Some of the seeded players faced their biggest tests of the week so far, as the world’s elite continues on their individual quests to reach Sunday’s final and the prize money on offer for winning this week. Over half of the 20 matches today went the full distance, with some of the world’s best crashing out before the weekend.
Lee Chong Wei was in the minority, he disposed of Wang Zhengming in just two games and further boosted his chances of winning this week in Seoul. He faces another Chinese player in his semi final, Du Pengyu defeated Japan’s Kenichi Tago in two games to set up a match against the world #1 tomorrow. The bottom half of the draw seen the two highest seeds crash out today, with Peter Gade losing out to on-form Simon Santoso in a two-game, 45 minute matchup. Santoso will take on the 6th seeded Lin Dan in tomorrow’s semi final as he defeated Santoso’s countryman Taufik Hidayat in a three-game match that took a mere 49 minutes to complete. The possibility of a Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan final looms large.
Top seed Wang Xin suffered a shock exit to Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun, after taking the opening game 21-11 the top seed lost the next two games to allow the unseeded Korean to progress. 2nd seed Wang Shixian had her own three-game matchup against the 5th seeded Tine Baun and needed 6 match points to defeat the Dane and progress into tomorrow’s semi final. 3rd seeded Wang Yihan defeated her team-mate and 6th seed Jiang Yanjiao in two games to set up a semi final against the unseeded Korean Sung Ji Hyun. The unseeded Thai player Porntip Buranaprasertsuk continued her improbable run with a win over Japan’s Sayaka Sato to book her place in the semi final against Wang Shixian.
Four seeds remain in the men’s doubles, with a double interest for the Korean fans as they have a partnership in each of tomorrow’s semi finals. 4th seeded Ko and Yoo defeated the 7th seeded Fang and Lee to set up a semi final against the top seeded Boe and Mogensen, who defeated fellow Danish pair Rasmussen and Conrad-Petersen in two games to reach the last 4. 2nd seeded Koo and Tan had to battle through a three-game match against Tazari and Ong to reach the semi final where they will play the 6th seeds and last years winners, Lee and Jung who defeated the Korean qualifiers Kim and Kim in two games to book their place in the last 4.
The Chinese monopoly on the semi final spots in the women’s doubles has been derailed by the top seeded Chien and Cheng as they defeated the 7th seeded Ma and Cheng in a three-game matchup with the top seeds taking the final game 23-21. They will take on the 6th seeded Wang and Yu in the last 4 after they defeated the Hong Kong qualifiers Tse and Poon to reach the semi finals. The second semi final is an all-Chinese match, with 8th seeded Tian and Zhao taking on 5th seeded Du and Pan, with the 5th seeds defeating the 2nd seeded Maeda and Suetsuna in three-game, 62 minute match.
Just like in the women’s singles, three Chinese are joined by a sole Korean. Zhang and Zhao held off Ahmad and Natsir in three games to book their place in the last 4, where they will play the unseeded Ma and Xu, with Ma Jin exacting revenge on her previous partner He Hanbin and partner Yu Yang in a two game victory for the unseeded pair over the 8th seeds. Ko and Ha of Korea are the highest seeds left in the draw at 4 and also ended the run of the 7th seeded Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen of Denmark in the quarter final, winning in three tight games. The Korean pair now take on the 6th seeded Tian and Jiaming of China, last weeks runners up in this event in Malaysia. The Chinese pair defeated the Chinese Taipei pair of Chen and Cheng in three games to continue their excellent form in 2011.