Danish badminton continues it’s winning ways, after a trio of success in Odense last week they secured the men’s doubles title in France this week as Boe and Mogensen lived up to their top seeding for the second week running.
Taufik Hidayat put last week’s defeat to Jan O Jorgensen behind him to defeat another Dane in the men’s singles final. He dispatched of Joachim Persson in two games but Persson has resurrected himself this week and reminded everyone that he is one of the top players in the world and one of the best 3 players in Denmark at the moment. Taufik Hidayat claims his second title of the year, after his success in Indonesia earlier in the year.
Wang Yihan also made it two wins in 2 weeks, defeating Li Xuerui for the second week running. This time it was a two game victory for the top seed who has staked her claim to regain the #1 spot in the women’s game after back-to-back victories in Europe this month.
Surprise finalists Kindervater and Schottler couldn’t win the final match in their unlikely run to the final, losing out to the Danish pair of Boe and Mogensen in two games however their victory over the second seeded Kido and Setiawan is a real boost for German badminton which is going through an excellent patch with the likes of Zwiebler and Schenk contending in the singles discipline.
There was double success for Thailand in the women’s and mixed doubles, as the 3rd seeded Aroonkesorn and Voravichitchaikul won the opening game against the top seeded Nedelcheva and Russkikh, but the top seeds had to retire halfway through the second game to hand the 3rd seeded Thai pair the title. The 4th seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam defeated the 7th seeded German pair of Fuchs and Overzier in two games to double Thailand’s win total in France this week.
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.
Even without Gade or Baun picking up a title last week in Odense, Danish badminton is on a real high after their trio of titles. Jan O Jorgensen proved his credentials as a Super Series winner and the teenage sensation Viktor Axelsen breezed through the qualifying rounds to add another Danish contender in the biggest events for years to come.
Peter Gade returns to action this week, or he will at least try on Wednesday. He is unsure himself about the level of his play going into tomorrow’s opener against Carl Baxter. Last week’s winner Jan O Jorgensen takes on Przemyslaw Wacha in a tough opening round match and could face another rematch with Viktor Axelsen in the second round, however the 16-year old faces the tough task of defeating Du Pengyu of China in his opening round match. 2nd seeded Taufik Hidayat also starts with a tough opening round match against Wang Zhengming, the Chinese qualifier.
Pi Honygan will be under similar pressure as when the World Championships were held in August with a nations expectation on her shoulders. Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying is the French 3rd seeded first round opponent on the show court on Wednesday afternoon. Wang Yihan continues to play whilst most of the Chinese squad have opted not to play in Europe this month, she takes on Marie Maunoury of France who came through the qualifiers to reach the main draw. Tine Baun will want to put last week’s disappointment behind her with a strong performance this week, she starts her campaign against Elena Prus of Ukraine.
Last weeks winners of the men’s doubles, Boe and Mogensen look to continue their excellent run of form this week, they take on the French pairing of Careme and Grosjean in their opening round match. Last week’s runners-up will hope to go one better as Kido and Setiawan start their campaign against the Dutch pairing of Bosch and Ridder.
The Japanese contingent that has been progressing deep into tournaments has chosen not to play in France this week, leaving the door open for last weeks runners-up, Vislova and Sorokina to go one better this week. The seeds for the women’s doubles have a European look to them, with 7 of the 8 seeds coming from a European nation.
One big name pairing who are playing this week are the top seeds in the mixed doubles, Marissa and Gunawan of Indonesia. They start with a tough opener against Durkin and Vislova of Russia. Last weeks winners Laybourn and Rytter Juhl start against the American pair of Lee and Ho whilst last weeks runners-up Robertson and Wallwork start against Moren and Pocztowiak of Poland in their opener.