Badminton: Indonesia favorite Sugiarto advances in world championship

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Home favorite Tommy Sugiarto cruised into the second round of the badminton world championships with a two-set victory over European Games victor Pablo Abian as the tournament got under way Monday in Jakarta.

Sugiarto, Indonesia's top medal hopeful, defeated the Spaniard 21-16, 21-13 and will now face unseeded Hong Kong shuttler Wei Nan. 

The 15th seed looked a little unsteady in the first set, with Abian taking an early lead and threatening to upstage the Indonesian champion before a rowdy home crowd. 

But Sugiarto recovered with a string of quick points to claim the first set, before overpowering the visitor in routine fashion in the second. 

"I rushed to attack early on, and did not relax," he told a post-match press conference. 

"I tried to get the confidence back to reverse the situation." 

Sugiarto said conditions were tricky early on, with a breeze penetrating the indoor stadium and creating problems, but the situation improved in the second set. 

Abian said he started well but could not maintain the form that had helped him defeat Sugiarto at the 2011 Spanish Open. 

"It was a difficult match, it was very tough," he said.

Hong Kong's Wei Nan had to fight hard to secure his second-round showdown against Sugiarto, only just prevailing over American Howard Shu in a three-set cliffhanger that ended 21-19, 24-26, 21-18. 

Elsewhere 10th seeded Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap made light work of Holland's Erik Meijs, beating him 21-17, 21-10 on the first day of badminton's most prestigious tournament.

Fourth seed Kento Momota missed out on an opening-round bye and will square off against Germany's Dieter Domke later Monday afternoon. 

Bigger names, including China's Lin Dan and Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei, are due to play their opening matches on Tuesday. —