China has a heads up match in the finals of the mens singles tomorrow when Bao Chunlai plays Gong Weijie. Bao defeated the Dutchman Eric Pang 21-14, 19-21, 21-15 while his teammate Gong Weijie defeated his other teammate Chen Long 21-19, 21-19. If I’m not mistaken this is likely Gong Weijie’s best result of his career so far (with the exception of perhaps the finals of the world juniors).
Can’t say I’m surprised that this is the final, but I am impressed that Eric Pang brought Bao to three. This once against affirms my belief that the mens singles is getting much deeper and much closer between the top 50 or so players. Previously only another top 20 player or even top 10 player would have had a shot against another top 10 player, but now things are different. Even us Canadians have a shot at taking out one of the top ten players, doing it 5 or 6 matches in a row is another thing.
I’ll be very surprised if Gong takes the final tomorrow, I don’t think Bao fancies the idea of heading back to the B team anymore than Mr T would. My bets are on Bao Chunlai to take the final, perhaps it could be a three gamer, but unlikely. Prediction is 21-18, 21-14 for Bao.
German Open 2009 Draws
Not to boast or anything, but I knew that Gong Weijie was going to beat Chetan Anand. This kid is good, and were it not for Chen Long’s stellar performance against Wong Choong Han, I would say he’s a shoe in for the finals. I do however still think he will beat Chen Long, but like I said in my last post, I haven’t seen Chen Long play so I can’t really say for sure.
The only quarter-final that did not go to three games was Eric Pang’s match against Korea’s Hong Ji Hoon. Pang won 21-8, 21-14 and now faces Bao Chunlai in the semi-finals. Bao defeated England’s top ranked player in the world Andrew Smith in three games 21-11, 14-21, 21-7. Smith is a strong player, but he hasn’t quite cracked that next level where he’s beating top 10 players yet, but once he gets that first win it will certainly give him that confidence.
Bao Chunlai def Andrew Smith 21-11, 14-21, 21-7
Eric Pang def Hong Ji Hoon 21-8, 21-14
Chen Long def Wong Choong Han 9-21, 21-19, 21-16
Gong Weijie def Chetan Anand 19-21, 21-19, 21-12
The quarter finals lineup for the 2009 German Open is set. There are no surprises really in my mind, everyone who should still be in, is still in. Here is the line up:
Bao Chunlai vs Andrew Smith
Hong Ji Hoon vs Eric Pang
Chen Long vs Wong Choong Han
Gong Weijie vs Chetan Anand
I have never seen Hong Ji Hoon, or Chen Long play, so I can’t comment on them, but I’d actually be surprised if either of them won their matches. The one upset that I will predict here is that Gong Weijie will defeat Chetan Anand. Gong Weijie is a very good player, and only that Chen Jin is SOOO good, has he not had more opportunity to play in the big events. I’d be willing to say that he will start getting more chances now that Chen Hong is gone, and China needs to start preparing for Bao and Lin Dan to go eventually.
Anyway, here are the draws:
German Open 2009 Draws