2011 heralds the beginning of the new top-tier “Premier Series”, a five event series that boasts bigger money than the previous “Super Series” name. There is still seven Super Series events but the five Premier Series events are now stand out events on the 2011 calendar.
As well as the stand out events, there will be clear stand out players for 2011. 2010 was the year of Lee Chong Wei as he widened the gap between himself at the rest of the world. Only Lin Dan can claim any sort of argument what debating the best player in the world at the moment.
The Super Series starts off in Malaysia on January 18 before the opening Premier Series event in Korea taking centre stage at the end of January. The All-England provides another massive injection of money into the game as the second Premier Series event of the year and is followed the next week by the newest Super Series event in India.
The opening 3 months of 2011 offers the top players in the world four Super Series opportunities, two of which are Premier Series events.
Two players instantly shine out in these kinds of draws. 2010 was Lee Chong Wei’s year, with six Super Series titles, two GP gold titles and the Commonwealth Games gold medal. There is little to debate his place atop the world rankings, all except his Asian Games defeat to his long-term rival Lin Dan who is the only player on the circuit who is in the discussion with Lee Chong Wei when debating the best player on the men’s singles circuit.
The duo played three times in 2010, with Lin Dan winning two at the “major” events in the calendar at the Asian Games and at the Thomas Cup in May where he comfortably defeated the Malaysian in two games like his Olympic triumph in 2008, such was the margin of victory (21-17, 21-8).
These two are the absolute top of the game, however Lin Dan’s schedule has continually decreased since winning gold in Beijing three years ago. Winning just one Super Series last year in September at the China Masters and playing just 6 Super Series events total. Add in two withdrawals in China and Hong Kong, which takes the tally to just 4 events he could have potentially won. Losing one to Lee Chong Wei in Japan and his poor run in March that seen him lose to Bao Chunlai at the All England (Bao Chunlai’s first win over Lin Dan in over three years) and a two game loss to Peter Gade in the Swiss Super Series has only added to the speculation that he has either lost interest in the game or only peaks for major events.
The lure of the new Premier Series could bring the best out in Lin Dan once more, whilst Lee Chong Wei continues to perform at a level that the rest of the players cannot match.
Peter Gade, current European Champion and Europe’s #1 is never to be overlooked in this events. In a year shortened by a back injury, he rolled back the years at the All-England until meeting Lee Chong Wei in a one-sided semi final. He followed up the performance at the Swiss Super Series, beating Lin Dan before losing to Chen Long. He has played just three events since the World Championships in August, reaching the semi finals in Japan and then losing to Joachim Persson at the French Super Series after withdrawing from his home Super Series the week previously. Since then, question marks have surrounded his future especially in light of losing to Joachim Persson, a player tipped a few years ago to take over Gade’s mantle as Denmark’s number 1. His recent return of form at the Super Series Finals shows he still has the ability to win at this level, but only proved that the gap between himself and Lee Chong Wei was a large one.
Gade’s time is slowly fading, without a Super Series win since the Korean Open in 2009. However, the future is bright in Danish badminton with the emergence in recent years of Jan O Jorgensen this year, Jorgensen played 11 of the 12 Super Series events, the most of anyone (only Hu Yun played 11 also) but only featured in one semi final in Denmark, a title that he won but the early part of 2010 was marred with four defeating in the second round and a second round defeat to Rajiv Ouseph in the World Championships. There was little to promote Jorgensen’s chances of winning in Denmark after another set of defeats in Japan and Indonesia at the third round stage. He lost his seeding in Hong Kong in December last year and had to play Lin Dan in the opening round, a match he lost comfortably in two games.
Question marks loom over Taufik Hidayat’s future also but there is little doubt that he still has the ability at win at the highest level. He narrowly missed out in winning the Denmark Super Series, but bounced back to take the French Super Series the very next week. He is one of the few people to claim a victory over Lee Chong Wei in 2010, winning their quarter final matchup in the World Championships and going all the way to the final before losing to Chen Jin.
The Chinese contingent this year is as strong as ever, with as many as five potential winners entering every event this year. Current world champion Chen Jin will hope to reclaim his 2008 All England title, with his Swiss Open title he won last year no longer on the Super Series circuit. Chen Long goes into the opening event of the year as the highest ranked Chinese player in the world at the moment, ranked 4th. Bao Chunlai and Du Pengyu are also ranked inside of the top 15 in the world, with the pair battling it out for the China Open title in May last year.
Boonsak Ponsana has cemented his place as a top-10 player in the past year but still needs to have that landmark victory to push him into the world’s elite however early defeats in the later half of 2010 need to be resolved before he is considered a real contender every event.
The Ones To Watch:
Viktor Axelsen burst onto the scene in 2010, taking the junior world title and then the Cyprus International. His performances in qualifying for the French and Denmark Super Series has already established himself as capable of playing at the very highest level and his second round match to Jan O Jorgensen in the Denmark Open was much closer then anyone expected.
Joachim Persson has made an unlikely resurrection of a career almost forgotten by Jorgensen’s emergence. He has slipped to 20th in the world rankings but still managed to reach the French Super Series final after venturing back into the European circuit to regain the confidence lost in the past few months.
Kenichi Tago burst onto the world scene with his unlikely run to the All-England final last year and has continued to progress on from his experience in that final, reaching a world ranking of 17 but as yet no Super Series titles to show for his efforts.
The 2011 Calendar:
Malaysia – 18-23 January
Korea Premier – 25-30 January
All-England Premier – 8-13 March
India – 16-21 March
Singapore – 14-19 June
Indonesia Premier – 21-26 June
China Masters – 13-18 September
Japan – 20-25 September
Denmark Premier – 18-23 October
France – 25-30 October
Hong Kong – 15-20 November
China Open Premier – 22 – 27 November
Super Series Final – 14-18 December
Lee and Jung spoiled the Chinese party in Shanghai as the host nation looked to repeat their five title haul from September’s Super Series also held in China. Unseeded Chai and Zhang were comfortably beaten by the 4th seeds in two games to ensure that there was no five title repeat.
The other four finals, guaranteed Chinese success. Ma and Zhong pulled out of their women’s doubles final to gift the title to the 2nd seeded Cheng and Zhao. Unseeded Tian and Tao defeated their 5th seeded opponents Zhang and Zhao in two games to secure the mixed doubles title.
Chen Long won his first Super Series title with a three-game victory over Bao Chunlai, a result that looked improbable after the 5th seed lost the opening game 21-9 but bounced back to take the next two games to claim his first title in a 75 minute encounter. Jiang Yanjiao put her name into consideration as a potential world number one after claiming an excellent two game victory over the 3rd seeded Wang Shixian in a 53-minute encounter.
China had interest in nine of the ten matches on semi final day, and promptly won them all. There were no less than six All-Chinese semi finals to ensure Chinese participation on finals day, but the day was a victory for the underdogs and the future of Chinese Badminton.
Chen Long defeated current World Champion Chen Jin in an 84-minute classic to book his place in tomorrow’s final against the 8th seeded Bao Chunlai, who ended Du Pengyu’s run with a narrow two game victory that took just under an hour to conclude. Their last meeting was in the first Chinese Super Series in September, where Chen Long defeated Bao Chunlai to reach the final on the day, a repeat would secure Chen Long’s first Super Series title.
The top 2 seeds in the women’s singles both crashed out at the semi final stage, both upset by their lower seeded opponents as the 3rd seeded Wang Shixian and 4th seeded Jiang Yanjiao both secured their place in tomorrow’s final with tight two game victories. Jiang Yanjiao holds a 3-1 advantage over the World #5, with all four of their encounters being just two games.
The only non-Chinese interest comes from Lee and Jung, who won their all-Korean semi final against Ko and Yoo to book their place in the final where they will play the unseeded Chai and Zhang of China, who defeated the 3rd Korean pair left in the draw, 6th seeded Fang and Lee in a immensely tight match with the Chinese pair winning 26-24 in the third. Lee and Jung will hope for a repeat of their only other encounter in the Korean Super Series earlier this year where they defeated Chai and Zhang in two games at the semi final stage.
Ma and Zhong’s unlikely run has led them all the way to the final, defeating the 8th seeded Ha and Jung of Korea in three games to set up a match against the 2nd seeds also from China, Zhao and Cheng. The 2nd seeds defeated Pan and Tian, seeded 5 in one of the six all-Chinese matchups on semi finals day.
Tian however, was already into the mixed doubles final before her women’s doubles defeat. She defeated Ma Jin and partner He Hanbin earlier in the day with her partner Jiaming Tao to book their place in the final. Zhao Yunlei and Zhang Nan are their opponents in the final, with the 5th seeds defeating Chan and Goh of Malaysia in their semi final encounter. Their only meeting was in Japan in September, where the seeded Tao and Tian were defeated by the unseeded Zhao and Zhang.
The third day had the prospect of being a day of dominance, but the day was marred by the withdrawal of the 7th seed Jan O Jorgensen and of the 2nd seeded Lin Dan in the men’s singles. Lin Dan was the favourite for the title, especially after Peter Gade pulled out before the start of the event. Du Pengyu and Chen Long were the recipients of byes into the semi final stage and were joined later in the day by the 3rd seeded Chen Jin and 8th seeded Bao Chunlai to complete the monopoly of places in the last 4 of the singles.
The monopoly continued in the women’s singles, as the top 4 seeds progressed into the semi finals. Wang Xin and Wang Yihan’s victories over Chinese players in their quarter final matchup ensured at least two Chinese in the last 4, but Wang Shixian’s two game victory of Bae Youn Joo and Jiang Yanjiao defeating Inthanon Ratchanok, who defeated Lu Lan in the second round.
Only the unseeded Chai and Zhang fly the flag for the home nation, as Cai and Fu were defeated by Lee and Jung in a tight three game, 67-minute matchup. Top seeded Boe and Mogensen also crashed out to the 6th seeded Fang and Lee and the 2nd seeded Koo and Tan were also beating by their lower seeded opponents, 7th seeded Ko and Yoo.
Ma and Zhong’s new partnership has been a revelation in the women’s doubles, with their biggest win to date over the top seeded Chien and Cheng in two games to progressed into the last 4. They will take on the 8th seeded Ha and Jung of Korea, the only pair in the last 4 not from China. 2nd seeded Zhao and Cheng progressed safely with a comfortable two game victory and will take on the 5th seeded Pan and Tian who won their quarter final in a tight three game match against Misaki and Takahashi of Japan.
Ma Jin’s success with new partners has also seen her reach the last 4 of the mixed doubles with He Hanbin, they defeated the 8th seeded Ko and Ha in a tight three game, 68-minute encounter to set up a semi final with Jiaming and Tian, which guarantees China a place in Sunday’s final. Zhang and Zhao have the chance to make it an all-Chinese final when they take on unseeded Malaysian pair of Chan and Goh in their semi final clash tomorrow.
The opening day was a success for Chinese badminton but the second day would test some of the relative unknowns of the Chinese system against some of the regulars on the Super Series circuit. It was a task that they held their own against, with some victories of merit to bolster China’s chance to win all five events on their soil for the second time in 2010.
The Chinese seeds in the men’s singles progressed safely into the quarter finals, guaranteeing at least 4 players in the last 8. However that was only the beginning of the Chinese domination, Li Yu qualified after defeating Lee Hyun Il in his second round match and Du Pengyu beat Hu Yun to take China’s tally to six. Sheng Zhang made it 7 after defeating the 6th seeded Tien Minh Nguyen in three games, meaning that Jan O Jorgensen was the sole non-Chinese player left in the men’s singles draw. Jorgensen’s matches have both went to three games, including a tight match in his opening round against Chinese qualifier Wen Kai which had he lost, could have meant all 8 players would have been Chinese in the singles.
There is a similar story in the women’s singles, with 6 of the 8 players remaining being Chinese. Bae Youn Joo is the sole non-Chinese seed left in the draw, with unseeded Thai player Inthanon Ratchanok defeating Lu Lan to book her place in the last 8. There were wins for Wang Xin, Wang Yihan, Wang Shixian and Jiang Yanjiao and they are joined in the last 8 by Hui Zhou who defeated the 6th seeded Juliane Schenk in three games. Qualifier Xia Jingyun is the 8th player in the quarter finals, defeating Beiwin Zhang of Singapore in three games.
All of the 7 seeds that started the week in the men’s doubles are safely through to the last 8, with Chai and Zhang of China taking the 8th spot in the quarter finals left open by Kido and Setiawan’s withdrawal. The match of the day in the men’s doubles will undoubtably be the match between Cai and Fu playing Lee and Jung of Korea. However the other 3 matches will also all be of high quality as this event boasts the highest amount of seeds remaining in the draw.
Ma and Zhong’s run in the women’s doubles continues with a win over the 7th seeded Zhang and Zhang in their second round match, they take on the top seeded Chien and Cheng in their quarter final match. Zhao and Cheng, the 2nd seeds are also safely into the quarter finals and take on a Chinese pair in their next match as Ting and Xiong defeated their Chinese opponents of Dong and Ou to reach the last 8.
Mateusiak and Zieba also lost today to a new Chinese pairing, with Ma and He beating the 2nd seeds in two games to set up a quarter final match against the 8th seeded Ko and Ha of Korea. Zhang and Zhao, the 5th seeds are the only Chinese seed left in the draw but there is three unseeded pairs remaining in the draw, including Zhang and Zhao’s opponents in the quarter final, Yu and Kai who defeated Chinese qualifiers Shen and Pan to reach the last 8.
The Chinese events are always predominantly made up of home players and most of the mainstays of the Super Series tour, but even so the Chinese success on Day 1 should not be underestimated. Only the retirement of Wang Xiaoli in her opening round Women’s Doubles with Yu Yang will be considered a disappointment on a day dominated by the home nation.
Wang Xin got the day off to the perfect start with a 2 game victory to progress into Round 2, the other seeds progressed without much resistance as Wang Shixian progressed from a potentially harder match against Yip Pui Yin. Wang Yihan and Jiang Yanjiao also reached the last 16 and by the end of play, China had no less than 9 players into the last 16 of the women’s singles. 2009 World Champion Lu Lan is one of the nine through after defeating the 8th seeded Ella Diehl in two games to further boosts China’s compliment in the second round.
The men’s singles can also boast a similar story, with 8 of the last 16 players being from the home nation. The noticeable names in the second round are all potential winners of this event, Bao Chunlai received a first round bye, current world champion Chen Jin progressed with ease and the highest seed in the draw Lin Dan defeated Zhou Wenlong in an all-Chinese first round encounter. 5th seeded Chen Long is also through to the last 16 as well as relative unknowns such as Sheng Zhang, Lu Yi and Bin Qiao but the 8th Chinese player left in the draw, Du Pengyu defeated the 4th seeded Boonsak Ponsana to reach the second round.
Robert Blair’s trek from Glasgow has been a successful one as he and partner Flandy Limpele reached the second round today but face the big Chinese threat in the draw in round 2, Cai and Fu. The 5th seeded Chinese pair had little trouble being the 2005 world champions Bach and Gunawan in their opening round match. 4th seeded Lee and Jung also made a successful start to their campaign with a two game victory whilst the top seeded Boe and Mogensen received the only opening round bye. Commonwealth Games champions and 2nd seeded Koo and Tan are also safely into the second round with a two game opening round victory.
Yu and Ying were the big winners in the women’s doubles as they toppled the 3rd seeded Vislova and Sorokina in their opening round encounter and boosts the number of Chinese pairs in the bottom half of the draw to 5 out of a possible 8. With the top two receiving byes, the Russian 3rd seeds were the highest seed playing today. Ma and Zhong have made a successful start to their campaign by take on the Macau pairing of Zhang and Zhang, seeded 7th in the event.
Ma Jin’s success also spread to the mixed doubles, as her and partner He Hanbin set up a second round match with the 2nd seeded Mateusiak and Zieba with both winning in two games in their opening round matches. Yu Yang didn’t let her women’s doubles disappointment stop her reaching the second round of the mixed, as she and partner Xu Chen take on Jiaming Tao and Tian Qing in the second round tomorrow to guarantee one Chinese pair into the last 8.
The second Super Series event of the year for China begins this week, with the home support wanting another clean sweep of the medals in Shanghai. Those chances have received a massive boost with Peter Gade’s withdrawal from the event, meaning that the recently crowned Asian Games gold medalist Lin Dan will be the top seed at this week’s event (Seeded 2nd). He took the singles title in the first Chinese Super Series in September and starts his campaign this week against a qualifier. He will not be the only chance of success in the singles, with Chen Jin, Bao Chunlai and Chen Long all receiving seedings this week.
The women’s singles is a similar story, Wang Xin took the title in September and is seeded 1 for the event this week. However, there are 3 contenders from China who take up the remaining top 4 seeds with Wang Shixian, Jiang Yanjiao and the winner of the last two Super Series, Wang Yihan. There is also the forgotten woman of Chinese badminton, the 2009 World Champion Lu Lan is also in the draw this week and starts her campaign against the 8th seeded Ella Diehl of Russia.
The big draw for the home fans in the men’s doubles will undoubtably be the current world champions Cai and Fu, seeded 5th this week. The top seeds are the winners of the Denmark and France Super Series titles, Boe and Mogensen from Denmark. There is also the return of Lee Yong Dae to the Super Series after an injury layoff. Him and his partner Jung Jae Sung are the 4th seeds this week. Robert Blair’s involvement this week is the biggest surprise, after playing in the Scottish Open semi final on Saturday afternoon, he is expected to play this week with Flandy Limpele in the men’s doubles.
The 8 seeds from the women’s doubles don’t tell the whole story of this draw, with potential winners throughout the draw such as the winners in September, Wang and Yu being unseeded this week. Yu Yang has won 4 Super Series titles this year alone with two different partners and will be a contender this week also, even with their world ranking of just 51. Ma Jin is also in the draw with her partner Zhong Qianxin, who are currently ranked 89th in the world but are a much better partnership than that ranking suggests. The top seeds however are the looking for Super Series title number 1 of the year, Cheng and Chien of Chinese Taipei won the US Open in the summer but have no titles in the Super Series as yet.
The mixed doubles is a similar story to the women’s doubles, with proven Chinese doubles players experimenting with new partners and coming into the draw unseeded. The winners of the first Chinese Super Series event in September, Tian and Tao enter this week as an unseeded pair and could face a fascinating second round matchup against Yu Yang and Xu Chen due to the withdrawal of the 6th seeded Pedersen and Fischer Nielsen of Denmark. The top seeded Laybourn and Rytter Juhl have also pulled out, meaning that the Mateusiak/Zieba partnership are the highest seeded pair in the event, although they will have the massive task of defeating Ma Jin and He Hanbin in round 2 if the two pairs progress from their opening round matches.
Since her 2009 win in the world championships, Lu Lan has almost fallen off the Badminton world, after her absence from the world championships this year and from her non-appearance at this years world championship to defend her title she has dropped to China’s number 6 player.
That all changed today as she defeated the top seed Wang Yihan in stunning fashion with a 21-15, 21-9 victory to set up a quarter final matchup with another unseeded Chinese player, Jiang Yanjiao. In an equally impressive performance, Jiang Yanjiao took out the 6th seeded Pi Hongyan in two games, winning 21-6, 21-11 to set up the all-Chinese quarter final.
There also wins for Wang Xin, Wang Shixian and Tine Baun to progress into the last 8. There is also two Japanese players in the last 8, Eriko Hirose takes on the 2nd seeded Wang Xin whilst qualifier Shizuka Uchida takes on the 3rd seed Wang Shixian.
Anticipation was rife that Kenichi Tago could beat the top seed in Japan this week, but Lee Chong Wei took his record over the Japanese player to 6-0 with an impressive 21-10, 21-10 win to book his place in the last 8. Bao Chunlai is the top seeds next opponent after defeating Kazushi Yamada in two games. There was a two game victory for Lin Dan over Hu Yun to set up a third meeting with Park Sung Hwan in the last 4 weeks. Peter Gade is also through to the quarter finals after a three game victory over Japanese qualifier Takuma Ueda, he plays Tien Minh Nguyen who stopped an all-Danish quarter final with his two game victory over Jan O Jorgensen.
The two seeds remaining the men’s doubles progressed safely into the last 8, with Koo and Tan defeating Chen and Lin in two games and Cai and Fu disposing of Pratama and Saputro. Both seeds take on a Korean pair in the last 8, with Koo and Tan taking on Kim and Shin whilst Cai and Fu take on Cho and Kwon for a place in the last 4.
The women’s doubles lost three local pairs today, most notably the 4th seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa who were defeated in two games by Jang and Kim of Korea. The last remaining Japanese pair, Maeda and Suetsuna takes on the Macau pair of Zhang and Zhang for a place in the last 4. There were also wins for Cheng and Chien, the top seeds take on Kim and Lee of Korea in the last 4.
It has been a disappointing month for Widianto and Natsir, top seeds for the previous three events and failing to reach the final in any of them. Their most recent failure came today with a tame defeat to unseeded Chinese pair Zhang and Zhao. The new partnership of He and Ma came through a three game scare against Lee and Chien to book their place in the last 8, where they play Zhang and Zhao.
There were no shocks in the bottom half of the draw, with all four seeds progressing. Only Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen dropped a game against their Korean opponents Shin and Ha but they progressed to set up an all-Danish quarter final tomorrow.
Japan was well represented at their home Super Series, but only the mainstays on the tour have survived into Round 2. 7th seeded Eriko Hirose is the big hope in the women’s singles and is through to Round 2 with a two game win over Cheng Shao Chieh on the opening day.
Kenichi Tago faught back from a game down to ensure his place in the second round, his reward is a match with top seeded Lee Chong Wei who was impressive in his 21-5, 21-9 opening round victory. On the other side of this half of the draw, Lin Dan secured his place in the last 16 with a two game win and will play Hu Yun of Hong Kong is his second round match.
Sho Sasaki was the story of the day for the local crowd; defeating 4th seeded Taufik Hidayat in three tight games to secure his place in the last 16 against Park Sung Hwan. There were wins for Jan O Jorgensen and Tien Minh Nguyen also, but the unlikely story in the draw is Takuma Ueda. The Japanese qualifier defeated Eric Pang to set up a dream last 16 match up with 2nd seeded Peter Gade, who defated Wong Wing Ki in two games today.
Round 2 in the women’s draw is full of intrigue, as the draw has top seeded Wang Yihan likely to play three of her Chinese team-mates on route to the final. Tomorrow sees her play the 2009 World Champion Lu Lan, with the winner to play the winner of Pi Hongyan and Jiang Yanjiao. Wang Shixian is the likely opponent in the last 4 for any of those four ladies.
The bottom half is more simple, with Tine Baun, Wang Xin and Eriko Hirose all winning comfortably. The only casualty is 8th seeded Yao Jie who was defeated in two games by Sung Ji Hyun of Korea, who will now play Japan’s Sayaka Sato in the round of 16.
The men’s doubles has been decimated with a trio of big name upsets in the opening round. 6th seeded Fang and Lee crashed out in a three game loss to Kim and Shin of Korea before Lee and Jung, seeded 7 lost tamely into two games to their Thai opponents, Anugritayawon and Prapakamol. Then the third shock of the day came with 3rd seeded Boe and Mogensen crashing out in three games also to the unseeded Malaysian pair of Chan and Lim. The top half of the draw has just one seed remaining, the top seeded Koo and Tan who progressed safely in two games.
The 2nd seeds Kido and Setiawan pulled out pre-event, as well as 4th seeded Guo and Xu. Leaving just the 5th seeded Cai and Fu and the 8th seeded Chandra and Gunawan in the bottom half of the draw. Both pairs progressed safely to the second round with two game victories.
The expectancy of all the of the 7 seeds that started the week making the second round was not a bold expectation, only the 6th seeded Pan and Tian pulled out pre-event to stop the clean sweep of seeds into the second round. The two Japanese hopes in the draw have a potential clash in the semi final as 2nd seeded Maeda and Suetsuna and 4th seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa both progressed into round 2. 5th seeded Wang and Yu are also a pair to watch, they are into the last 16 with a 21-11, 21-7 victory in round 1.
The mixed doubles almost has a full compliment of seeds remaining, with only the 4th seeds Thai pairing of Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul crashed out in the two games to the unseeded Korean pair of Yoo and Kim. There was little problems for the 2nd and 3rd seeded pairs, who came through their opening round matches against their Japanese opponents. 8th seeded Tao and Tian had to save a match point in their opening round match against Susanto and Rijal, coming through 25-23 in the third game.
The all-Chinese final was ensured yesterday with the 4 semi-finalists being all from the host nation. Lin Dan hadn’t reached a final this year but took on unseeded Wang Zhengming in the first of the semi finals, the 46 minute encounter was an excellent test for Lin Dan, but he was rarely troubled in his 21-12, 21-17 victory to delight the local crowd. The other semi final was a surprise, as 7th seeded Chen Long defeated his more experienced opponent Bao Chunlai in a two-game, 52 minute encounter that the 7th seed took 21-18, 21-12.
There was a real surprise in the women’s singles, as top seed Wang Yihan was defeated by 4th seeded Tine Baun in a tight yet convincing two game victory, the 4th seeded Dane winning 21-16, 21-19. She will play Wang Xin, who is looking to put her world championship final defeat behind her. She defeated the 3rd seeded Wang Shixian 21-11, 21-15 to book her place in tomorrow’s final.
The men’s doubles match between Cai and Fu and Lee and Jung was another fabulous three-game encounter, with the Chinese pair losing the opening game only to bounce back and win the next two to delight the home fans. They take on another Korean pair in the final as Ko and Yoo defeated the unseeded Malaysian pair of Chan and Lim in two games to book their place in tomorrow’s final.
The Wang/Lu partnership has been a heralded success at this weeks event, they defeated the 2nd seeded pair of Cheng and Zhao in two tight games to book their place in the final, where they will take on the unseeded Chinese pair of Lu and Bao who defeated the top seeded Cheng and Chien in three games to set up the second all-Chinese final tomorrow.
The third all Chinese final sees another unseeded Chinese pair, Xu and Yu convincingly defeated the top seeds Widianto and Natsir in two games, winning 21-11, 21-17 to set up a final against the 7th seeded Tao and Tian. They defeated the 8th seeded Ma and He in three games, after losing the opening game 21-7.