After losing the top seed in the mixed doubles, the Chinese squad got back on track in Seoul today whilst the Danish contingent had little to celebrate in the second round.
Four Seeds Remain
The top two in the world progressed to the last 8 with both needing the full three games to ensure their place in the quarter finals. Lee Chong Wei was tested by Shon Wan Ho before eventually setting up his quarter final match with Kenichi Tago. Simon Santoso is the other seed remaining in the top half of the draw who will likely move up the rankings after this week after securing a quarter final match against Du Pengyu who continues his excellent run with a three game victory over Hu Yun.
A lot was expected of Marc Zwiebler after his double victory over Taufik Hidayat and he has finally delivered with a run to a Premier quarter final against Sho Sasaki. The Japanese 6th seed was impressive in his two game victory over Wang Zhengming to ensure his place in the last 8. Jan O Jorgensen claimed the biggest scalp of the day in his victory over Chen Jin in three games to set up a quarter final against Lin Dan, who had his own struggles in beating Lee Hyun Il before progressing in three games.
Chinese Presence In All Quarter Finals
All four of the quarter finals will have some Chinese presence as the three seeded players are joined in the last 8 by Li Xuerui. Juliane Schenk is the sole European in the draw but will have a tough test to still be in the draw after the end of play tomorrow as she takes on Wang Yihan, whilst Jiang Yanjiao or Saina Nehwal will face the winner depending on the result of their quarter final in the top half of the draw. Wang Shixian takes on Gu Juan for a place in the last 4 whilst the only non-seeded Chinese player Li Xuerui takes on Bae Youn Joo in the second quarter final in the bottom half of the draw.
Seeds Topple In Men’s Doubles
Only three seeds remain in the draw, with a Cai/Fu versus Lee/Jung final looming large. Boe and Mogensen crashed out to Hong and Shen of China who take on Korea’s Kim and Kim for a place in the semi final. Lee and Jung needed three games to ensure their place in the last 8 where they will take on the Chinese Taipei pair of Fang and Lee a place in the last 4. Cai and Fu saved a match point before booking their place in the quarter finals against the German pairing of Fuchs and Roth, the last remaining European pair in the draw. Ko and Yoo will hope to ensure an all-Korean final as they try to progress into the last 4 in their match against Endo and Hayakawa of Japan.
Chinese Powerhouses Cruise Into Last 8
Wang and Yu progressed into the last 8 in straight forward fashion, and were joined by their team-mates Tian and Zhao in equally impressive fashion. The prospect of a ninth meeting of the year in Sunday is almost a foregone conclusion, such is their gap at the top of the world’s elite. Xu and Ma are into the last 8 in the mixed doubles and take on the 2009 world champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl in their quarter final matchup. Whilst in the top half, He and Yixin ensured a Chinese involvement after their victory over Adcock and Bankier in the second round.
The final match of the second day in Hong Kong gave us the first look at the present elite against the future elite as the world number 1 took on the 2010 world junior champion in the last of the second round games in the men’s singles.
Lee Chong Wei Into Last 8
For the opening portion of the match, there was little to separate the two players but Lee Chong Wei eventually progressed safely in two games against Viktor Axelsen, but there will be positives to be taken for the Dane ahead of next week’s China Open. Ajay Jayaram is the Malaysian’s quarter final opponent after the Indian’s victory over Hashim of Malaysia in three games. Lin Dan takes on Shon Wan Ho in his quarter final, with the Korean beating the 8th seeded Marc Zwiebler in his second round match.
Indian qualifier RMV Gurusaidutt has been the story of the bottom half of the draw, he impressed in qualifying and today provided the biggest victory over his career over the 7th seeded Du Pengyu of China. His reward is another Chinese player in the next round, the 2nd seeded Chen Long for a place in the semi finals. The fourth quarter final is a battle of the veterans of the game as Peter Gade takes on Chen Jin for the 11th time. Gade was forced to three games by Yamada in his second round match whilst Chen Jin disposed of Gade’s countryman Jan O Jorgensen in just two games.
Triple Threat From China
Three Chinese and three Japanese players started the last 16, only Ai Goto remains from the Japanese squad whilst all of the Chinese seeds are into the last 8. Ai Goto takes on the top seeded Wang Yihan tomorrow, with her record against the world number 1 far from stellar with just one game won in their four meetings to date. The only match not containing a Chinese player sees the 4th seeded Saina Nehwal take on Tine Baun as they meet for only the 4th time, with the Indian taking their most recent match at the Indonesia Premier event in June.
Bach and Gunawan match into quarterfinals
The 2005 world champions have managed once again to upset the worlds elite and reach the last 8 of a Super Series event. After their three game victory over Kawamae and Sato they have the unenviable task of taking on the world number 1 pairing of Cai and Fu, with the Chinese pair looking to continue their unbeaten run to 7 against the American pair. The two Korean threats of Lee and Jung as well as Ko and Yoo are on a collision course for the semi finals after both pairs won in two games to reach the last 8.
Win number 51 of the year was never in doubt for Wang And Yu, taking their streak of matches without the loss of a game to 8, dating back their semi final victory in Denmark last month. Tian and Zhao amassed their 41st win of the year and look set to meet their Chinese team-mates Wang and Yu in the final for the third straight Super Series event, who have been responsible for 6 of the 8 losses inflicted on Tian and Zhao.
Four of the remaining eight pairs in the mixed doubles are Chinese, with at least Chinese pair guaranteed in the last 4 from the all-Chinese quarter final of Zhang and Zhao against He and Yixin. The possibility of an all-Chinese semi final lies in the hands of Pan and Hong, who take on Chen and Cheng after both pairs progressed to the last 8 in two games. Ko and Eom of Korea take on the on form Danish pair of Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen whilst Valeria Sorokina’s excellent week sees her in both the women’s doubles and mixed doubles quarter finals after defeating seeds in both her second round matches. Sorokina partners Nikolaenko in her quarter final in the mixed doubles against Xu and Ma of China.
Denmark and China will be pleased with the performance of their players, whilst several nations like England and Germany suffered a number of defeats to reduce their chances of a title going into the weekend.
Zwiebler and Schenk Through
Despite all of the poor results for the German squad today, they have two excellent chances of winning the singles titles on home turf. Marc Zwiebler defeated Andre Tedjono in a lengthy two game match and takes on Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus for a place in Sunday’s final. The other semi final sees Wang Zhengming of China take on Eric Pang of Holland, with the 3rd seeded Chinese player impressing in his two game victory over Rajiv Ouseph in his quarter final.
Juliane Schenk progressed to the last 4 with a victory over Petya Nedelcheva in two games and takes on the 4th seeded Li Xuerui, with the German player holding an excellent record against Chinese players this year. Yao Jie defeated Tine Baun in her quarter final match to compound the recent run of poor form for the Dane, the Dutch 7th seed takes on Sayaka Sato in her semi final match after she defeated Linda Zechiri in two games.
China and Denmark Impressive In Doubles
Boe and Mogensen’s walkover allowed them to rest ahead of their semi final against Liu and Qiu of China, seeded 6. The Chinese pair ended the run of Germany’s Kindervater and Schoettler and there was another shock in the bottom half of the draw as Rasmussen and Conrad-Petersen crashed out to the unseeded Thai pairing of Issara and Jongjit in two games. The unseeded Thai’s take on Adcock and Ellis, who were the player or pair to win for England today.
The top two seeds in the women’s doubles progressed safely into the last 4 with a pair of easy victories whilst in the mixed doubles, several seeds crashed out such as Robertson and Wallwork to the unseeded pair of Liu and Cheng. He and Yixin ensure a double involvement in the semi finals day with a tight three game victory to set up a semi final against Laybourn and Rytter Juhl, who defeated the 6th seeded and world silver medalist pairing of Adcock and Bankier in a tight two game victory.
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.
The first major shock of the tournament took place in the men’s singles as Lin Dan was defeated by Sho Sasaki in a tame two game defeat.
Lin Dan Out
Lin Dan’s defeat to Sho Sasaki was the only blip in a good day for the Chinese in the men’s singles. Sho Sasaki’s victory over Lin Dan set up a quarter final match against Chen Jin, which will stop the question about Lin Dan potentially pulling out of a second Chen Jin encounter within a week. Lee Chong Wei is safely into the last 8 where he will take on Tien Minh Nguyen, who narrow beat Wang Zhengming in the tightest of matches, winning 22-20 in the deciding game.
Chen Long and Du Pengyu face off in the quarter finals, to ensure at least one Chinese player in the last 4 but the match of the day for tomorrow will be 3rd on the main court on Friday as local favourite Taufik Hidayat takes on Peter Gade for a place in the last 4. Gade has been impressive in his two victories and Taufik has bounced back well from his three game opening round matchup. It will be their 17th meeting, with Taufik holding a 9-7 advantage on the head to head, but Gade took their last matchup in three tight games at the 2010 All England Championships.
Wang Shixian Out
There was further disappointment for the Chinese camp as top seeded Wang Shixian joined Wang Xin in an early round defeat today, after the world #1 lost out to Cheng Shao Chieh of Chinese Taipei in two games. Her prize for defeating the top seed is a quarter final match against another Chinese player, 7th seeded Liu Xin who defeated her team mate Li Xuerui in three games to book her place in the last 8. The other match in the top half of the draw sees Saina Nehwal take on Tine Baun in a match that both players will feel they can win as well as being their best chance at a Superseries Premier title with the early exits of the top two Chinese seeds. Juliane Schenk’s recent form since the Sudirman Cup has continued in her two game victory of Sayaka Sato to set up a quarter final match against Wang Yihan.
Qualifiers Stun Lee And Jung
Home field advantage was never more evident than in the shock 21-17, 21-17 victory for the Indonesian qualifiers Pratama and Saputra over the 2nd seeded Lee and Jung. Their reward is a quarter final match over Chai and Guo of China, seeded 8 this week. Top seeded Boe and Mogensen have returned to somewhere near the form that took them to the world number 1 spot and take on the 7th seeded Kido an Setiawan in the last 8 after both pairs recording two game victories.
Wang And Yu Storm Into Last 8
The top seeded Chinese pairing of Wang and Yu have been unstoppable through the opening two rounds, dropping just 33 points on route the last 8 and they take on the 5th seeded Ha and Kim in the quarter finals. There was another unlikely victory, with Marissa and Melati defeating the second seeded Cheng and Chien in two tight games to reach the last 8 where they will take on the unseeded Chin and Wong of Malaysia.
Asians Supreme In Mixed
Just the 2009 world champions remain for European interest in the mixed doubles. 8th seeded Laybourn and Rytter Juhl take on the 2nd seeded Thai pairing of Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in their toughest match of the week so far. There were victories for the top seeded Zhao and Zhang as well as 5th seeded Jiaming and Tian, who face off against one another in an all-Chinese quarter final. There is more Chinese interest in the draw as He and Yu take on the 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir in the quarter finals.
The Chinese domination of recent years continued in Singapore this week, with chance to take all five titles this week looming large.
Lin Dan and Gade meet for 17th time
The top two seeds safely progressed into the last 4, with Lin Dan progressing by the narrowest of margins against Simon Santoso of Indonesia. The match latest one hour with the 2nd seed winning the deciding game 22-20, with Santoso saving five match points to reach 20-20. Peter Gade had less of a problem reaching the last 4, his 21-15, 21-15 victory over Du Pengyu is his third victory in two games this week as the Dane rolls back the years once again. The other semi final is an all-Chinese affair, with world champion Chen Jin defeating Lee Hyun Il in convincing fashion and takes on Wang Zhengming who defeated the second Danish player left in the event, 17-year old Viktor Axelsen in two games.
Dutch Delight For Yao Jie
The big surprise in the women’s singles is Yao Jie’s victory over the 2nd seeded Wang Yihan. The three game match took exactly an hour with the Dutch world number 18 taking the match 21-17, 16-21, 21-15. Her victory sets up another Chinese clash, this time with 3rd seeded Wang Xin who came through her quarter final with Gu Juan in straight forward fashion. The other semi final features the top seeded Wang Shixian, who needed 83 minutes to take her revenge on Juliane Schenk after the German defeated her in the Sudirman last month. Schenk had three chances to win the match in the deciding game at 20-17 only for the top seeded Chinese woman to string five points together to complete her unlikely and unbelievable victory. Her opponent in the semi final is Denmark’s Tine Baun, seeded 6 this week and had her own marathon match today against Cheng Shao Chieh before winning the match 22-24, 21-17, 21-13 to reach the semi final.
Top Two Meet In Semis
The long standing rivalry between Lee and Jung of Korea and Cai and Fu of China renews itself for a 14th time tomorrow, with both pairs progressing to the last 4 without dropping a game in either quarter final match or any match this week. The 2nd seeded Korean’s hold a 7-6 head to head advantage of the Chinese pair and have won their previous three encounters. The other semi final sees the unseeded Indonesian’s of Chandra and Gunawan take on the 7th seeded Chai and Guo of China, who ended the run of German’s Kindervater and Schoettler in their 21-15, 21-10 victory.
Top Seeds Tumble
Maeda and Suetsuna crashed out at the quarter final stage after being defeated by the 5th seeded Tian and Zhao of China in two games, there was success for Japan even with the top seeds loss as 4th seeded Naito and Matsuo cruised into the last 4 to face the Chinese pair who defeated their team mates. The other semi final has Japanese interest too in the 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa, who take on the 6th seeded Ha and Kim of Korea, who defeated 3rd seeded Jauhari and Polii in three games to progress into the semi finals.
Third Time Lucky
The 2nd seeded Thai pair finally came undone against a British pair in the mixed doubles, with Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam defeating two British pairs to reach the last 8 but were defeated in two games by Robertson and Wallwork, who set up a semi final clash with the unseeded Chinese Taipei pairing of Chen and Cheng. The other semi final sees the top seeded Zhang and Zhao through by the narrowest of margins in an all-Chinese quarter final against He and Yu after saving six match points at 20-14 down to go on a run of eight points to clinch the deciding game 22-20. They take on 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir who ended the run of Lee and Ha in the quarter final stage in two games to reach the semi final.
Quarter Final Results:
Axelsen Playing Wang
17-year old Viktor Axelsen has been touted as the future of Danish badminton, from his junior world championship success last summer to his first victory on the European circuit in Cyprus in October 2010. Today, he arrived on the world stage with his 23-21, 21-15 victory over the 7th seeded Bao Chunlai of China.
With just two months before the world championships in London, the men’s singles is seeing a new generation come through to challenge the old guard. Wang Zhengming defeated top seeded Taufik Hidayat in three games to set up a quarter final against Viktor Axelsen whilst in the other quarter final in the top half, Chen Jin will take on Lee Hyun Il after both players defeated their seeded opponent in the second round, meaning no seed is left in the top half of the draw. In fact, just two seeds remain with 2nd seeded Lin Dan defeating Jan O Jorgensen in two games and 4th seeded Peter Gade defeating Rajiv Ouseph of England to book their places in the last 8.
Wang Lin’s retirement during her second round match against top seeded Wang Shixian could be a real scare after coming back from serious injury, the current world champion was 12-8 down in the opening game when she chose to pull out of the match. Wang Shixian will take on Juliane Schenk in the last 8. Saina Nehwal’s run this week ends even more abruptly than last week, with a three game defeat to Cheng Shao Chieh of Chinese Taipei who takes on the 6th seeded Tine Baun in the quarter finals. Wang Yihan is safely into the last 8 with two victories and takes on Yao Jie in the quarter finals after the Dutch woman defeated the 5th seeded Bae Youn Joo of Korea in two tight games.
There was another two seeded casualties in the men’s doubles, with Kido and Setiawan losing out to Endo and Hayakawa of Japan in two games to set up a quarter final against Lee and Jung of Korea, who have been impressive in their opening two matches. The second seed to crash out is the 8th seeded Ahsan and Septano, who lost out to Chinese qualifiers Shen and Hong to set up an all-Chinese quarter final against Cai and Fu. Germany’s pairing of Kindervater and Schoettler have been impressive this week and defeated the Danish pairing of Conrad-Petersen and Rasmussen to reach the last 8 this week and a chance to play the 7th seeded Chinese pairing of Chai and Guo.
All 7 seeds that started the week remain in the women’s doubles draw, with Indonesia’s Marissa and Melati making up the field. The top half of the draw has been fairly straight forward for the four pairs, with all winning in two games today. The bottom half has been much more competitive, with 6th seeded Ha and Kim needing three games to progress to their quarter final match against Jauhari and Polii. The 4th quarter final between Vislova and Sorokina and Fujii and Kakiiwa could be a battle of fitness, with both being involved in a lengthy and closely fought three game match to reach the last 8.
Asia dominates the mixed doubles field, with only Robertson and Wallwork stopping a complete monopoly on proceedings. The super-competitive top half has two fantastic quarter final matches, with top seeded Zhao and Zhang taking on their team-mates He and Yu in an all-Chinese match. Whilst the second quarter final sees the 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir take on the unseeded pairing of Lee and Ha, playing just their second event together. The Korean pair defeated the 7th seeded Mateusiak and Zieba to reach the last 8. The English pairing of Robertson and Wallwork will be the third British pairing to take on the 2nd seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam after the Thai pair defeated Adcock and Bankier in round 1, then Blair and White in round 2. Robertson and Wallwork will hope it is third time lucky for them.
2011 has started exactly the way that 2010 finished for Lee Chong Wei as he claimed his opening title of the year in a dominant performance of the 2nd seeded Taufik Hidayat. The one-sided final only confirmed the Malaysian’s gap over the rest of the field with a 21-8, 21-17 victory that could have been so much more one-sided than the scoreline suggests. After leading 16-8 in the second game Lee Chong Wei appeared to get overconfident and allowed Hidayat to claw his way almost back to even before he readjusted to close out the match.
Wang Shixian claimed the women’s single title over Wang Yihan in a two game encounter, with the 2nd seed never looking like losing the match and taking revenge for her defeat in this very competition to Wang Yihan last year. The top two ranked players in the world go into the Korean Open next week in a rich vein of form, with the world #2 Wang Shixian looking like the favourite next week.
Chai and Guo ended Conrad-Petersen and Ramussen’s unlikely run at the final hurdle as the 5th seeded Chinese pair defeated the Danes in a two-game, 41 minute match. It was the Chinese pairs first tournament together as a partnership and looks to be a solid one for the Chinese team for 2011. Also a notable performance for the Danish pair as this was their first Super Series final together.
Tian and Zhao were the surprise winners in the womens doubles, beating the on-form pairing of Wang and Yu in a three-game match lasting just 50 minutes. It is the first loss to Wang and Yu’s new partnership that started after the world championships that wasn’t the result of an injury.
Tian couldn’t make it two titles this week, losing in the mixed doubles final with partner Tao Jiaming to their Chinese team-mates and 7th seeded Ma and He. The match was the longest of the day at 64 minutes and was Ma and He’s first win over the 8th seeded Tian and Zhao in their third attempt.
The Chinese dominance has been the main talking point in Malaysia this week, but the local world number 1 has been quietly conducting his business under the radar this week. There may be 7 Chinese players or pairs in the final tomorrow, but the top seed in the mens singles will be the undoubted main attraction on finals day.
Lee Chong Wei’s 21-9, 21-9 victory over the 3rd seeded Chen Long was a statement of intent for 2011 as he edges ever close to his first title of 2011. His opponent in tomorrow’s final is the 2nd seeded Taufik Hidayat who won his all-Indonesian clash with Simon Santoso in two games also. Their 17th meeting tomorrow is a real barometer for the year ahead to see if Taufik has narrowed the gap to the elite two or if Lee Chong Wei domination continues into 2011.
Wang Yihan continued her streak over the top seeded Wang Xin to 4 matches in their semi final, with the 3rd seeded winning the first of the all-Chinese semi finals. Jiang Yanjiao couldn’t make it a pair of upsets in the second semi final, losing to the 2nd seeded Wang Shixian in two tight games. The final will be the 4th meeting between the two, with Wang Yihan leading the head-to-head 2-1.
The mens doubles boasts the last of the European interest this week, with the unseeded Conrad-Petersen and Rasmussen defeating their Japanese opponents, Kawamae and Sato in two games to book their place in the final. They will take on the 5th seeded Chai and Guo in the final after their win over the 6th seeded Ahsan and Septano of Indonesia in two games.
The women’s doubles sees 4 Chinese pairs come down to 2 for the final tomorrow, such is the strength and depth in this event. Ex-partners Ma and Jin battled, with the latter taking the victory with partner Yu in two tight games. The 6th seeds will take on the 8th seeded Zhao and Tian after their win over the 5th seeded Pan and Du in another tight two game match.
Tian would also reach the mixed doubles final with partner Jiaming after their two game victory over the British pair of White and Blair in one of the more comfortable victories of the day, winning 21-11, 21-15. They will take on another Chinese pair in Ma and He who were a game and 17-14 up in the second when the 6th seeded Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen were forced to retire.
With an invested interest in most of the matches today, the Chinese squad had plenty of reasons to be confident about progressing into several of tomorrow’s semi final matches. There were two all-Chinese matchups that didn’t take place, with Lin Xiu withdrawing from her match against Jiang Yanjiao and Lin Dan pulling out of his match against Chen Long, the second time in just over a month.
Lee Chong Wei’s run to the last 4 has been as impressive as ever, without the loss of a game to date and brushing aside the 8th seeded Tien Minh Nguyen in a one-sided two game matchup and the Malaysian’s sixth win over Nguyen in their 7 meetings. Taufik Hidayat disposed of Kenichi Tago in two games in his semi final and his reward is an all-Indonesian semi final against Simon Santoso. Chen Long will have to make the most of his extra day of rest as he takes on the top seeded Lee Chong Wei.
The women’s singles has turned into a four-women Chinese shootout for the title, with the top 4 seeds all progressing to this stage. Wang Xin takes on Wang Yihan whilst Wang Shixian takes on Jiang Yanjiao in tomorrow semi finals. Both of the matches tomorrow sees the lower seeded player with the better of their higher seeded opponent in their recent head to heads also.
Another seeded was toppled in the mens doubles, with Chandra and Gunawan losing out to Danish pair Conrad-Petersen and Rasmussen in a tight two game battle. The remaining two seeds will play each other in the second semi final, with 6th seeded Ahsan and Septano taking on Chai and Guo of China, the 5th seeds.
The women’s doubles has a similar feel to the singles, with all 4 pairings coming from China. Former partners Ma and Jin face off in their new pairings in the second of the semi finals, whilst the elder stateswomen of the Chinese game play in their first semi final with Zhao and Tian taking on Du and Pan for a place in Sunday’s final.
The European interest in the tournament has been poor in the previous four disciplines, but the mixed doubles can boast two couples from Europe. Unseeded pairing of Blair and White have been one of the stories of the week with their unlikely run in their first event taking them to the last 4 where they will play Jiaming and Tian, the 5th seeds from China. The other semi final sees the 7th seeded He and Ma take on the 6th seeded Danes, Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen who defeated the 3rd seeded Zhang and Zhao in China’s only defeat on quarter finals day.