The first event of the 2011 SuperSeries has a field truly worthy of an elite event, with the Korean Open Premier Series event next week some of the top players are looking to play their way into some form ahead of the first Premier Series event whilst others are hoping to get their years off to the right start.
Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan both navigated their first round matches in two games to the delight of the fans and tournament organisers alike, with the two scheduled for a semi final encounter to renew their rivalry. Chen Jin had to battle against Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in a three-game, 80 minute encounter which the 4th seed eventually won but there was a Chinese casualty on day one as the 7th seeded Bao Chunlai lost out to Kenichi Tago in a tight two game match.
The Chinese stranglehold on the women’s singles has never been so clear with 5 of the 8 seeds coming from China. All five progressed without trouble in two games, with Liu Xin making the tally of Chinese players 6 in the last 16 of the event. Juliane Schenk is the biggest challenge to the Chinese juggernaut, the 5th seed progressing in two games also. Liu Xin was responsible for the only loss of a seed in the opening round, defeating Bae Youn Joo in three games.
Koo and Tan’s 2011 has started in the worst possible way, a three game defeat to unseeded Hong and Shen of China. Chen and Lin of Chinese Taipei were the other seed to fall in the first round, losing to qualifiers Sapura and Triyachart which has opened up the top half of the mens doubles draw. There were routine wins for 5th seeded Chai and Guo, 4th seeded Hashimoto and Hirata as well the 3rd seeded Chandra and Gunawan to ensure plenty of seeds remained in the draw.
Just 5 months into their partnership and Wang and Yu have shot almost into the top 10 in the womens doubles ranking and their seeds in a SuperSeries event. They were at their dominant best in a two game win over Ng and Ng of Malaysia.2nd seeded Nedelcheva and Russkikh were equally as impressive in their opening round match and the two pairs would meet in the quarter final on Friday with another win apiece. Top seeded Chien and Cheng are also safely into the last 16 with a routine two game win over Matsuo and Naito of Japan.
Top seeded Thai pair of Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam were defeated in their opening round match to the unseeded Japanese pair of Ikeda and Shiota in two tight games. Also losing out in the first round was the 8th seeded Ahmad and Natsir, who lost to Xu and Yu of China in a tame two game defeat. There was a win for newly nationalised Scottish player Robert Blair with partner Gabby White who now take on the Chinese pairing of Xu and Yu. The 2nd seeded Ko and Ha had little trouble in reaching the second round with a two game victory over Ong and Chong of Malaysia. He and Ma were also impressive in their two game opening round match, dropping just 13 points on route to the last 16.
The treacherous conditions outside the arena in Glasgow might have have kept people away from the finals, but those who attended were treated to local success as well as unlikely winners. Imogen Bankier reclaimed her mixed doubles title, this year with a new partner in Chris Adcock as the pair defeated the German 3rd seeded Koehler and Zander in two games in a dominate week for the new partnership.
The men’s singles was a complete anti-climax as the anticipated clash between the top two seeds failed to live up to expectations as top seeded Anand Pawar crushed Ville Lang 21-9, 21-10 and the 2nd seed looked uninterested throughout the match, Lang was seen yawn on court late in the second game raising questions about his desire to be in the final.
Tatyana Bibik completed her impressive week with a two game victory over the top seeded Elizabeth Cann, the 3rd seeded Russian defeated the #1 seed in two games to follow on from her impressive two game victory over last years winner, the 2nd seeded Susan Egelstaff. The all-English women’s doubles final was won by the 3rd seeded Wallwork and White in two games, defeating their 2nd seeded countrywomen, Olver and Agathangelou who were seeded 2nd for the event. Wallwork and White defeated the top seeded Van Dooremalen and Jonathans yesterday to book their place in the final.
The men’s doubles final was won by the top seeded Mills and Ellis, who defeated their 3rd seeded team-mates Ellis and Adcock in the longest match of the day as they took the 45 minute encounter in three games as the English squad took two of the three finals they were involved in today.
Nine Scots started the day with a chance of a title remaining in Scotland, by the end of play just one player remains. Kieran Merrilees run ended at the hands of 3rd seed Dmytro Zavadsky in three games, but the men’s singles final is a battle of the top two seeds, with Anand Pawar defeating Luka Wraber in the quarter finals and then the excellent run of Flemming Quach came to an end as the Indian top seed defeating the Danish player to book his player in the final. Ville Lang fought back from a game down against Bandar Sigit Pamungkas of Indonesia to progress to the last four before defeating the 3rd seeded Dmytro Zavadsky of Ukraine to reach the final of the event he won in 2007.
Linda Sloan’s run ended at the hands of the top seeded Elizabeth Cann, who completed her run to tomorrow’s final with a two game victory over Cee Nantana Keputra in two games. The big Scottish hope for a title was defending champion and 2nd seed Susan Egelstaff, who breezed through her quarter final match over Anna Held Jensen. Her semi final opponent was Tatjana Bibik, the 3rd seed from Russia. Bibik defeated the 6th seeded Rachel Howard in her quarter final and the question marks over her use of a back brace look to have been answered as she ended the run of the defending champion, defeating Egelstaff in two games, 21-15, 21-12.
The men’s doubles final is an all-English affair, as top seeded Ellis and Mills take on the 3rd seeded Ellis and Adcock. Both partnerships progressed without much resistance, with both partnerships winning both games without the loss of a game. Only the top seeded Adcock and Ellis have lost a game on route to tomorrow’s final. The women’s doubles is another all-English encounter, with Wallwork and White defeating the top seeded Jonathans and Van Dooremalen to reach tomorrow’s final against the 2nd seeded Olver and Agathangelou, with both couples not dropping a game to this point this week.
The mixed doubles final is the only match with a Scottish interest, as the 2007 winner Imogen Bankier reached the final with partner Chris Adcock of England, the 2nd seeds have not dropped a game this week nor have they looked troubled on their route to the final. Their 3rd seeded opponents, Koehler and Zander saved two match points to book their place in their semi final match against Middleton and Lim of England but have already beaten Scottish opponents to reach tomorrow’s final, defeating Gilmour and Mason in their opening round match.
For some of the top seeds, it took just one match to make it into the last 8, others had a fuller day of action as all five top seeds progressed into the quarter final stages. There has been some bigger name casualties on day 2, as both Russian seeds fell in their quest to make the last 8 which has given way to some unlikely names in the field of 8 in the men’s singles. Relative unknown Flemming Quach is through after his two game win over 4th seeded Vladimir Malkov as well as Indonesian Bandar Sigit Pamungkas after putting out the 14th seeded Daniel Grassmuck of Austria. The biggest threat to Anand Pawar’s title credentials will come in the way of 2nd seeded Ville Lang who looked as his imperious best in a two game victory over the 13th seeded Harry Wright of England.
The top seeds in the women’s singles begun their campaign, with two Scottish player into the last 8. Linda Sloan is the unlikeliest of the two to progress into the last 8 and he task only gets tougher as she takes on the top seeded Elizabeth Cann, who has dropped just 28 points in four games to reach the quarters. Scottish hopes, as always in this event lie with Susan Egelstaff, she fulfilled her task last year in winning the event and the crowd are expectant of another title this year. Egelstaff can move one step closer tomorrow morning in her quarter final match over Anna Held Jensen of Greece. The unknown quantity is Russia’s Tatyana Bibik, the 3rd seed played her 3rd round match in a back brace and looked to be in some pain throughout her two game victory over Bethan Higginson.
The 3rd seeds in the men’s doubles, Ellis and Adcock survived a scare late on Friday, losing the opening game to 2010 Scottish National Champions partnership of Jamie Neill and Keith Turnbell, however they bounced back to take the next two games and book their place in the last 8. Top seeded Mills and Ellis have had little resistance in their progression into the last 8 and the same can be said for the Scottish counterparts, the 2nd seeded Gilmour and Campbell who have reached the quarter final stage without the loss of a game.
The women’s doubles has a British feel about it, with 5 of the 7 remaining pairs being Scottish or English. Top seeded Jonathans and Van Dooremalen have only needed one victory to reach the last 4, after a first round bye and then a walkover in their quarter final matchup. The matchup of the quarter final will undoubtably be the 3rd seeded Wallwork and White against the Scottish pairing of Mason and Cooper in an all-Team GB matchup. 2nd seeded Olver and Agathangelou progressed into the last 8 after a two game victory over the talented Scottish junior pairing of Emma Cook and Caitlin Pringle.
4 British, 3 German and 1 American partnership make up the multi-national mixed doubles quarter finals. Chew and Kaputra progressed safely into the last 8 with a win over Campbell and Pringle of Scotland, whilst the Imogen Bankier looks to make it title number 2 in Scotland, this year she has teamed up with Chris Adcock and they also are into the last 8, defeating McHugh and Cook of Scotland. The 3rd and 4th seeds come from Germany and the 3rd seeded Zander and Koehler needed three games to make into the last 8 over Gilmour and Mason of Scotland. 4th seeded Herttrich and Schwenger needed just two games to defeat the English pair of Nottingham and Lewczynka.
Bronze Medal day in Delhi had local interest as well as a rematch from the 2006 games, as an all-Indian Mens singles match topped the bill for the locals. Chetan Anand was the higher of the seeds, but it was fellow Indian Kashrup Parupalli who took bronze in the mens singles, with a 21-15, 21-18 victory in 39 minutes.
The women’s singles, was a rematch of the 2006 bronze medal match from Melbourne. However the result in 2010 was a reversal of four years previously as Liz Cann of England defeated Susan Egelstaff of Scotland in two games, with the Scot leading in both games but it unable to take a off Cann, who ended up winning 21-18, 21-16 in 36 minutes.
There was a guaranteed bronze in the men’s doubles for Singapore, as Sauptra and Wijaya defeated team-mates Triyachart and Wong in two games, winning 23-21, 21-12 in 29 minutes. Chayut Triyachart however, did come away with a bronze medal from the mixed doubles as him and partner Lei Yao defeated Malaysia’s Chan and Goh in a 51 minute, three game match which they won 21-14, 17-21, 21-17.
The fifth medal of the day went to Australia as He Tian Tang and Kate Wilson-Smith defeated England’s Gabrielle White and Jenny Wallwork in the women’s doubles bronze medal match. The longest match of the day was won by the Australians 21-23, 21-12, 21-16 in 64 minutes. However, Wallwork has already won at least silver in the mixed doubles when she takes to the court tomorrow.
Day three brought swift endings to many as only one of the 20 scheduled games lasted over the hour mark as many of the unseeded players found the quality of the seeded players too much to overcome in their quest to make the last 4. Robert Blair and Gabrielle White lasted just 28 minutes on court with the 3rd seeded Gunawan and Marissa of Indonesia in the opening mixed doubles quarter final of the day.
Laybourn and Rytter Juhl were equally impressive in their victory over their Indian opponents Valiyaveetil and Gutta, seeded 6. Top seeded Widianto and Natsir had to come from a game down against Bonde and Pedersen of Denmark, before booking their place in the last 4. Boonsak Ponsana was brutally harsh on Dicky Palyama in their singles encounter, winning 21-14, 21-5 in just 27 minutes to set up a semi final clash with Peter Gade, who came from a game behind against Simon Santoso to book his match against the Thai 4th seed.
The big shock of the day came in the final match of the day with Lee Chong Wei losing in three games to Sony Kuncoro, the top seeded Malaysia was far from dominant this week and his loss to the Indonesian 7th seeded was not as big a shock as it could have been with Lee Chong Wei clearly out of sorts this week. The other top seeded singles player, Saina Nehwal had little trouble defeating her unseeded Chinese opponent Li Xuerui, setting up another match against Chinese opposition in Lu Lan, the 4th seed.
The women’s doubles lost it top seeded pair still in the draw with 3rd seeded Nedelcheva and Russkikh crashing out to 5th seeded Kim and Lee of Korea. The men’s doubles lost its 3rd seeded pair in Boe and Mogensen as they lost out to Fang and Lee of Chinese Taipei.
The second day was a stronger day for the seeds, however another top seed has fallen before the quarterfinal stage. Peter Gade continues on his quest for his second All England title as the top players in the world position themselves for a run at the title.
First on court again and safely into the quarterfinals was Lee Chong Wei with a fine victory over Sony Dwi Kunncoro 21-11, 21-17. He will play unseeded Korean Shon Wan Ho who defeated Chen Long in a three-game classic 21-18, 18-21, 21-19 after Chen Long disposed of 8th seeded Jorgensen in round 1 yesterday. The other quarterfinal in the top half is perhaps the match of the day tomorrow between 4th seed Taufik Hidayat and 5th seed Peter Gade. Hidayat safely through against Englishman Andrew Smith 21-18, 21-14 and Gade survived a first game scare to win 24-22, 21-18 over Simon Santoso.
The bottom half sees unseeded Kenichi Tago through to see Chen Jin in the first quarterfinal. Tago has progressed through two tough matches, playing Tien Ming Nguyen in round 1 and defeating Joachim Persson, last years 6th seed in three games, 22-24, 21-15, 21-8 to book his place against the 3rd seed from China. Chen Jin safely progressed after a tight opening game against another English player Rajiv Ouseph, winning in two games, 23-21, 21-8.
Lin Dan is also through to tomorrow’s quarterfinal where he will play Bao Chunlai, the 6th seed from China. Bao Chunlai’s phenomenal performance over Park Sung Hwan that seen him 13-0 in the opening game, before winning the match 21-5, 21-10. Lin Dan has failed to explode into life as yet but continues to progress in the tournament with another two-game victory over Muhammad Hafiz Hashim of Malaysia.
Wang Yihan was the first of the seeds through to the last 8 of the tournament with a 21-16, 21-16 win over Yu Hirayama of Japan. She will play the 8th seeded Zhou Mi in the quarterfinals after the all-Hong Kong second round match between her and Wang Chen was won by the 8th seed, 21-13, 21-15. The second quarterfinal match in the top half is an all-Chinese affair with 3rd seeded Jiang Yanjiao coming through her second round match against Maria Febe Kusamastuti 21-9, 21-14 to set up a match against Wang Xin, the 5th seed. She defeated Ai Goto of Japan 21-12, 21-13 to book her place in tomorrow’s quarterfinal.
Saina Nehwal booked her place in the last 8 with a win over Bae Sueng Hee of Korea, 21-11, 22-20 and will play unseeded Juliane Schenk of Germany, who also defeated a Korean to reach the quarterfinal stage, beating Bae Youn Joo 21-14, 21-16 to set up a match against the 7th seeded Nehwal. The last of the 4 quarterfinal matches is the pick of the bunch, with Tine Rasmussen playing 6th seed Lu Lan of China. Rasmussen progressed easily past Eriko Hirose 21-12, 21-12 to book her place whilst Lu Lan had to fight for a tight three-game victory over Scotland’s Susan Egelstaff, winning in the end 25-23, 20-22, 21-17 to reach the last 8 of the competition.
Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen continue their fantastic run at this year’s competition with a 21-18, 21-19 victory over Ko and Yoo of Korea. They will play Tan and Gan of Malaysia in the last 8 after they defeated Chinese pairing of Chai and Zhang 21-8, 23-21. The two pairings are the only two non-seeded partnerships left in the men’s doubles draw. Kido and Setiawan also progressed, winning 21-16, 21-16 over qualifiers Endo and Hirobe of Japan and the 3rd seeds will play Lee and Choong of Malaysia in the last 8 after the 8th seeds fought back from a game down to win 17-21, 23-21, 21-11.
The third of the quarterfinals sees the 5th seeded Cai and Fu play the 4th seeded Boe and Mogensen for a place in the semi finals. Cai and Fu winning 21-11, 21-17 over their Korean opponents Kim and Shin whilst Boe and Mogensen came through a much tighter match, winning 22-20, 21-19 over Fan and Lee of Chinese Taipei. The second seeds Lee and Jung have been the class pairing in the competition to date, winning both matches to date in convincing fashion, today defeating Kumar and Thomas of India 21-12, 21-6 to book their place in the last 8 against Guo and Xu of China, the 7th seeds. The Chinese pair defeating local favourites Nathan Robertson and Anthony Clark 21-14, 21-11 to book their place in the last 8.
There is a distinctly Asian feel to the event, with all 8 pairings coming from China, Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei or Indonesia. Top seeded Du and Yu are through to the quarter final after a 21-8, 21-12 win over Sorokina and Vislova of Russia and will play the Japanese 6th seeds Maeda and Suetsuna in the last 8. The Japanese pair defeating Wallwork and White over England 21-23, 21-9, 21-8 to set up an all-seeded match in the quarters.
Wang and Ma are also through to the last 8 with a stunning 21-4, 21-7 win over Amitapai and Munkit of Thailand, they will play Chen and Chien of Chinese Taipei who beat the Bulgaria/Russian partnership of Anastasia Russkikh and Petya Nedelcheva 24-22, 21-9 to book their place in the last 8 of the event.
The top seeds Zheng Bo and Ma Jin were expected to contest for the title on Sunday, but were defeated by the Chinese qualifiers Zhang and Zhao 21-16, 21-17 to book their place in the last 8. They will play the 8th seeded Gunawan and Marissa after their 21-14, 21-16 victory over Fujii and Hashimoto. He and Yu’s match against Blair and Bankier did not go ahead with Robert Blair’s leg injury forcing him to retire from the event. The 4th seeds He and Yu will play another Chinese pair, the 6th seeded Tao and Zhang after a three-game match with Mateusiak and Kostiucyzk 20-22, 21-18, 21-12.
There is English interest in the quarterfinals, with Anthony Clark and Heather Olver through to the last 8 against a 21-18, 22-20 win over Lee and Chien of Chinese Taipei. They will play the 3rd seeds, Lee and Lee of Korean after their victory in their all-Korean second round match against Yoo and Kim, winning 21-13, 21-17. The second English pair play in the last of the quarterfinals, with Jenny Wallwork and Nathan Robertson defeating the 7th seeds, Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl 21-14, 16-21, 21-15. They will play the second seeds Widianto and Natsir after their 21-12, 21-8 win over Careme and Choinet of France
The first round proper begun with the top seed men’s singles player Bao Chunlai in action, his opponent Sven-Eric Kastens posing little threat as the #1 seed progressed 21-9, 21-11 into round two. The majority of the seeds in the men’s singles had little trouble in progressing into the second round, Dicky Palyama who is seeded 6th was taken the full distance by Rei Sato of Japan, eventually the Dutch seed won 18-21, 21-11, 21-14. The bottom half of the men’s singles draw also had no shocks with the seeds, with Marc Zweibler progressing 22-20, 21-11 over Wei Feng Chong. Chen Long also safely marched into round 2 with his 21-7, 21-9 win over Dharma Gunawi.
The men’s doubles lost its top seed Choong and Lee of Malaysia in Round 1 at the hands of Liao and Wu of Chinese Tapiei, 21-18, 22-20. Another Malayian seed fell later in the day, with the 6th seeded Chan and Lim losing out to Japanese duo Endo and Hirobe in three games, 13-21, 21-18, 21-15. The second seeded Lin and Chen progressed in a tight two game encouter with the Danish pair Conrad-Petersen and Kolding, 21-16, 21-17.
The women’s singles suffered the biggest fallout regarding the seeds, 8th seeded Judith Meulendijks crashed out to Jeanine Cicognini in a three game encounter, 18-21, 21-15, 21-15 to the Swiss player. Petya Nedelcheva, the 5th seed was the next seed to fall. Trupti Murgurdi of India beating the Bulgarian seed 12-21, 21-8, 21-14 to progress into Round 2. It was a bad day for the Dutch ladies, as 4th seeded Yao Jie was the 3rd seed to lose out in the opening round, Tse Ying Suet defeating the 4th seed, 22-20, 21-13.
The women’s doubles seen the 3rd and 4th seeds progress into Round 2, where the top 2 Chinese seeds will play their opening match in the event. The 3rd seeded Cheng and Chien came through a 3-game match against Russkikh and Nedelcheva to book their place in the second round. The 4th seed Russian pair of Sorokina and Vislova had little problem in their opening match, defeating Heisbol and Skelbae of Denmarr 21-14, 21-19 to book their place in Round 2.
Round 2’s matches begin with the top seeded Bao Chunlai in action at 9am on Thursday.