Czech badminton fans have a good reason to be joyous right now, as the Czech International Grand Prix started off with a bang this week. Poland’s men’s singles number one Przemyslaw Wacha, is also the top seed in the men’s singles event. He slipped by two of India’s top players, both in straight games, in the first and second round of the tournament. Czech fans have even more reasons to rejoice as Czech star Petr Koukal ousted second-seeded Brice Leverdez of France in two sets, 21-14, 21-17.
In the women’s singles, top seed Nicole Grether of Canada (Formerly of Germany) saw an early exit from the tournament as she was defeated by Arundhati Pantawane of India, 21-19, and 21-18. Another hometown hero, Kristina Gavnholt advanced to the next stage of the tournament defeating Italy’s Orsolya Varga, and Norway’s Sara Kverno . Kristina won both matches in straight sets.
Poland, Russia, France, and Chinese Taipei all share an equal presence in the men’s doubles quarter finals, each with two teams remaining in the tournament. The second round in the women’s doubles is far more diverse with teams from at least six nations are still in the tournament. Nicole Grether and Charmaine Reid, Canada’s experienced pair triumphed over Natalia Pocztowiak and Stasa Poznanovic, 21-6, and 21-4.
There few surprises in the mixed doubles. Qualifiers Paul Van Rietvelde (Scotland) and Lim Alyssa (England) defeated English compatriots Chris Coles and Jessica Fletcher, 21-18, and 22-20.
Chances of Ukrainian success lasted all the way to finals day, only for Dmytro Zavadsky to be denied by Brice Leverdez of France.
Zavadsky did take the first game 21-9 and hopes were high that he would continue in the form that seen him defeat Viktor Axelsen in the semi final, but the 2nd seeded Frenchman was simply too good in the next two games and took the match from a game down to win 9-21, 21-14, 21-14. The women’s singles final was an altogether different story, as top seeded Olga Konon defeated Susan Egelstaff in superb fashion in just 24 minutes, winning 21-9, 21-10.
The doubles seen Michael Fuchs gain revenge over Chayut Triyachart for his men’s doubles exit, as he partner Birgit Michels to the mixed doubles title but Singapore would take home a title as Lei Yao defeated Brigit Michels in the women’s doubles final, with the 2nd seeded Sari and Yao beating top seeded Michels and Marinello. Ivanov and Sozonov also defeated the top seeded pair, this time in the men’s doubles as the Russian 2nd seeds defeated Cwalina and Logosz of Poland to take the men’s doubles title.
Ukrainian hopes of local success lie with Dmytro Zavadsky who defeated the top seeded Victor Axelsen in the semi final after the Dane burned out after his impressive run to the last 4.
Axelsen claimed after the match that he had no power in his legs in his two game defeat to the 5th seeded Ukrainian, a victory that set up a final against the second seeded Brice Leverdez who ended Denmark’s chances in the singles with a two game victory over Christian Lind Thomsen.
Olga Konon lived up to her top seeding as she raced into the women’s singles final with a convincing two game victory over Elizabeth Cann in the semi final but there is British interest as Susan Egelstaff shocked two higher seeded players today to reach the final. Victories over the 2nd seeded Anastacia Prokopenko in the quarter final and Lariga Griga, the 3rd seed from Ukraine has put the Scot back in pole position to reach the Olympics ahead of her rival Cann.
The three doubles events are dominated by the top seeds, with both the level doubles final pitting the two top seeds against one another. Cwalina and Logosz take on Ivanov and Sozonov, as the world number 27 and 28 do battle for the title with the lower seeded Russians holding a 2-1 advantage in the head to head. Marinello and Michels needed just two match to reach the final against their Singapore opponents, the 2nd seeded Yao and Sari. This will be their first meeting and the winner win likely break into the top 16 in the world.
The mixed doubles sees Yao and Michels play each other again, this time Michels is partnered with Fuchs and are the top seeds in the event whilst Yao and Triyachart are unseeded this week, but have not dropped a game to date and Triyachart also put Fuchs out of the men’s doubles earlier in the week.
Viktor Axelsen’s rise in European badminton continues as he takes his first top seeding this week and has lived up to the hype and expectation that Danish and European hopes have placed on the teenager.
Two victories today propelled him into the last 8, with the second victory coming against Carl Baxter of England, who was ranked inside the top 30 as early as December last year. The anticipated all-Danish match between Persson and Axelsen failed to materialise with Vladimir Ivanov defeating Persson in the second round and will face Axelsen instead. 2nd seeded Brice Leverdez has faced little resistance in reaching the quarter finals also, defeating a pair of Russian’s to reach the last 8 and a match Ukraine’s Valeriy Atrashchenkov.
All seven seeds that started the women’s singles remain the draw and are joined by Camilla Sorensen of Denmark, who takes on Elizabeth Cann in the quarter finals. Top seeded Olga Konon progressed in straight games in both her matches today and takes on Chen Jiayuan, seeded 8 in the quarter finals. 2nd seeded Anastacia Prokopenko takes on the 5th seeded Susan Egelstaff in the quarter finals, with both players progressing without the loss of a game between them.
The doubles events still have the top seeds remaining in all three events, with Cwalina and Logosz safely won their opening game in the men’s doubles. Marinello and Michels haven’t had to play a game to reach the last 8 in a relatively weak draw in the women’s doubles but Brigit Michels was in action in the mixed doubles as she partnered Michael Fuchs as the top seeds progressed into the last 16 in three games.
The draws for the 2010 World Championships were made in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, there were little doubts about the top seed in the men’s singles draw with Lee Chong Wei taking the #1 seed but there will be no rematch of the 2009 final in Paris on August 29.
Lee Chong Wei begins his campaign against Kevin Cordon, the world number 46 from Guatemala and could face a tricky second round match against world #22 Muhammad Hafiz Hashim in an all-Malaysian second round encounter. The other seed in Lee Chong Wei’s section is Jan O Jorgensen, seeded 11. The Dane has had a disappointing 2010 after bursting onto the world scene with victory over Peter Gade in Denmark and reaching the Chinese Super Series final in 2009. He begins his campaign against the Austrian Michael Lahnsteiner, ranked 86 in the world. His second round encounter will be a much tougher match with one of the best matches of the opening round with Eric Pang taking on Rajiv Ouseph for the chance to play Jorgensen or Lahnsteiner in Round 2.
Taufik Hidiyat received the 5th seed and with that, he plays Ola Fagbemi of Nigeria who is the lowest ranked player in the draw, ranked #122 in the world. His likely second round opponent is ranked almost 100 places higher in the world rankings, world #23 Yu Shin Hsieh of Chinese Taipei who takes on Portugal’s Pedro Martins in Round 1. The other seed is Kenichi Tago, one of the breakout stories of 2010 who is the #12 seed and faces the Czech national champion Petr Koukal, the world #48 in the opening round.
Lin Dan has barely played in 2010, but is still the Chinese #1 and seeded 3 for the Worlds and begins his campaign against Ali Shahhossieni of Iran, ranked 110 in the world before potentially playing the winner of the all-European match between Henrik Toth and Henri Hurskainen in the second round. The conspiracy theorists will claim that Lin Dan’s opening two matches could be the easiest run to the last 16 of any of the seeds, with only Hurskainen inside the top 50 in the world (ranked 50th). His first big test will be against Bao Chunlai, seeded 10 and the player who defeated him in the 2010 All England. The 10th seed begins against Yan Kit Chan who is current ranked 20th in the world in one of the hardest opening round match for any seed. If anything, the winner of this match will have an easier second round match, playing the winner of David Snider of Canada (ranked 89) and Scotland’s Alistair Casey (ranked 78).
Tien Minh Nguyen may not have won in Chinese Taipei to gain him more ranking points but is still seeded 7 and plays the world number 62 Ukrainian Valeriy Atrashchenkov in his opening round match. The winner of Raul Must and Dieter Domke is likely to play the Vietnamese player in round 2. Park Sung Hwan is the other seed in this section, the 13th seeded Korean takes on Derek Wong Zi Liang of Singapore, ranked 79 in the world with Park likely to play the winner of another all-European clash between Matthieu Lo Ying Ping and Vladimir Ivanov in the opening round.
The opening section from the bottom half of the draw is arguably the hardest one to come out of, with England’s Carl Baxter, ranked 27 in the world taking on Slovakia’s Michal Matejka for the chance to play the 9th seeded Boonsak Ponsana, should he defeat world number 52 Vladimir Malkov of Russia. The other seed is Simon Santoso, winner in Chinese Taipei and seeded 8. He takes on Poland’s Przemyslaw Wacha, ranked 37 in the world with the winner of that match taking on the winner of Scott Evans, ranked 45 in the world and Hsuan Yi Hsueh of Chinese Taipei, ranked 41 in the world.
The 14th seed Chetan Anand begins his campaign against Ashton Chen Ong Zhao, ranked 112th in the world in one of the bigger mismatches of the opening round and likely to play the winner of Dmytro Zavadsky and Stephan Wojcikiewicz, ranked 47 and 56 respectively. The other seed in the section is the 4th seeded Chen Jin who begins his campaign against Finland’s #1 and world #53 Ville Lang in his opening round. The other match and potentially Chen Jin’s second round opponent is between Kestutis Navickas of Lithuania, the world number 59 and Scotland’s #1 Kieran Merrilees, ranked 72 in the world.
Wong Choong Hann received the 16th seed and will take on France’s own Simon Maunoury in his opening round match in the French capital, but the world number 81 will need to play the match of his life to reach round 2. The other match to determine the winner of the Wong/Maunoury match is between Iran’s Kaveh Mehrabi, ranked 92nd in the world and Kazushi Yamada of Japan, ranked 30 in the world. Sony Kuncoro won in Macau two weeks ago and the 6th seed comes into the championships in excellent form and begins his campaign against Misha Zilberman of Israel, ranked 84th in the world in round 1. Another all-European clash is the last match in the section with world #25 Dicky Palyama of Holland taking on the 3rd Frenchman in the draw, US Open runner-up Brice Leverdez for a place in round 2.
The final section is the only one with two European seeds, with 15th seed Marc Zwiebler taking on the Czech Jan Vondra in his opening round match and a second all-European match guarantees at least one European in the last 16, with Sweden’s Magnus Sahlberg taking on Pablo Abian of Spain. Peter Gade comes into the competition as the number 2 seed and starts his campaign against Brazilian Daniel Paiola, ranked 74 in the world. The big news from this section of the draw is world number 15 Yun Hu not receiving a seeding for the event despite Chen Long not being able to play as China’s #4 and world #10 and plays Shon Wan Ho of Korea, the world number 35 in his opening match and a likely second round match against Peter Gade, which would likely be the match of the second round.
Zhu Lin completed her Canadian / US Open double today with a two game victory over 4th seeded Judith Meulendijks, who retired in the middle of the second game trailing a game and 11-6 in the second. Her record for the last 2 weeks is remarkable, played 10, won 10 against 8 seeded players with the loss of just two games, both to Juliane Schenk. Saturday’s 15 minute final was never going to be anything but a win for Zhu Lin, but who knows when we’ll see the talented Chinese player again.
The men’s singles final was between 3rd seeded Rajiv Ouseph of England and 9th seed Brice Leverdez of France, who came through his semi final against Yuichi Ikeda 25-23 in the third game to reach the final. Ouseph had also came through a three-game encounter, against Derek Wong Zillang of Singapore and came through 21-15 in the third. After a brave attempt in the opening game, Leverdez’s challenge ended without more resistance as Ouseph took the title 21-17, 21-9 in 30 minutes.
The top seeds, both from Chinese Taipei, dominated the doubles. Cheng and Chien took the women’s doubles with the loss of just one game whilst the men’s doubles was an all-Chinese Taipei affair, with top seeds Fang and Lee defeating Chen and Lin in two games to secure Chinese Taipei’s second title of the week. Their chance for a third title was ended by the unseeded German pair of Fuchs and Overzier as they defeated the 3rd seeded Lee and Chien in two games to secure Europe’s second title of the week.
Zhu Lin is amassing another impressive list of victories in the US this week after her success in Canada just last week. Pi Hongyan is the latest player to fall to the on form Chinese player, as Zhu Lin defeated the French 2nd seed in two games to book her place in the semi finals. The semi final is a rematch of the Canadian Open final against Juliane Schenk of Germany. The 3rd seed has failed to drop a game on route to the semi finals and will want to avenge her defeat last week.
Rajiv Ouseph is through to the semi final of the men’s singles with two game victory over Shon Wan Ho of Korea, he sets up a match against Derek Wong Zillang of Singapore in the last 4. The other semi final sees the 9th seed Brice Leverdez, who defeated the 4th seeded Hsieh Yu Hsing in the quarter final play unseeded Japanese player Yuichi Ikeda for a place in Saturday’s final.
The American interest is down to just one, with Chew and Ho losing out at the quarter final stages of the men’s doubles to Kim and Shin of Korea, whose reward for defeating the American pair is a semi final match against the top seeded Fang and Lee of Chinese Taipei. Bach and Gunawan are safety into the final four with a routine victory but have their toughest test to date in the semi final against the 3rd seded Chen and Lin of Chinese Taipei.
Top seeds in the mixed doubles Mateusiak and Zieba are safely into the last 4 with their 3rd two game victory of the week. They will play their first seed of the week in the semi finals, 3rd seeded Lee and Chien of Chinese Taipei. The 2nd seeded pair of Wallwork and Robertson were defeated in the quarter finals, beaten by the 6th seeds Chen and Cheng. They will play the German pair of Fuchs and Overzier in the last 4.
After struggling to close out his previous three matches the top seeded Taufik Hidayat had an easier run today in his quarter-final match against Denmark’s Christian Lind Thomsen. The young Dane has had a good run to this point, but it was not enough as Hidayat closed out the match 21-13, 21-14. In spite of a relatively smoother scoreline this time the match still took 42 minutes to complete which is a testament to the Danes strong performance here this week. Tomorrow Hidayat faces Dieter Domke who ousted Korea’s Lee Dong Keun 21-14, 12-21, 21-16. The other side of the draw had France’s two remaining hopefuls facing off against one another, however the higher ranked Brice Leverdez triumphed over his teammate Simon Manoury in two straight games 21-12, 22-20. Leverdez now plays Denmark’s Rune Ulsing who had a marathon match against Japan’s Saeki Hiroyuki 17-21, 22-20, 21-19.
It was a good run for Canada’s Anna Rice in front of her hometown crowd, but it wasn’t to be as her fantastic run was ended by Korea’s Kim Moon Hi 9-21, 21-15, 21-10. Kim now plays Zhu Lin who has yet to drop a game thus far. The bottom half of the draw will now be an all European affair as Judith Meulendijks of the Netherlands is scheduled to play against Juliane Schenk.
Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan are the lone pairing left in the men’s doubles not representing an Asian country. The Americans have yet to see a serious challenge so far, but tomorrow Singapore’s Hendri Kurniawan Saputra and Chayut Triyachart will aim to change that after defeating Germany’s Ingo Kindervater and Johannes Schoettler 23-21, 21-13. Chinese Taipei’s second seeded Fang Chieh Min and Lee Sheng Mu still remain and will face Kim Ki Jung and Shin Baek Cheol in their semi-final match.
For more results check the draws below:
After a long week and some hard fought battles Lithuanian Kestutsis Navickas is the champion of the Atwater International 2010. In spite of the relatively straight forward scores he had throughout the tournament Navickas fought very hard powering his way through his matches by virtue of his gritty play, fighting harder than all of his opponents. His final match against France’s Brice Leverdez was his most challenging of the week, and the only match to go three games with Navickas winning 21-16, 18-21, 21-14.
Canada’s Wunderkind Michelle Li seemed poised for her first international title, but it wasn’t to be as her second Japanese opponent was able to just sneak past her in the end. Oka Hitomi would be the second consecutive Japanese shuttler to dash Li’s hopes in a thrilling three game win 15-21, 21-12, 23-21.
Dutchmen Ruud Bosch and Koen Ridder were dominant all week in Montreal, and the finals were no different. They made their way to the finals without dropping a game, and American pair Halim Haryanto and Phillip Chew would be no different losing 21-13, 21-10. The women’s doubles was unfortunately a default victory for Charmaine Reid and Nicole Grether as Huang Ruilin and Lim Yee Theng were unable to play.
Perhaps the most impressive match of the day was the sibling rivalry in the mixed doubles between Derrick and Toby Ng. The two brothers faced off for family pride, but it was Toby and his partner Grace Gao taking the title in a nailbiter over Derrick and Jiang Xuelian 21-18, 20-22, 26-24. No doubt the Ng household has much to be proud of these past few weeks with Derrick’s recent victory in Peru with doubles partner Adrian Liu.
For her second consecutive international tournament Canada’s Michelle Li has booked herself a final. Japan’s Ito Kana fought hard, but it wasn’t enough as Li won the match in three games 13-21, 21-14, 21-13 to set up an encounter against Ito’s teammate Oka Hitomi who defeated Charmaine Reid 21-15, 21-6 in the other semi-final. Li has yet to win an international event, but this could be her best chance yet.
Canada had two hopefuls in the mens singles as well, unfortunately neither produced as David Snider fell in three close games to Brice Leverdez 21-11, 15-21, 21-15, and Stephan Wojcikiewicz lost to Lithuanian Kestutsis Navickas 21-12, 21-13. The Snider-Leverdez match was an extremely entertaining battle, unfortunately for the Canadian he was unable to keep it close going into the final few points.
As in the men’s singles, the men’s doubles final will feature no Canadian participants and instead will have a Dutch pair, and an American pair facing off for the title. Top seeds Ruud Bosch and Koen Ridder defeated the recent Peru International champions Derrick Ng and Adrian Liu 21-15, 21-15 to solidify their top seeding, and tomorrow will face off against America’s Halim Haryanto and Phillip Chew who defeated Canada’s Maxime Belanger and Francois Bourret 21-11, 21-10.
Top seeds Nicole Grether and Charmaine Reid did well to fend off the challenge from Japan’s Ito Kana and Oka Hitomi in three close games 21-18, 19-21, 21-14. Their opponents in the final will be another Canadian hybrid team after Huang Ruilin of Canada and Lim Yee Theng from Malaysia defeated second seeded Peruvians Christina Aicardia and Claudia Rivero in two straight games 21-13, 21-17.
It’s a sibling rivalry in the mixed doubles as Toby Ng takes on his brother Derrick Ng. Toby and his partner Grace Gao took their semi-final match against Kevin Li and Alex Bruce in two straight 21-12, 21-18. Derrick partnered with Jiang Xuelian to knock out Canadian national champions Jon Vandervet and Milaine Cloutier in three games 21-18, 20-22, 21-8.
Tomorrow promises some exciting matches so stay tuned for more results.