Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Clark falls in the mixed but roars back with Robertson in Malaysia

European champions Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg were among the big names to fall on day one of the Proton Malaysia Open in Kuala Lumpur.

The English National champions and third seeds went down 21-16 17-21 21-10 to unseeded Malaysian pair Koo Kien Keat and Ng Hui Lin in the year's opening BWF Super Series event.

But Clark returned to court late in the evening to pull off a great men's doubles win with Nathan Robertson.

Before that Chris Adcock and Gabby White, the 2007 world junior silver medallists, also went out of the mixed doubles, beaten by Denmark's Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen 21-17 17-21 21-12. But the Danes have the edge in experience having been the 2008 Denmark Open winners.

But England's Robert Blair and Scotland's Imogen Bankier made it through to the last 16 when the fifth seeds came from behind to beat Mak Hee Chun and Ng Marlen Poau Leng of Malaysia 19-21 21-6 21-10. They now face another Malaysian pair in qualifiers Thien How Hoon and Chin Eei Hui.

Andrew Smith, England's only representative in either singles event, also lost on day one. He was beaten by Dutchman Dicky Palyama 21-14 23-21 despite Smith having led 20-17 in the second game. Smith let slip four game points while Palyama took the contest on his first match point.

It was a tough first day for Kellogg, who also lost her women's doubles first round match with Bankier as they went down 21-15 21-14 to Cheng Sook Chin and Woon Khe Wei.

In the men's doubles Adcock and Blair, who also contested the Masters last month, lost their first-round contest with Han Sang Hoon and Hwang Ji Man of Korea 21-14 14-21 21-17 while Bank of Scotland International champions Richard Eidestedt and Andrew Ellis were despatched by Japanese pair Kenichi Hayakawa and Kenta Kazuno 21-17 21-8.

White and Jenny Wallwork went into women's doubles action in the evening session but went down to seventh-seeded Koreans Ha Jeung Eun and Kim Min Jung 21-16 21-6.

That left Clark and Nathan Robertson as last men standing and up against Malaysian sixth seeds Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah of Malaysia.

But the English National champions turned the clock back to pull off a fine win against the 2004 Malaysian Open champions and 2006 Asian Games winners with a 22-20 21-19 win after being 14-9 down in the second game.

So Clark and Robertson and Blair and Bankier are through to day two.