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.
As surprising as it was to see Joachim Persson through to the semi-finals with numerous victories along the way, the biggest surprise thus far came today when he defeated Peter Gade for the first time ever to book his place in the finals. Persson has struggled with injuries over the last couple years, and questions have been raised as to his ability to keep up with the best on the tour, however those questions have been put to rest with a 21-14, 16-21, 21-17 victory over the top seeded Gade. Persson now plays Taufik Hidayat who had a more straight forward victory over Boonsak Ponsana 21-13, 21-14.
The womens semi finals featured two China vs Thailand match ups, and the results were in China’s favour. Top seed Wang Yihan came through in three games over Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 21-12, 19-21, 21-10. Her compatriot Li Xuerui will be Wang’s opponent after her two game victory over Salakajit Ponsana 22-20, 21-13, ending the Ponsana family’s hopes of a title in Paris.
Germany will be happy with two pairs in the finals, one in the mens doubles, and the other in the mixed doubles. First up was the surprising upset of second seeds Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan to Ingo Kindervatter and Johannes Schöttler 13-21, 21-17, 22-20. The German pair will now play Denmark’s Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen who are appearing in their second consecutive super series final after defeating their compatriots Jonas Rasmussen and Mads Conrad-Petersen 21-23, 21-6, 21-16.
The next success for Germany came from Birgit Overzier and Michael Fuchs who won after Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl retired at 17-10 in the first game. The German pair now play Thailand’s Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam after they also benefited from a withdrawal against their compatriots Songphon Anugritayawon and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul.
Petya Nedelcheva and Anastasia Russkikh needed the longest match of the day to win their semi-final match against Denmark’s Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter-Juhl 18-21, 21-15, 21-16 in an hour and eleven minutes. They now face Thailand’s Duanganong Aroonkesorn and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul who had a fairly straight forward victory over Lena Frier Kristiansen and Maria Ropke winning 21-9, 21-15.
Perhaps the most interesting story of this French Super Series is the performance of Denmark’s Joachim Persson.
Persson has been pushed to the shadows in the last year or so as Jan Jorgensen and Viktor Axelsen have shown some substantial potential, however this week in Paris Persson seems to be reminding us that he still has the ability to threaten at these events. The left hander defeated China’s Du Pengyu in three exquisite games 21-17, 12-21, 21-19 to book his quarter-final place against his compatriot Peter Gade who struggled more than expected against German Marc Zwiebler. Gade won in three games as well 15-21, 21-12, 21-8. On the other side of the draw neither Boonsak Ponsana or Taufik Hidayat struggled against their opponents, Ajay Jayaram or Rajiv Ouseph respectively, as both won in straight games.
The big upset on the womens singles side came at the expense of Tine Baun when the second seeded Dane fell to China’s Li Xuerui 21-16, 21-17. Li will now play Salakajit Ponsana who defeated China’s Liu Xin. England’s Elizabeth Cann failed to continue her surprising run when she lost to Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 21-15, 21-18 who will now play Wang Yihan. Wang crushed her Russian opponent Ella Diehl 21-8, 21-8.
The mens doubles is looking like we will see a repeat of last week’s final. Boe and Mogensen made it one step closer to the final by defeating Flandy Limpele and Simon Mollyhus 21-16, 21-18. In the semi-finals they will face another Danish pair after Jonas Rasmussen and his new partner Mads Conrad-Petersen defeated England’s Chris Adcock and Andrew Ellis 23-25, 22-20, 21-14. The most surprising semi-finalists are Germans Ingo Kindervatter and Johannes Schöttler who defeated their Malaysian opponents Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari Mohd and Ong Soon Hock in two close games 22-20, 21-18. They will face Indonesia’s Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan who narrowly defeated Malaysia’s Gan Teik Chai and Tan Bin Shen 14-21, 21-18, 21-17.
A couple of walkovers marred the womens doubles quarter-finals as Duanganong Aroonkesorn and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul from Thailand and Lena Frier Kristiansen and Maria Ropke from Denmark booked their places against one another without a shuttle being hit. On the other side of the draw we have yet another Danish pair through to the semi-finals after Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen defeated Heather Olver and Mariana Agathangelou 21-19, 21-11. The Danish pair will now play Petya Nedelcheva and Anastasia Russkikh.
Finally in the mixed doubles there were no easy matches for our semi-finalists. All the matches were closely contested, perhaps the most intense was Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl’s victory over Hendra Setiawan and Anastasia Russkikh. The Danes need three games and extra points to win 23-21, 15-21, 27-25 and next they’ll play surprise semi-finalists Michael Fuchs and Birgit Overzier who knocked out top seeds Hendra Gunawan and Vita Marissa 16-21, 21-9, 21-16. The other half of the draw features an all Thailand showdown between Voravichitchaikul and Anugritayawon and their opponents Thoungthongkam and Prapakamol.
Yesterday saw just one seed crash out, today was the complete opposite with seeds toppling on an hourly basis through the day. France’s interest in their home Super Series is overly before the weekend begins, whilst Peter Gade goes from strength to strength after his back injury.
Gade, the top seed in the singles has safely progressed into the quarter finals tomorrow after a two game win over Christian Lind Thomsen and will play the 6th seeded Marc Zwiebler on the TV court on Friday evening. The other Dane in the draw is Joachim Persson, the 8th seeded also came through his all-Danish encounter in a tight two game match and will play China’s Du Pengyu. The unseeded Chinese player has already beaten two Danes on route to the last 8, defeating Viktor Axelsen in Round 1 and last week’s winner Jan O Jorgensen in the second round also. Ajay Jayaram has also reached the last 8, defeating the 7th seeded Dicky Palyama in three games to book his place against Boonsak Ponsana, the 3rd seed.
The seed total in the women’s singles was halved on day 2, with Pi Hongyan crashing out to Elizabeth Cann in a tame two game defeat. Liu Xin continues her excellent run of results with another impressive victory, this time over Juliane Schenk, the 5th seed. Salakjit Ponsana is another player in a rich vein of form, defeating the 4th seeded Yao Jie in a two game victory. Tine Baun has been impressed also, with a two game victory over Jeanine Cicognini.
Four seeds remain in the men’s doubles, with the top seeds Boe and Mogensen taken to three games by Goh and Teo of Malaysia. The 5th seeds Conrad-Pedersen and Rasmussen as well as the 2nd seeded Kido and Setiawan were also taken to three games as many of the seeds still remaining in the draw have been taken the distance. Only the 6th seeded Gan and Tan of Malaysia have progressed safely, with back to back two game victories.
The women’s doubles lost 5 of it’s 8 seeds today, with only the top 3 seeds remaining in the draw. The 6th seeded French pair of Choinet and Rasadi lost out to Lee and Obanana of the USA in three games to end the local interest in the women’s doubles. The top seeds Nedelcheva and Russkikh are safely into the last 8 with a two game win over Fontaine and Palermo of France.
Only one seed crashed out of the mixed doubles, 5th seeded Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen lost out in three games to the pairing of Setiawan and Russkikh, who are both seeded in their respective level doubles events. They take on another Danish pair tomorrow as they take on last weeks winners, Laybourn and Rytter Juhl, the 3rd seeds.
The seeded players were all in fine form today, with only the 3rd seeded Chandra and Gunawan losing out in the men’s doubles to unseeded Adcock and Ellis of England. Peter Gade’s back injury was the big talking point of the day as to whether he would be able to play and defeat Carl Baxter.
Before Gade’s game, several seeds had already booked their place in the last 16. Rajiv Ouseph was first through with a comfortable victory over Kasper Ipsen, he was followed late in the morning by Joachim Persson, who came back from a game down to defeat Eric Pang. Gade’s return in the first of the evening matches was a stunning performance from the top seed, winning 21-11, 21-6 to book his place safely into round 2. He was joined later that hour by Jan O Jorgensen, who came through against Przemyslaw Wacha in three games. Viktor Axelsen however fell at the first hurdle this week, defeated handsomely by Du Pengyu 21-11, 21-11.
The women’s singles provided little shocks either, with all 8 seeds progressing safely. All except one, Pi Hongyan was forced into a third game by Tai Tzu Ying before coming through and progressing into round 2. The 3rd seed plays the Commonwealth bronze medals Elizabeth Cann in her second round match. Last week’s finalist Liu Xin also progressed into round 2 and will be a tough test for the 5th seeded Juliane Schenk in the second round.
The only seed to fall was the 3rd seeded Chandra and Gunawan, the only other seed to be in any danger in the opening round was the 5th seeded Conrad-Pedersen and Rasmussen who were taking to three games by their Malaysian opponents. The mixed doubles was a similar affair, with the top seeded Gunawan and Marissa being taken to three games by the Russian pairing of Durkin and Vislova. Every other seed in the mixed doubles progressed to the last 16 without any of the other 7 seeds dropping more than 26 points on route to Thursday’s second round.
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