The hope of a local title lay with 6 dutch men and women going into the weekend, come finals day it was down to just the 2nd seeded Yao Jie who delivered on local soil in Almere.
Hsueh Hsuan Yi claimed the men’s singles title in an all-Chinese Taipei final, defeating Chen Chou Tien in a three-game, 66 minute final The all-Thai mixed doubles final went the way of the 2nd seeded Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul as they defeated the top seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in two games. Voravichitchaikul claimed a second title in the women’s doubles, partnering Aroonkesorn as the top seeds defeated the 2nd seeded Yao and Sari of Singapore in two games.
The men’s doubles was won by the 3rd seeded Cwalina and Logosz after they defeated the top seeded German pair of Kindervater and Schoettler in a tight three game match but the story of the day was the victory of Yao Jie in the women’s singles. The 2nd seed defeated the unseeded Sindhu of India in two games, but it was a week that could have been so different after saving a match point in her opening round match against Chiang Pei Hsin of Chinese Taipei.
It was a quick final day for the Czech International Grand Prix tournament. No matches went to three games, and no matches lasted longer than fifty minutes.
The finals kicked off with the mixed doubles finals of Alexandr Nikolaenko and Valeri Sorokina of Russia against Gert Kunka and Amanda Hogstrom of Estonia and Sweden respectively. Both the Russians had another final later in the day in their respective Men’s and Women’s doubles, making a double crown for each possible. The entire match lasted only twenty six minutes with the Russians taking the prize, 21-15 and 21-12.
The first final with a Czech player was the women’s singles final, featuring Czech sensation Kristina Gavnholt, who had not dropped a set in the tournament yet, against India’s Arundhati Pantawane. The Indian player had a much tougher road to the final having a three set semi-final the day before. The match was the second longest of the day coming in at forty minutes. The home crowd had a reason to cheer in the end as Kristina came out the victor, 21-10, and 21-18.
The women’s final was the next one to be played, and it was Valeri Sorokina’s second final of the day. The Russian team of Valeri Sorokina and Nina Vislova faced off against Canada’s Nicole Grether and Charmane Reid. The Canadians only lasted a total of thirty-four minutes, with the Russian duo walking away with the title, 21-10, and 21-16. This was Valeri Sorokina’s second title of the day.
Next up we had the Men’s doubles, with Russians Vitalj Durkin and Alexandr Nikolaenko facing off against Poland’s first seeds Adam Cwalina and Michal Logosz. The Polish pair kept their magnificent form, defeating the Russians 21-13, and 21-16 in only thirty minutes.
The men’s singles was the match most came to watch. It featured Czech super star Petr Koukal who had made a brilliant run to the final, defeating second seed Brice Leverdez and therefore ending the Frenchman’s winning streak. Koukal was slotted against top seeded Polish player Przemyslaw Wacha. The match was the longest of the day, lasting a total of forty-one minutes. Unfortunately for Koukal, he could not take his home title this year, with Wacha taking the match 21-19, and 21-16.
Two unlikely names have reached the final on Sunday, one in the men’s and the other in the women’s singles as the seeds continued to crash out on Day 2 in Poland.
Pablo Abian defeated his Spanish compatriot to set up a semi final clash with top seed Joachim Persson, with the Danish player not dropping a game to this point in the tournament. After a stunning opening game went 21-10 the way of the Spanish player, another shock was on in a week filled with them. The second game was tight in the opening part then Abian pulled out a lead and never released it, winning the second game 21-16 to book his place in the final.
Abian’s opponent in the final is Hiroyuki Saeki, an unseeded qualifier from Japan who had to play 3 matches just to make it into the main draw. Sunday’s final will be his 8th singles match in just 4 days. He defeated Christian Lind Thomsen in the second round and has never looked back, defeating another Japanese player Shuhei Hayasaki to book his place in the final.
There is a second qualifer from Japan in a final tomorrow, Kana Ito battled through two rounds of qualifying and defeated 3rd seed Rachel Van Cutsen in the second round, then another two victories today means that her 7th match of the week will be in tomorrow’s final.
Ito will play Chan Tsz Ka of Hong Kong in tomorrow’s final, the 4th seed’s route has been an easier affair that Ito’s but had to survive a 66 minute battle with Russia’s Olga Golovanova in the quarterfinal to progress, winning the match 21-23, 24-22, 21-19. The 4th seed will also take part in tomorrow’s women’s doubles final too.
Poland’s chances of a finalist lay in the hands of three potential partnerships, Wojtkowska and Szkudiarcyzk in the mixed doubles, seeded 4. They lost out in the quarterfinals after tamely losing to Triyachart and Yao of Singapore 21-9, 21-16. Cwalina and Moren had better luck in the men’s doubles, beating 4th seeded Chrisnanta and Triyachart in the quarterfinals, setting up a match against 2nd seeded Russian pair, Ivanoc and Sozonov. After taking the first game 21-9, expectations were high, only for the Russians to fight back and take the next two games and secure a place in the tomorrow’s final.
Wojtkowska paired up with her women’s doubles partner, Natalia Poczotowiak and defeated Choo and Wilson-Smith of New Zealand to book their place in the semi finals, they came up against the Hong Kong pairing of Chan and Chau, the 4th seeds and after leading most of the first game, let a 17-15 lead slip and lost the opening game 21-19. They never recovered from that and lost the second game 21-10 and ending Poland’s local interest in the event for another year.
This week’s event in Poland is one of the last events before the European Championships in Manchester next month and has attracted some of the big names in European badminton to play themselves into form ahead of next month’s European Championships.
The top seed is Joachim Persson who is coming off a poor 2-week run in the Super Series, losing out to Kenichi Tago in Round 2 in the All England and another second round defeat to Chen Jin in Switzerland last week. His campaign this week begins against the Swede Magnus Sahlberg before a potential 2nd round encounter with Ville Lang of Finland.
Christian Lind Thomsen (Seeded 3) and Peter Mikkelsen (Seeded 4) lead a strong Danish squad looking for success in the men’s singles draw. Przemyslaw Wacha is the local hope in the competition, seeded 2 but there is also threats from the Ukranian Dmtyro Zavadsky, seeded 5 and Petr Koukal of the Czech Republic, seeded 7. Vladimir Malkov of Russia is another threat, seeded 8.
Singapore’s top seed Zhang Beiwen starts her campaign against rising Belgian starlet Lianne Tan, hoping to past her semi final defeat to Gu Juan in last week’s event behind her. The other potential winners of the event coming from the Netherlands and Ukraine, with Judith Meulendijks and Rachel Van Cutsen leading the Dutch charge. Larisa Griga and Elena Prus are the big Ukrainan hopes.
Poland’s best chance of success lie with Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Kostiuczyk, however with their withdrawal at the semi final stage last week in Switzerland, questions will be asked if they are 100% fit to attempt to win on their home soil. Should they fail to deliver, two other Polish pairings are seeded. 3rd seeded Cwalina and Kurdieska and 4th seeded Szkudiarczyk and Motjkowska.
The Denmark – Germany was a rematch of the 2008 semi final, with the 3-1 scoreline being repeated in the 2010 event. Tine Rasmussen started the match with a win over Juliane Schenk in the opening singles, 21-16, 21-13. The first doubles was expected to be another Danish win, but the pairing of Overzier and Marinello pulled out a 21-17, 24-22. Camila Sorensen put the Danish back in front with a win over Karin Schnaase in two games, meaning a win for the Neilsen and Ropke would win the match for Denmark.
Goleszewki and Schenk took a opening game lead, taking the first 21-18. The Danish responded by winning the second game 21-15 to take it into a final game. The Danes finished the job with a 21-13 final game victory to send them through to tomorrow’s final.
In the final also, are the Russians after a 3-0 win over the Netherlands. The Diehl/Bibik/Vislova/Sorokina coming good for the second day running with three wins in quick succession to clinch their place in the final. Diehl’s impressive 21-17, 21-7 victory started the rout, followed by Bibik’s 21-13, 21-6 win putting them on the brink of the final and then the Sorokina/Vislova partnership ending the match with a 21-12, 21-18 win to book Russia’s place in tomorrow’s final
As if Denmark couldn’t get any better, they unleashed Peter Gade for the first time in the semi final. His 21-6, 21-13 win over Marc Zweibler was a frightening warning that Denmark weren’t at full strength until now. Mogensen and Boe’s 21-17, 21-18 win had Denmark of the brink of the final having played just over an hour in the last 2 days. Jan O Jorgensen completed their stunning victory gainst Marcel Reuter 24-22, 21-17 to clinch a place in the final.
What the second semi final had was everything the first didn’t, four matches split in a 3 and a half hour clash that came down to a final rubber. Wacha gave Poland an early lead with a 3 game victory, only for the Ukrainians to take the next two singles matches and one step away from the final. Mateusiak and Wacha fought back from a game down in the first doubles to secure Poland’s second win and a final rubber, winner take all match to face Denmark in the final.
Adam Cwalina and Michal Logosz’s 19-minute demolition clinched Poland’s spot in tomorrow’s final, winning 21-6, 21-12.