JAKARTA - Ratchanok Intanon was unable to complete her match against Lindaweni Fanetri of Indonesia in the third round of the BWF World Championships on Thursday.
The fifth-seeded Thai was leading 8-5 in the final game when she was carried off on a stretcher having been forced to retire due to an ankle injury.
Fanetri had won the first game 26-24 and 2013 world champion Ratchanok the second 21-10 in the women's singles.
Ratchanok’s loss ended Thailand’s interest in the Jakarta tournament as her compatriots Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, Porntip Buranaprasertsuk and Busanan Ongbumrungpan also lost in the last 16 round yesterday
In the men’s singles, Tanongsak was defeated 21-17, 21-18 by China’s top seed Chen Long.
In the women’s singles, Porntip Buranaprasertsuk lost 21-9, 21-16 to eighth seed Sung Ji-Hyun of South Korea, while 15th seed Busanan was beaten 24-22, 21-11 by Chinese seventh seed Wang Shixian.
India’s PV Sindhu caused the first major upset when the 20-year-old stunned Olympic champion Li Xuerui of China 21-17, 14-21, 21-17 in a pulsating women’s singles third round encounter yesterday.
There was also the hint of another upset in same half of the draw when top seed and defending champion Carolina Marin dropped the second game of her match against Taiwan’s Pai Yu-po but the injury-prone Spaniard dug deep to advance 21-11, 18-21, 21-17.
“I just tried to not think about my ankle, because I was so scared, because maybe I could not play,” said Marin.
“I have a physiotherapist here, so he is going to treat me now.”
On a good day for India in the women’s singles, second seed Saina Nehwal overcame a sluggish start against Japanese southpaw Sayaka Takahashi to book her place in the last eight with a gutsy 21-18, 21-14 victory.
Nehwal looked completely out of sorts in the opening exchanges as she struggled with the drift inside the Istora Senayan arena but the Indian knuckled down to rally for victory after trailing 11-3 in the first game.
In the men’s draw, top seed and defending champion Chen put on a fine display of attacking badminton and supreme court coverage to beat unseeded Thai Tanongsak.
Men’s fourth seed Kento Momota of Japan also advanced with a straightforward 21-15, 21-16 win over Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh.
Bitter rivals Lin Dan of China and Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei also progressed.
Fifth seed Lin beat 14th seed Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark 21-9, 21-13, while unseeded Lee defeated eighth seed Wang Zhengming of China 21-17, 21-19.
“This year, in the men's singles, everyone is better,” Lee said.
In the women’s doubles, Japan’s top-ranked pair Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi crashed out in the third round.
The Japanese, who were granted a first round bye, came unstuck against unseeded Malaysian duo Amelia Alicia Anscelly and Soong Fie Cho 21-15, 12-21, 21-14.
Matsutomo and Takahashi were considered one of the few pairs capable of breaking China’s stranglehold on the women’s doubles event. The Chinese have won every women’s doubles crown bar one since they began competing in the world championships 32 years ago.
The top-seeded Japanese pair hoped this would be their year for gold, having competed at three past world championships and never advancing beyond the third round.
But they could only match that effort, with Takahashi conceding they cracked under the pressure.
“We are very disappointed,” she said via a translator.
“We made so many mistakes, everything was bad.”