Whilst Japan have interest in all five events, China’s involvement this week had ended at the quarter final stage.
Taufik Crashes Out
The big news for Europe is that there is another player capable of defeating the world’s elite in Marc Zwiebler. After his run to the semi final at the All-England, big things were expected and his two game victory over the top seeded Taufik Hidayat only confirms his credentials at the highest level. Tien Minh Nguyen is Zwiebler’s opponent in the semi final, after the 3rd seed defeated Bao Chunlai in two games to reach the last 4.
Lower Seeds Surprise
Few expected the defeat of both Lu Lan and Li Xuerui at the quarter final stage, but that is exactly what took place as both Japanese players reached the last 4. Lu Lan lost out to Tai Tzu Ying by the narrowest of margins, with the Chinese Taipei player winning the deciding game 22-20 to set up a semi final against Eriko Hirose. The Japanese 5th seeded defeated Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in two tight games to reach the last 4. Sayaka Sato’s upset over Cheng Shao Chieh hung on a knife edge as both players had match points, before the 8th seeded Sato won the match on her 5th match point to progress 27-25 in the decider.
Japanese and Korean Interest In Doubles
With 2 pairs in the men’s and mixed doubles, as well as 1 in the women’s doubles for the Japanese, they narrowly have the most pairings remaining in the doubles disciplines. Korea are also well represented, mostly down to Lee Yong Dae and Ha Jung Eun who are in 3 of the 5 Korean matches in the doubles tomorrow. Lee and Ko take on their third Japanese pairing in the men’s doubles in the semi finals, with the 6th seeded Kawamae and Sato standing in their way to the final. The second Japanese pairing in the men’s doubles is the 2nd seeded Hashimoto and Hirata, who take on the American pair of Bach and Gunawan who received a walkover to the last 4.
Korea have interest in both the women’s doubles semi finals, with Ha and Kim taking on the Japanese 2nd seeds Maeda and Suetsuna whilst the 8th seeded Jung and Kim take on the top seeded Cheng and Chien of Chinese Taipei. Lee and Ha combine in the mixed doubles to take on another Japanese pairing, this time the 6th seeded Ikeda and Shiota. The other semi final sees the unseeded Japanese pair of Sato and Matsuo take on the 5th seeded pairing of Chen and Cheng of Chinese Taipei.
The big Japanese contingent that travelled to the US Open have impressed and have defeated several seeds on route to the quarter final stages whilst some of the biggest names in Japanese badminton struggled on day 3.
Top Seeds Safely Into Last 8
There was little trouble for the top seeds in their 3rd round matches, with top seeded Taufik Hidayat booking his quarter final place against Marc Zwiebler of Germany, seeded 6th this week. The other quarter final in the top half of the draw sees the 3rd seeded Tien Minh Nguyen take on the 5th seeded Bao Chunlai, with all four players progressing without the loss of a game in their 3rd round matches. Boonsak Ponsana’s reward for defeating Takuma Ueda is another Japanese opponent in the 7th seeded Sho Sasaki.
Four Nations Remain
The women’s singles has a symmetry at the quarter final stage, with two competitors from four nations remaining. Two from China, Japan, Thailand and Chinese Taipei with one player from each nation in either half of the draw. Eriko Hirose and Porntip Buranaprasertsuk fight it out at the last 8 stage to see who is the last seed remaining in the top half of the draw, whilst all four seeds remain in the bottom half, with 2nd seeded Cheng Shao Chieh coming through in three games against Ayane Kurihana to set up her quarter final against Sayaka Sato of Japan.
Aussie Delight in Men’s Doubles
The big shock of the day was the defeat of Cheng and Fang in the men’s doubles to Australia pair of Smith and Warfe in just two games to book their place in the last 8. The remaining 7 seeds progressed into the last 8 and the pick of tomorrow’s match sees Lee and Ko take on the Japanese pair of Endo and Hayakawa, whilst the American pairing of Bach and Gunawan take on the German 3rd seeds in Kindervater and Schoettler.
Fujii and Kakiiwa Out
The biggest casualty in the women’s doubles was the loss of the 3rd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa to China’s pairing of Ying and Yu in two games, but there is still two Japanese pairs through to the last 8 with Suetsuna and Maeda progressing in two games as well as Matsuo and Naito having better luck against their Chinese opponents, defeating them in three games to reach the last 8 to take on the 5th seeded Ha and Kim of Korea.
Matuso and Sato Stun Robertson and Wallwork
Japan’s excellent day in the doubles was completed with Matsuo and Sato’s two game victory over the 4th seeded Robertson and Wallwork. Lee and Ha continued their run in the event with a two game victory and take on the Chinese pairing of Qiu and Yixin who defeated England’s Olver and Ellis to compound a poor day for the English.
Day 3 Results:
This years US GP Gold event has produced a very quality field, with the likes of Bao Chunlai and Tine Baun using the event as preparation for the world championships in just 4 weeks time.
Top Seeds Through In Men’s Singles
Top seeded Taufik Hidayat has been a regular player at this event for a number of years and is safely into the last 16 with a pair of straight forward wins to set up a 3rd round match against Chetan Anand of India, who defeated the 13th seed Brice Leverdez in two games to round the last 16. 3rd seeded Tien Minh Nguyen has a similar story to Hidayat, with two straight forward victories and a 3rd round match against an Indian opponent, only the 3rd seeded takes on the 12th seeded Kashyap who has also been impressive on route to the 3rd round.
Bao Chunlai is the third big man in the top half of the draw, the 5th seed defeated Carl Baxter of England in the 2nd round to set up a last 16 clash with Japan’s Keigo Sonoda who defeated the 10th seeded Kazushi Yamada in his 2nd round match. The bottom half of the draw is dominated by the Japanese, with 3 players of the 8 remain on that half of the draw. Boonsak Ponsana, the highest seed in the bottom half takes on one of the Japanese players, 14th seeded Takumi Ueda. Both players have been in good form this week and have failed to drop a game on route to the 3rd round.
Baun Crashes Out
Top seed Tine Baun was the main name of interest in the women’s singles, but her run lasted all of 40 minutes as she crashed out to Kaori Imabeppu of Japan in just two games to set up the biggest shock of the week to date. Imabeppu’s reward for defeating Baun is a second round match against Lu Lan of China. The 2nd seeded Cheng Shao Chieh had little trouble in reaching the last 16, where she takes on Ayane Kurihara of Japan in another draw that has a big Japanese contingent still in the draw.
Seeds Safely Into Second Round
The opening rounds of the doubles have been fairly easy for the seeded pairs in all three events. Top seeded Fang and Lee were tested in their opening round match against Austria’s Koch and Zauner but the Chinese Taipei pair came through safely in two games. Lee and Ko of Korea join forces for the first time just a month ahead of the world championships, with the 5th seeds taking on Hirobe and Kazuno of Japan in their second round match in their first main test of the new partnership. The 7th seeded Bach and Gunawan faught through a three-game opening round match to progress into the last 16, where they take on the English pair of Clark and Langridge.
Cheng and Chien progressed into the second round of the women’s doubles without much resistance, but have a tougher test against the Singapore pairing of Sari and Yao in the second round. Japan’s involvement is also apparent in this event also, with 2nd seeded Suetsuna and Maeda as well as 3rd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa both progressing into the last 16, as well as the 4th seeded Matsuo and Naito, who take on the Chinese pairing of Yixin and Cheng in the second round.
Yixin is also in the mixed doubles, and with her partner Qiu YIhan defeated the 2nd seeded Fuchs and Michels in the opening round of the mixed doubles to set up a 2nd round match against Ellis and Olver of England. Lee and Ha are also in the field and they also defeated a seed in the opening round in the 7th seeded Jongjit and Amitapal of Thailand, they take on Shin and Kim in the second round in an all-Korean match.