The majority of the top ranked players and pairs have progressed into the playoffs needing just two games to ensure qualification, however some groups are doing down to the wire tomorrow in the final matches of the group stage.
Lee Chong Wei, Peter Gade, Lin Dan All Through
Few expected any resistance in Group A as Sho Sasaki and Simon Santoso were outclassed by the eventual qualifiers from the group in Peter Gade and Lee Chong Wei. Both players secured two victories and will play tomorrow for top spot within the group and the likelihood of the loser meeting Lin Dan in the semi final stage. The Group B winner takes on Kenichi Tago to ensure top spot, whilst the Japanese player needs a victory to have any chance of progressing. The other match in Group B sees Chen Long take on Taufik Hidayat, with the Chinese player also looking for a victory to ensure his place whilst the Indonesian cannot qualify for the last 4.
Sung Ji Hyun Remains Unbeaten
After her stunning win over Wang Yihan, Sung Ji Hyun ensured her place at the top of Group A with a two game victory over Juliane Schenk but still needs a victory over Tine Baun to ensure qualification, whilst the Dane must defeat Sung to have any chance of qualifying whilst Wang Yihan needs only to beat Juliane Schenk to reach the last 4. Group B is already settled with only the top spot on offer as Wang Xin and Saina Nehwal play in the final group match.
All To Play For In Doubles
Group A of the men’s doubles offers the simplest of equations, win and progress into the playoffs. All four pairs have won one and lost one going into the final round of matches tomorrow, with Cai and Fu against Ko and Yoo likely to be the standout match of tomorrow’s play with at least one of these pairs not playing this weekend. Chai and Guo take on Hashimoto and Hirata for the other place in the last 4. Group B is a different story, with Boe and Mogensen progressing as well as Lee and Jung ahead of their match tomorrow to determine top spot in the group.
Wang and Yu are safely into the last 4, even with a defeat tomorrow their points and games difference is too strong and have secured the top spot in Group A. Ha and Kim have to become the first non-Chinese pair to defeat Wang and Yu to have any chance of progressing into the last 4. Tian and Zhao are not mathematically through, but would need to lose convincingly to the Japanese pair of Fujii and Kakiiwa for the world number 3 pairing to have any chance of progressing.
Zhao Yunlei faces a similar situation in the mixed doubles, needing only to avoid a big defeat to Ahmad and Natsir to advance to the playoff stages. Xu and Ma need a victory against the British pair of Blair and White to ensure their place in the last 4, with the world number 22 pairing already out of contention. Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen have already won Group B, whilst either of the three pairings in their group capable of taking second place in the group. The likely winner between Ikeda and Shiota against Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam will look like the favourite to take the second place spot in the group.
Once again BWF is offering a live stream to select countries. You can find the various feeds here:
Day 1 Session 1
Day 1 Session 2
Day 2 Session 1
Day 2 Session 2
Day 3 Session 1
Day 3 Session 2
Semi Finals Session 1
Semi Finals Session 2
The best eight players and pairs are in Liuzhou this week for the final event of the 2011 Superseries season, with plenty of Chinese interest on home soil.
Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei Win Openers
The favourites from the two groups in the men’s singles both won their opening matches, but both needed three games to ensure a winning start this week. Lin Dan defeated Chen Long in a 62-minute thriller to open up Group B whilst Lee Chong Wei needed three games to defeat Sho Sasaki and ensure a win on the opening round of matches. Peter Gade tops Group A after an impressive 21-13, 21-9 victory over Simon Santoso and there was more disappointed for the Indonesians as Taufik Hidayat was defeated by Japan’s Kenichi Tago in the other Group B match, with Tago taking the deciding game 21-7 to share the top spot in the group with Lin Dan.
Wang Yihan Beaten Sung Ji Hyun
The big surprise in the women’s singles came in the Group A opener as world number 1 Wang Yihan lost to Sung Ji Hyun of Korea in a 72-minute match, after the Chinese number 1 took the opening game 21-13 but capitulated and lost the next two games to make her chances of making the semi finals increasingly difficult. Tine Baun tops the group after an impressive one-sided victory over Juliane Schenk, winning 21-12, 21-11 in just 27 minutes. Xin Wang needed just 26 minutes to defeat Sayaka Sato of Japan to top Group B whilst Saina Nehwal defeated Bae Youn Joo to start her campaign on a positive note.
Cai and Fu Defeated
The main news from the men’s doubles group was Cai and Fu’s defeat to Chai and Guo in their Group A opener, Ko and Yoo also suffered an opening game defeat, making their matchup on Friday potentially for the second position in the group. Lee and Jung survived their own scare against Koo and Tan but eventually won in three games to keep finishing top of their group a possibility. Wang and Yu top Group A in the women’s doubles with a 21-9, 21-11 victory over Poon and Tse whilst Tian and Zhao top Group B after a three game victory over Pedersen and Rytter Juhl in 58 minutes. Zhao and Zhang defeated their Chinese team-mates Xu and Ma in their opening match of the mixed doubles in Group A, with the world number 1 pairing winning the match in three games, needing 45 minutes to ensure a top two place in the group. Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen top Group B with a two game victory over Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam of Thailand in a 21-15, 21-17 victory.
China were guaranteed at least three golds on home soil but also secured a 4th title as Lin Dan claimed his first title in China in almost 18 months.
Lin Dan Too Strong For Chen Long
The current world and Olympic champion proved to be too strong for the higher seeded Chen Long after inflicting his 3rd defeat on the 2nd seed in their three meetings with a 21-17, 26-24 victory, with Lin Dan claiming the title on his 7th match point. Wang Yihan claimed the women’s singles title after Wang Xin’s retirement at 18-12 in the opening game of their encounter.
Boe And Mogensen Claim Only Non-Chinese Title
Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen claimed their first title since the Super Series Finals in January of this year with a two game victory over the 4th seeded Ko and Yoo of Korea winning 21-17, 21-15 in 42 minutes. Wang and Yu claimed their 5th straight title and their 58th victory of the year against the unseeded China pairing of Tang and Xia, winning 21-11, 21-10 in 40 minutes. The mixed doubles seen the top seeded Zhang and Zhao defeat Fischer and Nielsen for the second time in two weeks to claim the title in a two game victory, with the Chinese pair winning 21-11, 21-14 to ensure a fourth title for the China in Shanghai.
If China’s plan is to demoralize Lee Chong Wei before the Olympics, their plan is succeeding. After two losses in a month to Chen Long, the world number has suffered a double defeat to Lin Dan in back to back events but this time it was in front of a partisan crowd in Shanghai.
Chinese Dominance In Singles
Lin Dan’s 75-minute marathon victory over Lee Chong ensured two all-Chinese finals in the singles, with Chen Long defeating Simon Santoso in two games to ensure his place in the final without the loss of a game. The two finalists last met in exactly a year ago in this event at the final, with Lin Dan winning in three games and currently leads their overall head to head 2-0. The women’s singles final also sees the 2nd and 3rd seeds from Chinese face each other, with Wang Yihan taking on Wang Xin. Both players progressed after a tough three game match against an unseeded Chinese player, with Wang Xin saving two match points against Li Xuerui to reach the final, winning 23-21 in the deciding game.
Danish Delight In Doubles
Whilst China can claim half of the remaining finalists in the doubles events, Denmark can also claim two of their own in a resurgence of form for the European nation. Boe and Mogensen defeated the 2nd seeded Lee and Jung in one of the best results of the year for the former world number one pairing and will take on Ko and Yoo of Korea in the only final with no Chinese interests. The women’s doubles final sees the pairing of Wang and Yu going for win number 58 of the year against the unseeded pairing of Tang and Xia who received a walkover against Tian and Zhao in their semi final. Zhao Yunlei managed to reach one final with partner Zhang Nan in the mixed doubles and will take on the Danish pairing of Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen who have an excellent 4-1 head to head matchup against the world number 1 pairing, but the Chinese pairs only victory came in their most recent encounter, last week in Hong Kong.
When the draw was announced last week, the possibility of Lee Chong Wei against Viktor Axelsen match in the second round was a mouthwatering prospect. With both players securing their place in the second round, the world number 1 takes on the future of Danish badminton for the first time tomorrow.
Gade and Chen Long Impress
The seeds made hard work of their opening round matches, with 6th seeded Sho Sasaki being the first of the seeds to fall at the hands of Ajay Jayaram of India in three games. Lee Chong Wei started with a two game victory over Pablo Abian of Spain whilst Viktor Axelsen defeated Hsu Jen Hao of Chinese Taipei to set up his second round match with the Malaysian. Lin Dan needed three games to beat Kashyup Parupalli of India and with a potential semi final meeting with Lee Chong Wei on the cards, the Chinese player will need to find form ahead of that match and next week’s Super Series Premier in China.
The top two seeds in the bottom half of the draw received little resistance as they powered into the second round. 2nd seeded Chen Long defeating Hsueh Hsuan Yi in two games whilst Peter Gade defeated the world championship quarter finalist Kevin Coridon 21-10, 21-5 in just 24 minutes. Gade sets up a second round match against his 2010 world championship quarter finals opponent in Kazushi Yamada, who defeated Joachim Persson to end any chance of an all-Danish match in the second round.
European hopes in the women’s singles are usually low with the strength and depth of the Chinese squad, but Juliane Schenk’s record against the Chinese but the German’s run this week ends at the first hurdle with a loss to Ai Goto of Japan in 3 games. The three Chinese seeds all progressed safely into the last 16 and are also joined by 3 Japanese players but there was a surprise defeat for Liu Xin at the hands of Yao Jie to ensure some European involvement in the second round.
There was also wins for Tine Baun and Carolina Marin, with the Spaniard set to take on the 3rd seeded Wang Xin in one of the toughest matches of her young career to date whilst Yao Jie’s reward for her opening round victory is a second round match against the 4th seeded Saina Nehwal.
Seeds Crash Out in Doubles
There was little trouble for Cai and Fu but for Lee and Jung it was different story, with the 2nd seeds needing a third game and almost a hour on court to defeat Hong and Shen of China in their opening round match. Only one seed fell in the men’s doubles, the 6th seeded Chai and Guo losing out to the American pairing of Bach and Gunawan in a relatively one-sided match.
The all-conquering Wang and Yu started their campaign in impressive fashion in their two game victory over Germany’s Marinello and Michels to set up a second round clash against Chin and Wong of Malaysia. Their main rivals this week as always are the other Chinese pairing of Tian and Zhao, who take on their team-mates Cheng and Pan in the second round. The other six seeds in the draw all progressed into the last 16, with the 5th seeded Chien and Cheng defeating the Macau pairing of Iao and Mak 21-4, 21-5 to reach the second round.
It wasn’t a good day for the seeds in the mixed doubles, with the three lowest seeded pairs all crashing out. 6th seeded Adcock and Bankier lost out to the Chinese pairing of He and Yixin in two games, whilst Mateusiak and Zieba were defeated by Malaysians Chan and Goh and the 8th seeded Ikeda and Shiota also lost out to a Chinese pairing, Hong and Pan in just two games. There was straight forward victories for the top two Chinese seeds as well as the on form Danish pair of Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen. Robertson and Wallwork claimed their opening game 30-29 before eventually progressing in three games to set up a second round match against Chen and Cheng of Chinese Taipei.
It was a day for the underdog in Odense this week, with three top seeds losing out on finals day to add some spice into the French Super Series starting this Tuesday.
Chinese claim singles titles
It was a repeat of the Japan Open final but few expected the same result, however Chen Long did exactly that. A stunning two game victory has stunned the world number 1 to a second defeat in 4 weeks over the 3rd seed. Another world number 1 suffered a surprise defeat as Wang Yihan lost to the 3rd seeded Wang Xin to heat up the race within the Chinese squad for the world number 1 spot.
Lee and Jung too strong for Cai and Fu
The battle between these two pairs has turned back in the Korean’s favour, after a victory in China last month they add a second victory in a row over the world champions Cai and Fu with a two game victory to take the overall head to head between the pairs to 9-8 in favour of the Korean pair. The women’s doubles final was won by the top seeded Wang and Yu whose blip in the semi finals was forgotten in a two game victory over their team mates Tian and Zhao who still remain the only pair to have inflicted a defeat on the Chinese world champions as their record for the year not including their China Open withdrawal goes to 44-1.
Danish Delight in Mixed
Joachim Fischer Neilsen and Christinna Pedersen did what Tine Baun and Peter Gade failed to do this week, deliver a title for their home fans. Their victory over Ma and Xu was the result of a fantastic week of play from the Danes, after defeating the world champions Zhang and Zhao yesterday in their semi final. Their two game victory makes them a real contender for next week’s French Open with the loss of just one game over the week’s play.
The biggest and best field since the World Championships have converged in Odense for the 4th Premier event of the year, with all eyes focussing on the local hopes such as Peter Gade, Tine Baun and the new star of Danish badminton, Viktor Axelsen.
Lee Chong Wei is still recovering from his heartbreaking loss against Lin Dan in London and suffered another blow when he lost to Chen Long in Japan last month in another tight three game match. The Malaysia is still the top seed this week and starts his campaign against India’s Kashyap Parupalli. The Chinese attendance this week is vast, with four seeds in the men’s singles headlined by the world champion Lin Dan who will be no walkover this week after a pair of questionable withdrawals to other Chinese players in Japan and in his local Super Series event last month. A qualifier awaits Lin Dan in the first round whilst the other Chinese seeds all start with tough openers with 3rd seeded Chen Long taking on Shon Wan Ho in the first round.
There is more Chinese interest in the draw and it merges with the local interest as Wang Zhengming takes on the local favourite Peter Gade in the opening round. It will undoubtably be the headline match of the opening day of action with Gade looking to do well in what could be his last Danish Open. Two other Danes in the draw also have tough asks to reach the second round with Hans-Kristian Vittinghus taking on Taufik Hidayat, who is under immense pressure this week to perform and next week in France as he defends most of the ranking points that ensures his top 10 ranking in the next two weeks. Viktor Axelsen takes on Przemyslaw Wacha in his first round, with Axelsen holding a 2-0 head to head against the Pole.
China have five of the eight seeds this week, with Tine Baun barely making the seedings at 8 to the relief of the local support. Saina Nehwal and Juliane Schenk are the remaining two seeds hoping to break the hold in this event from the Chinese. World champion Wang Yihan has regained the world number 1 spot but faces the world number 10 Bae Joun Yoo in the opening round this week in one of the biggest matches of the opening round in the event.
The two European hopes have been a pair of qualifiers with the 6th seeded Juliane Schenk taking on Chen Jiayuan of Singapore while the 8th seeded Tine Baun takes on Lariga Griga of Ukraine, with Baun winning their previous meeting in the 2009 All Englands. Should Baun win her opening match, her second round match will be tough as she will face the winner of Inthanon Ratchanok of Thailand and Carolina Marin of Spain.
Boe and Mogensen will hope that a return home will change their form after a below par summer has seen them plummet to the 3rd seeds this week. Cai and Fu will be the pair to best as always in the big events, who take on Kawamae and Sato in the opening round who defeated Boe and Mogensen in their most recent event in Japan last month. Speculation of the Korean pairs going into an Olympic year has hinted that Ko and Lee would partner up with the intent of going for a medal in 2012. They partnered up together in Japan last month and reached the last 8 but they have resumed their previous partnerships in Denmark this week.
2nd seeded Lee and Jung start against the Japanese pairing of Hirobe and Kazuno whilst the 4th seeded Ko and Yoo take on the English pairing of Adcock and Ellis, with a potential match between the two Korean pairs waiting in the semi final. Boe and Mogensen have been given perhaps one of the easier routes into the second round with a match against the Thai qualifiers of Anugritayawon and Prapakamol, both proven mixed doubles players.
The Chinese juggernaut of Wang and Yu return to Europe for the first time since their victory in London in August, they are the undoubted favourites this week and for the Olympics in ten months time already. They start this week against the Hong Kong pairing of Tse and Poon who reached the Japan Open semi final last month. Their biggest threat as always will be from team-mates Zhao and Tian, seeded 2 this week. Their opening round match this week comes against Hsieh and Wang of Chinese Taipei before a potential tough second round match against Marissa/Melati or Michels/Marinello.
Zhang and Zhao complete a clean sweep of Chinese top seeds this week, with Danish interest laying with the 3rd seeded Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen but the threat of 5th seeded Ma and Xu will be a serious one also. Zhang and Zhao start against Triyachart and Yao of Singapore whilst the other Chinese seeds of Ma and Xu take on the Chinese Taipei pairing of Lee and Chien.
Danish hopes lie with the 3rd seeds, who take on Matsuo and Sato of Japan with Shoji Sato one half of the Japanese pair that defeated Boe and Mogensen in Japan last month, so Danish fans will be wary of a repeat performance. The 2009 world champions Rytter Juhl and Laybourn are also in the draw, but face a tough opener against the 4th seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam. The world championship silver medalists are in action in an all-British first round clash, with Adcock and Bankier taking on White and Blair for a place in the second round.
The unlikely upset was dependant on Denmark getting off to a winning start and their stars to recover from recent dips in form. China turned out to be just too strong on the day, as they retained the Sudirman for their 8th success.
Ma and Xu put China into an early advantage with their two game victory over Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen, winning 21-14, 21-14 and leaving Peter Gade needing a victory over Lin Dan to give Denmark any chance of winning. Lin Dan was in no mood to give Denmark a chance to get back into the final, defeating Peter Gade 21-16, 21-11 to put China on the brink of victory.
The men’s doubles did provide a shock as Denmark broke up their world #1 pairing and played Carsten Mogensen with Jonas Rasmussen against Cai and Fu in the men’s doubles. The decision did not reap any rewards as the Danish pair lost 21-17, 21-13 and China took their third and decisive match to retain the Sudirman Cup.
The questions will be asked over Boe and Mogensen’s poor form this week as well as the shock defeats that some of the Chinese women suffered in the singles, both nations had plenty of positives from the week but the real disappointment was the world #1 Danish pair who simply didn’t turn up this week.