Unexpectedly the Indonesian heirs Jonatan Christie and Anthony Ginting were both sent packing in straight games while the Adcocks, the crowd’s huge favourite in mixed doubles, also suffered an early exit in their home event.
By Tarek Hafi, Badzine Correspondent live in Birmingham. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)
While the most oft-used word on Day 1 of the All England was obviously the current Coronavirus, there was still lots to see as the matches went on on court. When finished, many players cautious of the spreading, decided to not shake hands and rushed back to their hotels to protect themselves from unneeded exposure to the virus.
Ginting & Christie out
Indonesia’s men’s singles princes, Jonatan Christie (pictured right) and Anthony Ginting both suffered early exits at the All England, leaving an entire fandom completely heartbroken. Both rose to incredible fame right after the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, and became full-time residents in the world top ten. While both were expected to perform in this prestigious event, each was eventually sent packing on the very first step.
Jonatan Christie landed on court first, performing in the opening match on the TV court against Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia (pictured top). The 21-year-old, playing his first ever All England open, impressed on his first appearance. Full of confidence, he claimed his first win in his first match 21-15, 21-13.
All Indonesian eyes were then turned to world #3 Anthony Ginting (pictured left), but it was Denmark’s rising player Rasmus Gemke, who terminated Ginting’s attempt in straight games, winning 21-14, 21-18.
“I am not satisfied at all. It’s my fifth time here and I have never managed to go through the first round,” confessed Anthony Ginting after his defeat. “Today’s match, I was close with him, but I don’t know why I had a blank and could not focus any further. In the second game, I played much better but again I don’t know why I simply could not focus anymore.”
In fact, a third Indonesian player, veteran Tommy Sugiarto, had to bow out on Wednesday as well. Sugiarto went further than his two younger compatriots but former All England winner Shi Yuqi came out on top in a breathtaking battle that ended after an hour and five minutes 21-17, 17-21, 21-7.
The crowd’s favourites, England’s Gabby and Chris Adcock (pictured right) could not help but concede defeat against the in-form Indonesian pair of Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja and Hafiz Faizal (pictured below). In front of their home crowd, the glamorous pair displayed a positive struggle but eventually lost in the first round 19-21, 21-17, 12-21. Indeed, the couple had been hit by several injuries and were not able to train until this week, but were nonetheless impressed at their ability to take a game from a top ten pair despite their lack of preparation.
Lin Maesto Dan
Two-time Olympic champion, Lin Dan, corrected the up-and-coming Thai teenager Kunlavut Vitidsarn (pictured bottom). Lin saved two match points in the second game and rushed to win the rubber.
The living legend, well-known as a slow starter, lost the first game 13-21 and looked to be in complete despair, trailing 10-16 in the second. But from 18-20 down, he embarked on a majestic comeback that saw him snatch the game 22-20. The former world number one did not let his opponent back into the driver’s seat, as he rushed to win the rubber 21-10 against the three-time World Junior Champion.
Click here for complete Wednesday results