Badminton: S'pore's Yeo and Yao upset Japanese pair in first round of mixed doubles

Singapore's mixed doubles pair Terry Yeo and Yao Lei made it into the second round of badminton's Li-Ning Singapore Open when they upset Japan's Hirokatsu Hashimoto and Miyuki Maeda 21-17, 22-20 on Wednesday.

The Singaporeans, playing in just their second tournament together as a new pairing, are ranked 475th in the world while their more experienced opponents are ranked 64th.

Said a delighted Yeo: "This is my first time making it into the second round of the Singapore Open. It means a lot to me to play at home."

Team-mate Gu Juan, however, failed to pull off another victory over world No. 2 Saina Nehwal, falling 14-21, 21-23 to the Indian. Gu had beaten Nehwal earlier this month at the Thailand Open.

Xing Aiying was beaten 21-19, 21-16 in her women's singles match by Japan's Kaori Imabeppu.

Mixed doubles pair Vanessa Neo and Danny Bawa Chrisnanta lost their opening match 16-21, 18-21 to South Koreans Ko Sung Hyun and Kim Ha Na.

In other matches at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, defending champion Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand made light work of his Malaysian opponent Zulfadli Zulkiffli 21-12, 21-12 in his men's singles opening match.

World No. 1 and Olympic champion Li Xuerui also took just 23 minutes to demolish Sashina Vignes Waran of France 21-10, 21-14 in the women's singles.

Reigning women's doubles Olympic gold medallists Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei of China also beat their Indonesian counterparts Gebby Ristiyani Imawan and Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah 21-16, 21-13.

Women's singles defending champion Juliane Schenk was made to sweat before winning her match against Hong Kong's Chan Tsz Ka 16-21, 21-6, 21-13.