The first calendar event of 2011 is underway in Chinese Taipei, the best eight players in the Super Series of 2010 are in action for a chance to be named Super Series Finals Champion. It will also provide excellent competition before the first Premier Series event in Korea in just under 3 weeks time.
Group A in the Mens Singles provided an all-Danish encounter, as Peter Gade took on Jan O Jorgensen in what promised to be a fantastic start to 2011. It didn’t fail to deliver as both players shared the opening two games before Gade came out on top in the third game to take the opening match in the group in just over an hour. The other Group A match was much more one-sided as Lee Chong Wei defeated Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam in two games to book his at the top of Group A after the opening matches.
Group B has a younger array of players, except for Taufik Hidayat who took one of the seeded players in his group, Boonsak Ponsana in the opening match. After splitting the opening two games, Hidayat tamely lost the deciding game to make qualification to the knockout stage increasingly difficult. The other match in the group was an all-Chinese match between Chen Long and Du Pengyu which also went to three games, with the seeded Long taking the match in the third.
In the Women’s Singles, top seeded Wang Yihan beat Petya Nedelcheva to book her place atop Group B but the other seed in the group, Tine Baun suffered a surprise defeat to Yip Pui Yin in two games to jeopardise her future in the event. Group A is topped by Wang Shixian after her two game win over Yao Jie and the other seed in the group, Bae Youn Joo defeated Salakjit Ponsana in three games to ensure her qualification to the last 4 is in her own hands.
The top seeds met in the opening match in the Mens Doubles in Group A, with Koo and Tan losing out to top seeded Ko and Yoo of Korea in two games. Cai and Fu won the other match in the group, defeating Chai and Zhang in in a tight three game match. The top two seeds in Group B both won their opening round matches, with Boe and Mogensen defeating Kido and Setiawan in two games whilst Lee and Jung defeated Lee and Fang, also in two games.
The Womens Doubles was always going to be a lottery with just four seeds and every partnership capable of being anyone on any given day, Group A seen the top seeded Cheng and Chien win in front of a home crowd against Polii and Jauhari in two games whilst the 3/4 seeded Nedelcheva and Russkikh lost to Japanese pairing of Maeda and Suetsuna in two games. Group B was a similar story, with both unseeded pairs defeating their seeded opponents to throw the group wide open. Wang and Yu defeated their Chinese team mates Cheng and Zhao in three games whilst Fujii and Kakiiwa defeated the Thai pair of Voravichitchaikul and Aroonkesorn in two games.
Voravichitchaikul bounced back from her defeat in the womens doubles to team up with Anugritayawan to defeat the 3/4 seeded Zhang and Zhao in their opening Group A match. The top seeds in the group Laybourn and Rytter Juhl came through a tight three game match against the English pairing of Wallwork and Robertson. Group B saw both seeded pair crash to defeats, with the 3/4 seeded Mateusiak and Zieba losing to Ko and Ha in two games, whilst the highest seed in the group Thoungthongkam and Prapakamol lost to the Indonesia pair of Marissa and Gunawan.
Eddie has been a writer for BadmintonLife.com since June 2009 covering the Major BWF events and Super Series events. Previous worked for The Guardian newspaper and was also featured in the New York Times during the London 2012 Olympics.