Day 2 in Malaysia and the first major surprises in the tournament were in the mens singles, with the perennial top-10 ranked players losing out in their second round matches.
6th seeded Boonsak Ponsana was the first to suffer a surprise defeat to Alamyah Yunus in a three game encounter lasting 72 minutes and just over an hour later, current world champion and 4th seeded Chen Jin lost his own second round in a 73-minute matchup with world number 27, Simon Santoso who claimed his first victory over the 4th seed in his sixth match against the Chinese player.
The rest of the seeds remaining had little problem in reaching the last 8, with Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei on a crash course in Saturday’s semi final if the pair can defeated their opponents tomorrow. Lee Chong Wei takes on Tien Minh Nguyen with both players reaching the last 8 without the loss of a game to date whilst Lin Dan takes on his Chinese team mate Chen Long in his quarter final, with the questions finally being answered of how close Chen Long is to beating the Olympic champion after the withdrawal of Lin Dan in China last month allowed Chen Long a free pass into the last 4. There were also wins for Taufik Hidayat and Kenichi Tago today and their reward is a matchup against one another for a place in the last 4.
All 4 of the women’s singles quarter final have a Chinese interest, such is the strength and depth of the Chinese squad. Top seeded Wang Xin was pushed to three games of Mew Choo Wong in her second round match and will be tested again with the 5th seeded Juliane Schenk being her opponent in tomorrow’s match. 2nd seeded Wang Shixian and 3rd seeded Wang Yihan have had little problem in reaching the last 8, with neither player dropping a game on route to this stage whilst the 4th of the quarter finals is an all-Chinese matchup between Jiang Yanjiao and Liu Xin, both have survived a three game match to reach the last 8 but this will be their biggest test to date with Liu Xin being one of the breakthrough players of the last few months for China, reaching 23 in the world rankings.
The men’s doubles is losing it’s compliment of seeded players on a daily basis, today saw the end of the 4th seeded Hashimoto and Hirata’s title challenge as well as the 7th seeded Bach and Gunawan losing out to Rasmussen and Conrad-Petersen of Denmark. Ko and Yoo begun their campaign with a straight forward two game victory and will take on Chai and Guo in their last 8 match up, whilst the two Indonesian seeds are also safely into the last 8. Chandra and Gunawan are through to face the Danish pair of Rasmussen and Conrad-Petersen whilst the 6th seeded Ahsan and Septano are through to take on the Korean pair of Cho and Kwon in their quarter final match.
The women’s doubles is another event laden with Chinese interest, with all four quarter final matches having Chinese players in it. Du and Pan, seeded 5 will take on the top seeded Cheng and Chien in the first of the quarter finals, with both coming through three game matches in the second round to book their place in the last 8. 8th seeded Tian and Zhao take on the unseeded Singapore pair of Sari and Yao with both duos in fine form without the loss of a game to date. Ma and Cheng take on Ha and Kim of Korea, another match with both pairs coming into the match in excellent form. The most intriguing of the 4 matches is the match between Wang and Yu, seeded 6 against the 2nd second Nedelcheva and Russkikh with the most dominant performances this week coming from their two pairs who have progressed with the loss of 70 points in 8 games to this point.
With six of the eight seeds remaining, the possibility of a winner coming from one of those six is high especially with the remaining two unseeded duos playing each other in the quarter final. Thai pairing of Voravichitchaikul and Anugritayawon take on the Scottish/English partnership of Robert Blair and Gabby White after both came through their difficult second round matches without the loss of a game between the two matches. The highest remaining seeds are the Korean pair of Ko and Ha who take on the 7th seeded pairing of He and Ma, a rematch of their second round match in Hong Kong last month that the Koreans won convincingly in two games.