Three quarter final places was the goal for the home nation going into the world championships, after just two days they are down to just four players and partnerships left in the five events. The four are spread across four different events, but the surprise defeat of the 10th seeded Robertson and Wallwork makes the goal of three quarter final places an unlikely one.
Lin Dan was the main attraction in the men’s singles today, with a two game victory ensuring his place in the last 32 tomorrow against Ireland’s Scott Evans who was also a winner in two games. Peter Gade ended English’s best chances of a good run in the singles in his two game victory over Rajiv Ouseph, whilst Toby Penty won the all-UK clash in the first round despite only getting into the event as a wild card. There were wins for Simon Santoso, Tien Minh Nguyen and Boonsak Ponsana, with the 10th seed having to come from a game down to defeat Eric Pang.
Wang Shixian’s campaign got off to the perfect start with a two game victory over Bulgaria’s Linda Zechiri, Jiang Yanjiao also progressed in two games to ensure a full compliment of Chinese players left in the draw after the shock defeat in the men’s singles by Kevin Cordon over Chen Long. One seed did fall today, Eriko Hirose was defeated by Spain’s Carolina Marin in three games, with the Spaniard claiming another impressive scalp on her way into the last 16 where she will meet Cheng Shao Chieh, the 7th seed in the 3rd round. Tine Baun kept European hopes alive with her two game victory over Chan Tsz Ka of Hong Kong, but did have to save three game points in the opening game before taking it 26-24.
Top seeded Cai and Fu had to battle through against their Russian opponents in three games to reach the last 16 where they will play the 12th seeded Kawamae and Sato of Japan, who defeated the Polish pair of Cwalina and Logosz. The 8th seeded Chandra and Gunawan also had to fight through in 3 games to reach the third round, where they will take on the 16th seeded Rasmussen and Conrad-Petersen who had little trouble in reaching the last 16. Lee and Jung also started their campaign with a win over England’s Clark and Langridge in two games to set up a match with the 14th seeded Endo and Hayakawa, who defeated Smith and Warfe of Australia in two games.
Top seeded Wang and Yu were rarely trouble in their opening match, defeated the Swedish pair of Wengberg and Lennartsson in two games to reach the last 16. There will be an all-Japanese third round match as Maeda and Suetsuna, seeded 3 take on the 15th seeded Misaki and Takahashi with both winning their matches in two games. One of the main European threats crashed out, with the 13th seeded Jonathans and Van Dooremalen losing out to the Hong Kong pair of Chan and Chau.
England’s big hope of a medal this year has already ended in the mixed doubles, with the 10th seeded Robertson and Wallwork crashing out in the second round to Malaysia’s Chan and Goh in two games. There is still interest with Adcock and Bankier flying the GB flag after their two game victory over Ng and Gao of Canada. Top seeded Zhao and Zhang progressed safely into the last 16 where they take on the 13th seeded German pair of Fuchs and Michels whilst the 3rd seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam crashed out in the second round to the unseeded Singapore pairing of Triyachart and Yao. There was no problem for the 2009 world champions, Laybourn and Rytter Juhl who progressed in two games to set up a 3rd round match against Chen and Cheng of Chinese Taipei who also won in two games today over Hashimoto and Fujii of Japan.
The three doubles disciplines are all headlined with a Chinese top seed, with Cai and Fu looking for their third straight world title. Wang and Yu are the overwhelming favourites in the women doubles, whilst the Asian champions Zhang and Zhao are the top seeds in the mixed doubles.
There is an undoubted depth in the Chinese squad, especially in the mixed doubles but Korea will be a force in the men’s and women’s doubles, with the decision not to take any mixed doubles pairs to the world championships. There will be European interest as always, with Boe and Mogensen set to be the hope of Europe in the men’s doubles, whilst the 2009 world champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl as well as the local pair of Robertson and Wallwork will be the main pairs to watch for European success in the mixed doubles.
2010 Result: Winners
2nd Round Opponent: Ellis/Mills or Ivanov/Sozonov
Main Threats: Lee/Jung (SF)
Every year, the peak for this event and for the last two years it has worked perfectly. Their match against Lee and Jung in 2009 is still one of the greatest matches ever seen in a world championship final. They come into this week in perfect form once again, winning the Indonesian Premier with in the loss of just one game.
Their biggest rivals wait in the semi finals, with expectation of a classic rematch with Lee and Jung in the semi finals.
2010 Result: Quarter Finals
2nd Round Opponent: Clark/Langridge or Hirobe/Kazuno
There are a lot of question marks surrounding Lee Yong Dae, his decision to play the US and Canada Open with Ko Sung Hyun has asked the question if this is his final tournament with Jung Jae Sung before forming a new partnership for the 2012 Olympics. This is also his only chance at a title this week, after being top seeded in the mixed doubles in 2010.
2010 Result: Runners-Up
2nd Round Opponent: Moren/Szkudlarczyk or Liu/Qiu
Top seeded in 2010 in this event, they lost out in the final in Paris but claimed the Commonwealth gold medal in Delhi just a few months later. They have remained one of the top pairs in the world since their success in Delhi and victory in the Malaysian Gold event in May confirmed their place in the high seedings for this week.
The Rest Of The Field:
The 2nd seeded Boe and Mogensen’s form has been erratic since the Sudirman Cup in May, but their draw has been favourable and will allow the Danes to play their way into form. 5th seeded Ko and Yoo are another partnership who have received a favourable draw before a likely quarter final match against Koo and Tan for a place in the last 4.
2010 Result: DNP
2nd Round Opponents: Lennartsson/Wengberg
It was a partnership that played against one another in last year’s women’s doubles final, with Wang and Ma losing out to Du and Yu in two games. Since the conception of this partnership, they have systematically defeated every other partnership and reached the #1 ranking.
Their victory in the All England Final in March was perhaps their most impressive performance, over the Japanese pairing of Fujii and Kakiiwa of Japan, who are seeded 4th this week in London.
The Rest Of The Field:
The bottom half of the draw is very much open with the 2nd seeded Cheng and Chien coming into the event in good form, but without a win in their two warm-up events where they were the top seed in both. Ha and Kim of Korea are in the same quarter of the draw as the 2nd seed and will pose a threat if the pair meet in the last 8.
The other quarter in the bottom half is where the threats lie, with the 4th seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa and China’s other seeded pair, Tian and Zhao are the only pair to beat the top seeded Wang and Yu in any major competition to date, but that victory was in Malaysia almost 6 months ago.
2010 Result: DNP
2nd Round Opponents: Wong/Chau
With the lack of Korean opposition, the Chinese top seeds chances of winning their first world title is greatly increased. The Asian Games champions are the pair to beat this year, defeating their Chinese rivals He and Ma in a tight three game match on route to the mixed title in the Asian Games.
A potential quarterfinal match against the 2009 world championships will be the biggest hurdle of the opening rounds, before a rematch with He and Ma in the semi final stages this week.
The Rest Of The Field:
There are plenty of contenders in the field this week, with Ma Jin being one half of the current world champions but with a new partner in He Hanbin. The European threat is all too apparent with Laybourn and Rytter Juhl’s unlikely 2009 success being the catalyst for any European hope this week.
Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen are the big European hope this week, as the 5th seeds but will have the 2nd seeded Ahmad and Natsir on route in the quarter finals before a likely Chinese opponent in the semi final in Tian and Zhao.
Another two top seeds crashed out on a day of shocks in Paris as several big names crashed out on quarterfinals day.
The men’s singles suffered two major casualties, both on the top half of the draw as World #1 and top seed Lee Chong Wei was defeated by a re-energised Taufik Hidayat who continues his excellent run at this years event with a three-game, 61 minute victory over the Malaysian. Many expected a classic match against Lin Dan in the semi finals, only for Park Sung Hwan of Korea to end the Chinese 3rd seed run at the last 8. His 21-13, 21-13 win over Lin Dan sent shockwaves in the draw, piling pressure on Gade to seize the opportunity that the days play had offered him, a chance at the world championship.
Chen Jin awaited the winner of Gade’s match, securing his place in the last 4 with a three-game win over Hsueh Hsuan Yi of Chinese Taipei in 64 minutes. Peter Gade entered the arena as the clear fans favourite and delivered a masterful performance over Kazushi Yamada, winning in two games 21-19, 21-12 to set up a semi final clash with Chen Jin.
The second seed in the women’s draw crashed out as Saina Nehwal was comfortably beaten by the 6th seeded Wang Shixian of China, the two game 35 minute encounter was completely dominated by the Chinese player who rightfully deserved her place in the semi final in her first world championships. Her opponent in the semi finals is the 3rd seeded Wang Xin of China, who ended the hopes of a French world champion with her 21-13, 21-15 win over Pi Hongyan in 34 minutes.
The other semi final features Wang Lin of China, the 7th seed avenged the defeat of Wang Yihan today with a two game win over Eriko Hirose, winning 21-16, 21-17 to take on the last European in the draw, Tine Baun of Denmark. The 4th seed defeated the unseeded Cheng Shao Chieh in two games to set up her last 4 encounter with Wang Lin.
The top seeds in the men’s doubles are still in the competition, as Koo and Tan defeated last years finalists Lee and Jung in three games in a 72-minute encounter to set up a semi final against Guo and Xu who defeated Paaske and Rasmussen in two games to reach the last 4. The other semi final sees the second seeded Kido and Setiawan, who defeated the 6th seeded Fang and Lee take on the form duo of the competition and reigning champions, Cai and Fu of China. The 5th seeds defeated Mogensen and Boe in a clinical 41-minute, two game victory to set up a semi final against the 2nd seeds.
The top four seeds in the women’s doubles remain intact at the semi final stage, with top seeds Ma and Wang coming through their quarter final in three games over Ha and Kim of Korea to set up an all-Chinese semi final against 4th seeded Cheng and Zhao. The other semi final sees the 2nd seeded Du and Yu take on the 3rd seeded Cheng and Chien who have both reached the last 4 without the loss of a game this week.
The top seeds in the mixed doubles also fell today, with Widianto and Natsir losing to Zheng and Ma of China, the 8th seeds in two games. The 12th seeded Ko and Ha are also an unexpected pair to be still in the draw at this late stage, they defeated the 9th seeded India pairing of Diju and Gutta in two games in the first match on Court 2 today.
The other semi final is features another unlikely duo, the 16th seeded Lee and Chien of Chinese Taipei who defeated the 10th seeded Jiaming and Yawen in three games in just under a hour to book their place in the last 4. They will play He and Yu of China after their two game victory over the current world champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl in 43 minutes.
The 2009 final was perhaps the greatest final in recent memory between Cai/Fu and Lee/Jung, China’s national coach Li Yongbo called the match “”a classic that will be often recalled as one of the best men’s doubles matches in the recent history of the sport”. Can the 2010 final live up to last years final? The potential rematch is on.
Koo and Tan of Malaysia are this years top seeds, and after their first round bye they take on the Kopriva brothers of the Czech Republic, ranked 65th in the world. Chai and Zhang are the other seeds in the section, with the 14th seeds from China taking on Issara and Jongjit of Thailand, the world number 101. The other match in the section is between Ivanov and Sozonov of Russia and Bosch and Ridder of Holland, with the winners likely to play Chai and Zhang in Round 2.
Despite a world ranking of 4, last years finalists Lee and Jung are ranked 7th for the 2010 Championships which could be down to Lee Yong Dae’s injury over the past few months. Despite their high ranking, they still receive an opening round bye before playing Fogarty and Neumann of the USA, ranked 59 in the world. The 9th seeded Chandra and Gunawan are the other seeds in the section and take on Welsh dup Morgan and Philips in Round 1, the world number 56. The other match is between Saputra and Wijaya of Singapore take on Fuchs and Kindervater of Germany for a place in Round 2.
Guo and Xu are the big Chinese hope for 2010, the 4th seeds have an opening round bye before taking on the young English pairing of Langridge and Middleton of England, the world number 33. The 12th seeded Chen and Lin of Chinese Taipei taking on Sato and Kawamae of Japan in Round 1, ranked 29th in the world and the match that will be one of the best of the opening round. There is local interest with Constantin and Vincent of France taking on the Australian pair of Gunaratne and Whitehead for a place in Round 2.
The 2010 All England winners Paaske and Rasmussen are the 8th seeds and after their opening round bye take on the Austria’s Grassmuck and Zimwald, the world number 68 pairing. The 15th seeded Kumar and Thomas of India begin their campaign with a match against Africa’s #2 Fagbemi and Ifraimu of Nigeria, ranked 93rd in the world. Africa’s #1 James and Viljoen, ranked 92 in the world take on the French pair of Corvee and Grosjean.
The 2009 winners Cai and Fu have played just 5 tournaments since their triumph last year and have slipped to 13 in the world rankings, but received the 5th seed for this years championship and begin their campaign against Croatia’s Durkinjak and Hoelbling, ranked 60th in the world. The match of the opening round is between 10th seeded Bach and Gunawan of the USA and Robertson and Clark of England, ranked 20th in the world. The English pairing pulled out of the 2009 Championships due to security concerns and will not want to be put out in the opening round in 2010. The winners of that match take on the winners of the final match in the section between Magee and Stephenson of Ireland and Konov and Zavadsky of the Ukraine.
The big European hope in 2010 is Boe and Mogensen, the world number 3 and seeded 3rd for the championships. They start their campaign in Round 2 with an all-Danish match against Kristiansen and Henriksen. The Korean pair of Ko and Yoo are the 13th seeds and the other seed in the section and take on Thailand’s Anugritayawon and Prapakamol, ranked 32nd in the world. Austria takes on Guatemala in the other match, with Koch and Zauner taking on Cordon and Ramirez.
6th seeded Fang and Lee begin their campaign against Dutch duo Khodabux and De Ruiter, ranked 48th in the world. The Japanese 11th seeds Hashimoto and Hirata are the other seeds in the section and take on Wiratama and Wong of Hong Kong in their opening match; the 23rd ranked pair should be a tough start for the 11th seeds. Gan and Tan of Malaysia take on Durkin and Nikolaenko of Russia in the final match in the section, the world number 21 duo taking on the world number 31 pair in arguably the hardest section in the draw to pick a pair to come out of with the 6th, 11th, 21st, 23rd and 31st ranked pairings in it.
The final section sees 2nd seeded Kido and Setiawan start after an opening round bye against Poles Cwalina and Logosz, ranked 61 in the world. Choong and Lee are the final seeds at 16 and take on German pair of Hopp and Schottler of Germany in their opening match. The final match in the section sees the world number 19 of Dasuki and Sukmawan take on French duo of Careme and Grosjean, ranked 45th in the world.