The opening round play in Beijing was without it’s top two seeds in the men’s singles, with Lee Chong Wei and Taufik Hidayat withdrawing pre-event. There was plenty of interest for the locals though as Lin Dan returned to the place of his 2008 Olympic triumph to attempt to win his first title of 2010.
His opening match was against the very player who defeated him in the world championship quarter finals, Park Sung Hwan. There was to be no repeat as the 4th seeded took the match in two games. World Champion Chen Jin also progressed in two games, as did Bao Chunlai, Chen Long and two Chinese qualifiers. Wen Kai defeated Dicky Palyama to make it into the second round and Qiao Bin defeated another Chinese qualifier in Lu Yi to make it into the last 16. The last non-Chinese seed in the draw is Jan O Jorgensen after defeating Wong Wing Ki in two games, the 6th seeded Boonsak Ponsana crashed out to Ju Yun of Hong Kong in a extremely tight three game encounter, with the Hong Kong player winning 27-25 in the third game.
The women’s singles has 7 of it’s 8 seeds remaining, with world champion Wang Lin having to retire from her match whilst leading 14-8 in the third game. 2009 World Champion Lu Lan proved that she still has the ability for the very top of the women’s game with a 21-8, 21-7 win over Xing Aiying. There were also wins for Tine Baun and Pi Hongyan as the final two Europeans left in the draw, a draw dominated by the Chinese as they have four seeds in the last 16, as well as Lu Lan and Li Xuerui.
All 8 seeds in the men’s doubles successfully navigated their opening round matches, with only Lee and Jung being taken to a 3rd game by Hong and Shen of China. Double world champions Cai and Fu are also into round two with a 2 game victory, with a potential all-Chinese quarter final with Guo and Xu expected.
The top seeds in last months world championships, Ma and Wang have been surprisingly split up for this weeks event, with Wang and new partner Yu Yang who defeated Ma and Wang at the World Championships being seeded 5 for the event whilst Ma plays with Zhong Qianxin and is unseeded. However, the two could play in Friday’s quarter final with another win for both pairs. There were some surprises as 3rd seeded Nedelcheva and Russkikh lost out to Bao and Lu of China in three tight games and the 4th seeded Shinta and Yao also lost out to their unseeded opponents in three games, with Hsieh and Wang progressing into the last 16.
Ma Jin also has a new partner in the mixed doubles, playing with He Hanbin who she and Bo Zheng beat in the world championship final last month. Bo Zheng is not present at this weeks tournament, but there is a massive Chinese interest in the mixed doubles with Wang Xiaoli making her first appearance in a Super Series mixed doubles with an impressive three game win over Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul of Thailand and could face another match against Ma Jin at the quarter final stage. The top seeded Widianto and Natsir progressed to the last 16 with a routine two game win over Chen and Xie of China.