By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
The world No 6 employed her superiority to beat the unfancied opponent in less than an hour and will set up a second round clash with countrywoman Supamart Mingchua.
“I haven’t seen Lee play before so I had to study her game from youtube. I played quite well today and made only a few unforced errors. I set my target to reach at least the semi-final as my ranking has dropped to sixth in the world. I need to climb back to five or four in order to be one of the four seeds in the Olympics,” said Ratchanok.
Countrywoman Nitchaon Jindapol, one of the Thais trying to qualify for the Olympics, upset eighth seed Chueng Ngan Yi of Hong Kong 21-15 21-13.
In the men’s singles second round, Thai No 2 Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk , 12th seed, beat Fikri Ihsandi Hadmadi of Indonesia 21-15 21-18 to join Boonsak Ponsana and former Asian Junior champion Kantaphon Wangcharoen in the round of 16.
Kantaphon is in his third round of a Grand Prix Gold tournament for the first time.
“I was a bit off guard in the second game and let him dominate play. But in the deciding game I regained my momentum to take control again,” said the 18-year-old Kantaphon who will take on Lee Hyun Il of South Korea, the reigning Thailand Open champion.
“I have nothing to lose against such a tough opponent. I have to give my all and see what I can do out there.”