Group 1D: Four Olympic medallists finish ahead
India and Denmark staked out one singles match each as the world rankings suggested would occur. Doubles categories were where the opportunities to cause an upset lay.
Viktor Axelsen's clinical dismantling of Ajay Jayaram's game plan, 21-12, 21-7, resulted in the shortest match at under half an hour. Line Kjaersfeldt's was well prepared for women's singles but Rio Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu proved quicker in two departments, recovering after saving shuttles and following in on weak replies. The highest world ranked Indian across all disciplines acquitted herself 21-18, 21-6.
Both nations were equally fired up for mixed doubles which started afternoon proceedings on a high note. The scratch pairing of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwicksairaj Rankireddy was a fantastic decision to face the very established Danes Christinna Pedersen / Joachim Fischer Nielsen. The threatening posturing and wealth of experience from the world #5 showed that their London Olympic bronze reputation was not a quality of the past and prevented an upset from happening, 21-15, 16-21, 21-17.
India were left to savour a bittersweet outing and ponder “What ifs”. Their women's doubles N Sikki Reddy / Ashwini Ponnappa reached match point first in another three games thriller but conceded the deuce to Rio silver medallists Christinna Pedersen / Kamilla Rytter Juhl, 18-21, 21-15, 23-21. In men's doubles, London silver medallists Boe/Mogensen had an easier time dealing with Attri/Reddy, 21-17, 21-15. Nevertheless, the performance produced today bodes well for India in their next battles against Indonesia.
Group 2B: Australia too practiced for USA
The host nation prevailed 4-1 and, importantly, adjusted to conditions in the hall ahead of future battles against Austria and Singapore.
Australia advanced trouble free in the opening mixed doubles, 21-10, 21-12. Setyana Mapasa / Sawan Serasinghe played freely and delighted the crowd with their lovely creativity left handed stroke making that proved slightly too powerful for Americans Jamie Subhandhi / Vinson Chiu.
The two Australians split up and reappeared later as part of their respective level doubles formations. Sawan Serasinghe / Matthew Chau made the most of their men's doubles time on court by testing various out of the ordinary tactics such as routine flick serving. Serasinghe was successful at the net area in closing out rallies on his own with multiple drives targeted at an isolated player. Men's doubles was won 21-19, 21-17, and Gronya Somerville / Setyana Mapasa continued the straight games trend, 21-15, 21-18.
As a result of patiently evaluating the weaponry and level of threat in men's singles, Timothy Lam came through as the American hero of the day winning 21-14, 21-18, over Anthony Joe. Queenslander Wendy Chen overcame a terribly nervous start in front of her home crowd as well as being on a TV court to outpace Jennie Gai, 21-18, 21-9, in women's singles.