It’s very difficult to not be persuaded by the strong performances of Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei last week while making predictions for this week’s Swiss Open. Of course they are the favourites to make the finals, but we need to account for fatigue, these players played much more badminton than the rest of the players.
I will however make one startling prediction for this event, even if only for the entertainment value. I predict that England’s Andrew Smith will make it to the semi-finals of this event by defeating Sony Dwi Kuncoro (possibly by default as Sony withdrew last week), Simon Santoso and most importantly beating either Chen Jin or Bao Chunlai in the quarter-finals. This is an absolutely audacious prediction that requires 3 upsets, but I think he is up for the challenge.
Otherwise, my prediction is a repeat of last week’s All England finals with Lin Dan defeating Lee Chong Wei in the finals of the Swiss Open.
I was fairly confident yesterday that Taufik was going to take this tournament, well that isn’t going to happen anymore. Lee Chong Wei crushed Taufik today 21-8, 21-13. I’m curious to know if this was just Taufik being tired, or if there was more to this loss. Regardless it is an impressive performance on the part of Lee.
Lin Dan won his match after Chen Jin retired in the second game. So we now have a very exciting final to look forward to tomorrow. Lee Chong Wei the world number one, against Lin Dan the world number two. Lin Dan has already won a number of titles here, while this is Lee’s first ever final in Birmingham. I really can’t offer any reasonable prediction here, certainly Lee will be a little more hungry for this title, but he has been known to succumb to nerves against Lin Dan before.
I know you’re going to find it hard to believe that I didn’t write that last post after already seeing the results, but I promise you it was my actual prediction. Bao Chunlai defeated the young up and comer Gong Weijie 21-18, 21-14 just as I predicted! I’m waiting for my call from Star Sports now, I’m ready to replace Gillian Clark anytime now.
In other news China won all the finals except the mens doubles which was won by a Korean pair. Looking forward to the All Englands next week, should be exciting!
German Open 2009 Draws
The draws for the Yonex All England Open Super Series 2009 have been released and all I can say is the Super Series events are DEEP! Seriously, so much depth. Even the qualifications are an incredible field of players. Both Carl Baxter and Rajiv Ouseph are in the qualifiers and they were the two finalists at this year’s English National Championships.
Most of the top players are in attendance this year. First seed is Lee Chong Wei and second seed is Lin Dan, all is well in the world, although I won’t be surprised if Lee Chong Wei is unseated as the world’s top player soon. What I would LOVE to see at this event is Taufik Hidayat win the title. This is the only big title that Taufik has yet to win, and you know what, he has not done much over the past few months, or even the last couple of years, but I am going to go out on a limb and predict that Taufik will win this event. I bet he has been putting some extra focus on this event, he knows how to peak for the big events, and this is it for his career now. Win this title and he can make a legitimate claim as one of the most accomplished players ever.
Peter Gade is of course a guy to watch out for as per usual, especially with strong performances lately. I will say though that every few years we see a sudden shift in the top players, and I don’t think that’s happened for a while. Lee Chong Wei, Lin Dan, Peter Gade and Taufik have been the top guys for a while now, granted they have shifted around a bit, but certainly they are the names that really stick out when I think about men’s singles. I’m feeling like we’re going to start seeing some shifts soon, maybe here? Doubtful, but you never know ; )
Yonex All England Open Super Series 2009 Draws