The winners of the previous two European events progressed into the third round at the expense of two of the top four seeds. Ajay Jayaram defeated Manuel Batista of Italy in the opening round and then defeated the top seed Marc Zwiebler in two games also to progress into the last 16. Victor Axelsen, recent winner in Cyprus International is also through to the third round, defeating the 4th seed and fellow Dane Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in three games to boost his credentials as Denmark’s third best player. Axelsen also received the news that will be in the qualifying for the Danish Super Series next week also. Dicky Palyama also surprisingly lost out to Shuhei Hayasaki in two games, leaving just Chetan Anand as one of the top 4 seeds remaining in the draw.
If the men’s singles was full of shocks, the women’s singles is the complete opposite. Every seed successfully progressed into the last 16, with the top two seeds Jie Yao and Juliane Schenk winning in two games. Ai Goto was a two game winner also, whilst 5th and 6th seeds Linda Zechiri and Larisa Griga had to come through tough three game encounters to book their place in the last 16.
The mixed doubles lost it 2nd seed, Atrashchenkov and Prus to Japanese pair of Hirobe and Matsutomo in two games. They join four other Japanese pairs in the last 16, including top seeds Hashimoto and Fujii and 3rd seeds Ikeda and Shiota. The Russian seeds are also still in the draw, with 4th seeded Nikolaenko and Sorokina and Durkin and Vislova both progressing without the loss of a game.
The talk of qualifying was Viktor Axelsen’s progression into the main draw with three victories in two games on Thursday. He continued his outstanding form with a win over Tomas Kopriva, again in two games and then his fifth two game win over Valeriy Atrashchenkov to set up a quarter final match against the 4th seeded Scott Evans of Ireland.
Vladimir Malkov, the 7th seed was beaten by Atrashchenkov in Round 1 before his defeat to Axelsen. The 6th seeded Stephan Wojcikiewicz lost to Finland’s Eetu Heino, who then defeated Pavel Florian of the Czech Republic to set up a quarter final match with Rune Ulsing of Denmark.
Four seeds remain in the women’s singles draw, with top seeded Judith Meulendijks pulling out pre-event. 5th seed and local hope Kristina Ludikova was beaten in the second round in three games by Mariya Diptan to set up a quarter final match with Tatjana Bibik of Russia. 4th seeded Maja Tvrdy lose in the opening round to another Ukrainian, Mariya Ulitina who then lost to Belarus’ Alesia Zaitsava. The 2nd seeded Larisa Griga is also out, losing in the second round to English qualifier Sarah Walker.
The English final in the men’s doubles is still on, as the top two seeds both from England are safely into the last 8. Eliis and Mills winning in three games over Konoc and Zavadsky whilst Langridge and Middleton defeated Cwalina and Logosz in two games. The French 3rd seeds of Constantin and Vincent are also safely into the last 8, with a two game win over their French compatriots Labar and Quere.
The four seeds in the women’s doubles are all safely through to the last 8 without the loss of a game between the quartet. Whilst in the mixed doubles, only one seed from four remain, with Durkinjak and Pozananovic progressing into the last 8. Atrashchenkov’s poor day continued as he crashed out in the second round with partner Elena Prus, as the top seeds lost to Dutch duo of Arens and Piel.
The EBU circuit first event of the new season started in Belgium this week, with many of the top seeds still having a hangover period after the World Championships last month. Top seeded Marc Zwiebler has reached the last 8 impressively in the men’s singles, defeating both opponents in games and conceding just 34 points over the two matches. The other seed to survive the opening two rounds is Anand Pawar of India, the 6th seed plays the top seed German in tomorrow’s quarter final.
The other two seeds play in the 4th quarterfinal as 7th seeded Ville Lang of Finland takes on 2nd seeded Eric Pang. Both have progressed to the last 8 without dropping a game, with Lang conceding 51 points and Pang 56 points to date.
The top seed in the women’s singles is also through to the last 8, Juliane Schenk stormed through her opening 2 matches without the loss of a game to set up a quarter final against qualifier Panuga Riou of England. The 2nd seeded Elizabeth Cann is also through to the last 8, as well as Anastasia Prokopenko. The 7th seeded Elena Prus is the 4th and final seed left in the draw, she plays Scotland’s Linda Sloan in tomorrow’s quarterfinals.
All 7 of the seeds that started the event today are safely into the last 8, only Ashmiran and Khakimov of Russia remain as the unseeded pair left in the draw. Top seeded Bosch and Ridder are safely through to face the 5th seeded Chopra and Kona of India. The top two seeds in the women’s doubles are also through to tomorrow’s quarterfinals, but there is local interest from Biesbrouck and Devooght who are through to the last 8.
Four of the eight remaining couples in the mixed doubles are German, leading to two all-German quarterfinals with one on each side of the draw. Top seeded Atrashchenkov and Prus are safely into the last 8 as well as the Scottish pair of Kieran Merrilees and Kirsty Gilmour, both are known for their singles play and this is their first tournament playing together.
The fields have been shortened to just 8, but countless seeds have fallen before the weekend’s play has even begun. 5 seeds have fallen in the men’s singles and the women’s singles, as well as the top seeds in the mixed.
One seed that is safely through to the last 8 is top seeded Joachim Persson, who defeated Magnus Sahlberg in Round 1 and Alex Pang of Canada in Round 2, both in two games to book his place against Petr Koukal, the 7th seed from the Czech Republic. Koukal is through to the last 8 without the loss of a game either.
The next quarterfinal is an all-Spanish matchup, as Pablo Abian overcame 4th seed Peter Mikkelsen, who pulled out in the 3rd game with injury. Indra Bagus Ade Chandra of Spain is also through; defeating 6th seeded Wong Wing Ki 21-19, 23-21 to book his place in tomorrow’s quarterfinal.
Singapore’s Robin Gonansa is through to the last 8, after Stephan Wojcikiewicz pulled out before the match after the Canadian beat 5th seed Dmytro Zavadsky in the opening round. Gonansa will play Hiroyuki Saeki of Japan, who defeated the 3rd seeded Christian Lind Thomsen 22-20, 21-17 to book his place in the last 8. Another Japanese player, Shuhei Hayasaki defeated Vladimir Malkov, the 8th seed from Russian to set up a quarterfinal match against Poland’s 2nd seed Przemyslaw Wacha.
Beiwin Zhang, the top seed from Singapore is through to the last 8 with two convincing victories to this stage, she will play Wang Lin Lang of Indonesia in the last 8 after the Indonesian defeated 7th seed Tatjana Bibik of Russia 23-21, 21-8 to progress.
Unseeded Japanese player, Kana Ito defeated 3rd seeded Rachel Van Cutsen to book her place in tomorrow’s quarterfinal against Austria’s Simone Prutsch, she defeated Rachel Howard who beat the 8th seed Elena Prus in the opening round. Olga Golovanova is through to the last 8 after a 21-17, 21-17 victory over Maja Tvrdy, the 6th seed from Slovenia. She will play the 4th seed Chan Tsz Ka of Hong Kong for a place in the semi final.
Anastasia Prokopenko is the 5th unseeded player in the last 8, after beating Larisa Griga 21-11, 21-14 in the second round. She will play the 2nd seed Judith Meulendijks in the quarters, with the Dutch seed coming through both her matches easily in 2 games.
In an event that promised so much for the Polish crowd, they have seen their chances in this event shortened to just one pair. Top seeded Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Kostiuczyk crashed out in the opening match to Hong Kong suo Wong and Chau in three games. Polish qualifiers Ociepa and Rudolf crashed out in the second round to Pang and Li of Canada.
The 4th seeds, Szkudiarczyk and Wotjtkowsa are Poland’s last hope in the competition; they will play Singapore pairing of Triyachart and Yao for a place in the last 4. Another Polish couple Moren and Pocztowiak crashed out in round 2 to Neo and Chrisnanta of Singapore.
The only other seed left in the draw is the 2nd seeds, Atrashchenkov and Prus of Ukraine, who came through a tight 3 game match with Wilson-Smith and Warfe of New Zealand 13-21, 21-13, 21-19.
This week’s event in Poland is one of the last events before the European Championships in Manchester next month and has attracted some of the big names in European badminton to play themselves into form ahead of next month’s European Championships.
The top seed is Joachim Persson who is coming off a poor 2-week run in the Super Series, losing out to Kenichi Tago in Round 2 in the All England and another second round defeat to Chen Jin in Switzerland last week. His campaign this week begins against the Swede Magnus Sahlberg before a potential 2nd round encounter with Ville Lang of Finland.
Christian Lind Thomsen (Seeded 3) and Peter Mikkelsen (Seeded 4) lead a strong Danish squad looking for success in the men’s singles draw. Przemyslaw Wacha is the local hope in the competition, seeded 2 but there is also threats from the Ukranian Dmtyro Zavadsky, seeded 5 and Petr Koukal of the Czech Republic, seeded 7. Vladimir Malkov of Russia is another threat, seeded 8.
Singapore’s top seed Zhang Beiwen starts her campaign against rising Belgian starlet Lianne Tan, hoping to past her semi final defeat to Gu Juan in last week’s event behind her. The other potential winners of the event coming from the Netherlands and Ukraine, with Judith Meulendijks and Rachel Van Cutsen leading the Dutch charge. Larisa Griga and Elena Prus are the big Ukrainan hopes.
Poland’s best chance of success lie with Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Kostiuczyk, however with their withdrawal at the semi final stage last week in Switzerland, questions will be asked if they are 100% fit to attempt to win on their home soil. Should they fail to deliver, two other Polish pairings are seeded. 3rd seeded Cwalina and Kurdieska and 4th seeded Szkudiarczyk and Motjkowska.
It seemed almost destined that the young up and comer Viktor Axelsen would storm his way to the title in Sweden, but another relatively unknown player from Indonesia named Indra Bagus Ade Chandra was too much for the young Dane. Similar to Axelsen, Chandra fought his way through the qualifying rounds to find his place in the finals. The Indonesia defeated Axelsen with a confident 21-15, 21-12 scoreline. We can likely expect to hear much more from both of these young players.
In the women’s singles it was Kaori Imabeppu of Japan taking the title over England’s Elizabeth Cann in a relatively quick 21-15, 21-10 win. After defeating China’s Rong Bo it appeared that Cann would have more to challenge Kaori with, but it appeared that perhaps fatigue got the best of her. The only game that Kaori dropped throughout the entire tournament was to the top seed Ella Diehl.
While they may have lost the women’s singles, England rebounded with a confident looking Robin Middleton and Chris Langridge in the men’s doubles event. The two managed to take the title without dropping a game, and with few close games at that. They defeated their Danish opponents Mikkel Elbjorn and Christian John Skovgaard 21-11, 21-18.
Both the women’s doubles and mixed doubles went to Danish pairs, and both finals were intensely fought. In the women’s doubles Helle Nielsen and Marie Ropke snuck past their Dutch opponents Lotte Jonathans and Pauline Van Dooremalen in three close games 17-21, 21-15, 21-18. Then in the mixed doubles Mads Pieler Kolding and Britta Andersen narrowly defeated their Ukrainian opponents Valery Atrashchenkov and Elena Prus 18-21, 21-18, 21-17.
The EBU tour goes on a bit of a break again now with Thomas and Uber Cup preliminaries happening around the world. Stay tuned for more BWF tour results from those events soon.