The match we were robbed of at last month’s World Championships is now set. Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan defeated their quarter-final opponents in order to book their places in what will surely be the showdown of the tournament. Lee Chong Wei had an easier time against Chinese youngster Du Pengyu, who upset fifth seed Joachim Persson, winning in two straight games 21-15, 21-19. Lin Dan had to fight for his place, but as he so often does he pulled it out in the end defeating Park Sung Hwan 21-15, 13-31, 21-19. On the other side of the draw Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana proved his worth with a big win over Denmark’s hero Peter Gade 21-16, 19-21, 21-18. Ponsana will play Chen Jin who also took three games to defeat his challenger Chen Long also of China.
The women’s singles is far from inspiring with an all Chinese semi-finals as Lu Lan upset Hong Kong’s top seeded Zhou Mi in two quick games 21-10, 21-17. The giant killing streak of qualifier Wang Xin was extended when she knocked out France’s Pi Hongyan in two easy games 21-11, 21-10.
Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah kept Malaysia’s hopes alive by fighting their way to a semi-final match up against Guo Zhendong and Xu Chen while the bottom half of the draw will feature China’s top pair Fu Haifeng and Cai Yun against Korea’s Cho Gun Woo and Yoo Yeon Seong. It will take a strong performance from their challengers to prevent a finals match between Choong/Lee and Cai/Fu. Unsurprisingly the women’s doubles and mixed doubles are both all China affairs as we go into the semi-finals stage. In the women’s doubles top seeds Cheng/Zhao will face fourth seeds Pan/Tian while third seeds Du/Yu play Gao/Wei. In the mixed doubles it will be Chen/Zhang against Tao/Wang and Xie/Zhang against He/Yu.
Li Ning China Masters Super Series 2009 Draws
As we enter the quarter-finals stage of the Li Ning China Masters Super Series China has a firm grip on almost every draw in this tournament. In the men’s singles China has 4 of the remaining players. Hardly surprising is the fact that Peter Gade is the only non Asian player left in the tournament except for France’s Pi Hongyan who first played for China. Gade will play Boonsak Ponsana, and if he’s successful there, Chen Jin. For the most part I’m sure that Gade is happy simply to be on the other side of the draw from Lin Dan. The world champion Lin Dan will play Park Sung Hwan in his quarter-final match.
A big surprise in the women’s singles was the upset of Denmark’s top player Tine Rasmussen to the Chinese qualifier Wang Xin in three close games 17-21, 21-16, 21-14. Wang Xin will now play Pi Hongyan as she enters her first ever Super Series quarter-final. Elsewhere in the draw Hong Kong’s Wang Chen had to retire after losing the first set and trailing 5-0 in the second game, no word on what happened.
The men’s doubles is missing a lot of the world’s top pairs, in fact there were 3 byes in the draw which indicates that there were not enough entries to fill the draw. A terrible thing to see, but certainly a great opportunity for some new teams to earn some very valuable experience and world ranking points as the Super Series are worth a great deal. The safe money at this stage is on a finals encounter between Malaysia’s Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah vs China’s Fu Haifeng and Cai Yun.
The women’s doubles features only two non Chinese pairs, but certainly the favourites Cheng Shu and Zhao Yunlei are unlikely to falter before facing the second seeds Ha Jung Eun and Kim Min Jung. The mixed nationality pairing of Charmaine Reid and Nicole Grether were unable to maintain their momentum as they fell to the second seeds in two quick games. Finally the mixed doubles is almost certainly a lock for China with 7 out of 8 remaining pairs.
After some strong results and his notable win over Lee Chong Wei recently, Vietnam’s Tien Minh Nguyen has added another achievement to make his country proud by winning the SCG Thailand Grand Prix Gold. Nguyen made his way through the draw with relative ease, winning all of his matches without dropping a single game. In the final he defeated the local favourite Boonsak Ponsana with little resistance 21-16, 21-13. Certainly a result to boost his confidence for the World Championships coming next month where he is set for a rematch against Lee Chong Wei.
In the women’s singles China’s young upstarts did them proud with Liu Jian and Wang Rong both making it to the finals after going through the qualifying rounds. In the end it was Liu Jian who took the top prize after defeating her teammate 21-16, 21-18. I’m sure it’s highly likely that we’ll be hearing a lot more from these girls.
In the men’s doubles there was an all Malaysian final with the top seeded veterans Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah facing off against their younger teammates Chan Peng Soon and Lim Khim Wah. In spite of their experience, the top seeds were not able to take the title this day with the youngsters taking the title in three games 20-22, 21-14, 21-11.
As is usually the case the women’s doubles was an another all China final with Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen defeating their teammates Gao Ling and Wei Lili in three games 22-24, 21-17, 21-15. Finally in the mixed doubles was Thailand’s turn to take the prize with two pairs in the final. In the end it was Songphon Anugritayawon and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul winning over their teammates Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam 11-21, 21-17, 21-14.