Singapore's shuttlers got their campaign at the OUE Singapore Open to a good start on Wednesday, with men's singles player Derek Wong and women's doubles pair Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari scoring upsets in their respective matches.
Wong, the world No. 47, beat Denmark's Hans-Kristian Vittinghus 21-16, 16-21, 21-16. The Dane is ranked 30 places above the Singaporean.
"It's my first time getting into the second round of the Singapore Open," said an ecstatic Wong, shortly after his win at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. He had previously met Vittinghus twice before, losing both times. "But there's still a long way to go."
He plays India's B. Sai Praneeth on Thursday.
In the women's doubles, 2010 champions Yao and Shinta took out world No. 5 Jang Ye Na and Kim So Young of South Korea in straight games, winning 21-19, 21-18.
Home support had played a big part in lifting their confidence, said Yao, who added that they did not have this advantage when playing the same opponents at the German Open earlier this year. The Singaporeans lost that match.
Said Yao: "We had a lot of supporters behind us today and that made a difference."
They will play another South Korean pair, Ko A Ra and Yoo Hae Won on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Vanessa Yeo breezed through their opening match in the mixed doubles, beating India's Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponnappa 21-15, 21-10. They face fifth seeds Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam on Thursday in the second round.
But Chrisnanta had a tougher time later when he teamed up with Chayut Triyachart in the men's doubles. They lost 14-21, 18-21 to Thais Maneepong Jongjit and Nipitphon Puangpuapech.
In the women's singles, Chen Jiayuan came close to staging an upset against world No. 29 Pai Hsiao-ma of Chinese Taipei, but fell short. The No. 69 Singaporean lost 19-21, 21-17, 15-21 in just under an hour, despite holding a 7-1 lead at one point in the rubber game. Gu Juan was also beaten 21-16, 15-21, 16-21 by Japan's Sayaka Takahashi.