more competitive.
Unfortunately for Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier, Nathan and Jenny managed to force the match into a third and deciding rubber game.
In the third game, Jenny suddenly became so sharp and alert at the front court, while Imogen made a couple of errors at the net area.
Chris and Imogen were forced to perform a high lift in so many instances, which gave many opportunities for Nathan to attack.
In fact, the English pair capitalised on their attacks.
In contrast to the first game, Nathan went for power rather than accuracy. This favoured the English pair. They widened the score gap to 16-5 at one point!
In the end, Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork secured a victory at the first round of the Maybank Malaysia Open 2012 and will proceed to the second round of the tournament held on the next day.
The score was 14-21, 21-17, 21-8.
Taufik Hidayat (INA) vs Chou Tien Chen (TPE)
This was not a particularly interesting match because there wasn’t really much of a fight between the former Olympic champion, Taufik Hidayat and Chinese Taipei player, Chou Tien Chen. It was an easy game for the Olympic champion.
The Indonesian ace, Taufik Hidayat had a very rough year in 2011 and did not perform very well.
He had only won a Grand Prix Gold title. He was also fairly inconsistent in most of the big tournaments held last year.
In this match, Tien Chen’s attacks were not very effective against Taufik.
On the other end, every time when Taufik attacked, Tien couldn’t do much about it. Taufik was able to capitalise on every opportunity given to him.
Taufik won. The score was 21-14, 21-9.
Boonsak Ponsana (THA) vs Kenichi Tago(JPN)
The most exciting match for Day 2 of the Maybank Malaysia Open 2012 would definitely be this match!
This match between Boonsak Ponsana and Kenichi Tago was probably the most competitive badminton singles match of the day.
There was NO way of predicting who would win in this match. Each possessed unique qualities and strengths.
Boonsak certainly had more experience and skills, but Kenichi Tago was young and agile. However, Kenichi had not been performing with consistency.
Despite his achievements in badminton tournaments, he could have achieved much more if he played at his best consistently.
Kenichi Tago has the ability to force the best out of world no.1 Lee Chong Wei, and has even beaten the great Lin Dan.
During the first game, Kenichi was playing conservatively. He did not attack.
There were 2 possibilities.
Perhaps Kenichi knew that Boonsak’s fitness wasn’t as high as his, and decided to force long rallies. The second possibility was that Kenichi lacked the confidence to attack.
One thing was for sure, that is Boonsak wanted short and fast rallies, before he ran out of stamina.
Boonsak took the lead at the start of game 1. Kenichi caught up and led after the mid game interval.
In the second game, there were a couple of desperate shots from Boonsak.
He was really looking tired. He was still trying to end the rallies as fast as possible. He smashed even when he was not in a good position.
In the end, it was found that Boonsak was actually injured! It happened somewhere around the first game when Kenichi Tago was leading by a huge score gap.
This explained the desperate shots coming from Boonsak. This also explained the tired look from the Thai player.
Boonsak Ponsana was injured, not tired!
If Boonsak did not injure himself, we would definitely a slightly more competitive badminton match.
Eventually, Boonsak had to give his game up at the mid game interval of the second game. As such, Kenichi Tago will proceed to the second round of the Maybank Malaysia Open 2012.
Score. 21-11, 11-6 Retired.
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