Viktor Axelsen edges ever closer to his first Super Series title, reaching the semi finals at the expense of Sony Dwi Kuncoro.
Axelsen Takes on Wang
The Danish teenager has been making headlines since his world junior title in 2010, but a win this week would surpass any other achievements within the game. A win would validate his credentials as being Denmark next big hope, but standing in his way is the world number 18 Wang Zhengming. Their previous meeting resulted in a victory for the Chinese player in this event last year, but the growth of both players almost rendered that result obsolete when predicting a winner in this match.
The other semi final sees two other players looking for validation of a different kind, that they deserve the respect of a top 20 player. Tien Minh Nguyen and Boonsak Ponsana were both top 10 players until last autumn but both have fallen outside of that elite level. They meet in the second semi final for the fourth time, with the Vietnamese player holding a 2-1 advantage in their head to heads, for one it will be a chance to validate their credentials and for another, it will be another event where they aren’t mentioned on finals day.
Juliane Schenk is the sole European hope in the women’s singles and takes on Sung Ji Hyun as the top two seeds battle out for a place in the final. Singapore as it’s own interests, with Xing Aiying taking on the world silver medalist Cheng Shao Chieh. It will be their first meeting, with 36 places in the world rankings meaning nothing in front of a partizan home crowd.
Seeds Reign Supreme
11 of the 12 pairs in the doubles events are seeded, with Endo and Hayakawa benefitting from the withdrawal of Lee and Jung to book their place in the semi finals. The Japanese pairing takes on Kido and Setiawan of Indonesia, for the 3rd time in their head to head history. Their last encounter came at this event last year with the Japanese pair defeating the seeded Indonesian in two games.
The other semi final sees the highest two seeds in the draw battle it out, Ko and Yoo of Korea take on Ahsan and Septano of Indonesia with the Koreans holding a 4-0 advantage in their head to heads to date. Their most recent meeting was in the Thomas Cup, where the Indonesians came within two points of victory and saved five match points before eventually falling to the Korean pair.
Bao and Zhong are the sole pair from China, who are usually the dominant force in the women’s doubles. The 5th seeds take on Maeda and Suetsuna of Japan after they battled past Sari and Yao in three games, saving no less than seven match points before taking the match on their first match point however the Japanese pair have never won a game against the Chinese pair they take on in the semi finals.
Cheng and Chien take on Jauhari and Polii in the second semi final, in what will be the fifth meeting between the pairs. The Chinese Taipei pairing have won three of the previous four meetings, but lost their last encounter with the Indonesian pair.
The mixed doubles also has the three highest seeded pairs remaining, with the top two facing off in the semi finals as Chen and Cheng take on Chan and Goh. The 2nd and 3rd meets have four times previously, with the Chinese Taipei pairing winning three of those matches but the previous two matches have required extra points in the deciding game. The second semi final is an all-Japanese affair between Sato and Matsuo, taking on Ikeda and Shiota in their first meeting.