It was 18th and potentially last encounter between two of the greatest players of the last 15 years, as Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat took on Lee Chong Wei on his home soil in Malaysia.
Tago Takes Out Another Seed
Kenichi Tago’s victory over Simon Santoso was his second seeded scalp this week, after taking out Gade in the second round. The unseeded Japanese player defeated the 7th seeded Santoso in a one-sided match, winning 21-15, 21-9 to set up a semi final against Chen Jin of China. The 5th seed defeated Jan O Jorgensen in his quarter final in a three game match to ensure his place in the last 4.
Lee Chong Wei defeated Taufik Hidayat in two games to claim his 12th victory in their 18 matchups to reach the last 4 to set up his 10th encounter with China’s Chen Long, who has taken 3 of the last 4 matches against the world number 1. Chen Long defeated Sho Sasaki in three games to reach the last 4 and set up his semi final with Lee Chong Wei.
Top 4 Into Semis
The top 4 seeds in the women’s singles are all present at the semi final stage this week, with Saina Nehwal breaking the Chinese monopoly on the semi final places. Wang Yihan takes on Saina Nehwal in the first of the semi finals, with the world number 1 not dropping a game to date whilst Nehwal was taken to a third game for the second time this week by Tine Baun in her quarter final. Wang Xin takes on Wang Shixian in the other semi final with their head to head evenly matched at 5-5 going into tomorrow’s semi final.
One European Hope Remains
The doubles events have been dominated by the Asian’s this week, with just a single European pairing left in either of the three events. Only two seeds remain in the men’s doubles as Chai and Guo take on the unseeded Korean pair of Cho and Shin for a place in Sunday’s final, whilst the other semi finals sees the 6th seeded Hashimoto and Hirata take on the unseeded Chinese Taipei pair of Fang and Lee, who defeated their second Chinese pairing of Hong and Shen to reach the semi finals.
Pedersen and Rytter Juhl are the only European hope left in any draw, their victory over the top seeded Japanese pairing of Fujii and Kakiiwa sets up a semi final against Zhong and Yixin of China who benefitted from a retirement from Woo and Hong halfway through the second game of their quarter final. The other semi final sees the 2nd seeded Ha and Kim take on the 4th seeded Matsuo and Naito of Japan.
Lee Yong Dae’s run ends at the quarter final stage, as he and partner Ha Jung Eun lost to the 2nd seeded Xu and Ma of China in two games. The Chinese pairing take on the 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir in the semi finals after the Indonesian’s defeated the Thai pairing of Jongjit and Amitapai to reach the last 4. Chan and Goh saved four match points before their eventual progression to the last 4 to ensure some Malaysian interest in the semi finals. Their opponents in the semi final are the top seeded Zhang and Zhao of China who defeated the on-form pairing of Nikolaenko and Soronkina in their quarter final match.
Quarter Final Results
In another demonstration of his superior abilities Lee Chong Wei has won back to back super series titles today as he disposed of Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana in two straight games 21-13, 21-7. While Lin Dan may take the big titles out of Lee Chong Wei’s hands, even the Chinese star cannot match Lee’s consistency and prolific winning.
Lee wasn’t the only hometown hero on the day however. Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong did well to take the men’s doubles title after defeating not one, not two, but three Chinese pairs. In the final they defeated Guo Zhendong and Xu Chen in three games 21-15, 17-21, 21-16.
The women’s singles final provided some drama and speculation after Bae Youn Joo withdrew during the final against Wang Xin. There appeared to be some confusion between Bae and the chair umpire as Bae requested to place a strap on her ankle, but was refused because she did not indicate to the umpire what was wrong and did not request the tournament doctor. Later there was speculation that it was either an ankle injury, or even potentially more serious issues like a heart problem. We have no verification on either report at this time.
Throughout the tournament Du Jing and Yu Yang managed to go relatively untested, and won the women’s doubles title without dropping a single game. The second seeded pair defeated their compatriots Ma Jin and Wang Xiaoli 21-16, 21-12 in only 34 minutes.
While it was a good comeback tournament for the Danish World Champions Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl they didn’t have what it took to go all the way in Malaysia this week. After a great run they fell in the final to China’s Tao Jiaming and Zhang Yawen 19-21, 21-18, 21-15. Nonetheless Laybourn has to be happy with his first super series event after injuring himself at the end of 2009.
Visit the draws below for full results
Malaysia Super Series 2010 Draws