Destination two for the Super Series takes the players to Kuala Lumpur and to world number 1 Lee Chong Wei’s homeland as he looks to successfully defend his title from 2012. A distinct lack of Chinese seeds throughout the draw has opened the opportunity for some of the lesser-known players to reach the latter stages this week.
Lee Chong Wei opened his campaign in spectacular style, demolishing Viktor Axelsen 21-8, 21-10 to set a marker for the rest of draw that he is in excellent form this week after his victory in Seoul on Sunday. Second seeded Kenichi Tago similarly had little problems in progressing to the second round but losses for Wang Zhengming and Tien Minh Nguyen in the first round has opened the draw out further with the 3rd seeded Nguyen losing in three games to Taufik Hidayat who could be a potential semi finalist against Lee Chong Wei.
Ratchanok and Schenk’s withdrawal ensured an even weaker draw in the women’s singles without any of the top Chinese players present this week. Top seed Saina Nehwal will not complain as she progressed into the second safely after a comfortable two-game victory. Tine Baun needed three games to defeat P.V. Sindhu in her second to last Super Series and will take on Sun Yu of China in the second round. The match of the second round will be the all-Korean clash between Sung Ji Hyun and Bae Yeon Ju after both recorded victories in their opening round matches. The lower ranking Bae holds a 2-1 advantage but Sung took their most recent matchup in the Korea Open two years ago.
Top seeded Koo and Tan set up an all-Malaysia second round match against Goh and Lim with a potential Malaysian opponent waiting in the next round in Hoon and Tan, seeded 5th this week. Lee and Ko are a potential semi final opponent, with the 6th seeded Korean’s defeating Fuchs smokeaway electronic cigarette and Roth of Germany in two games to reach the last 16. The only two Chinese pairs in the draw will meet in the second round with Qiu and Zhang taking on Chai and Liu in their first meeting.
The only top seeded Europeans, Pedersen and Rytter Juhl progressed in three games to set up a rare all-European match in the second round against Goliszewski and Michels of Germany. The second seeded Matsutomo and Takahashi dropped just 14 points on route to a second round match against England’s Olver and Robertshaw who benefitted from a retirement in their opening round match. Giving blood in the cause of reaching the second round is not common within badminton, but Jillie Cooper managed to do just that playing with Kirsty Gilmour on route to a two game victory over Ho and Yap of Malaysia. They take on the Korean pairing of Ko and Yoo in their second round match, who defeated the 7th seeded Jauhari and Polii of Indonesia. Two Chinese pairs remain massive threats for the title with Ma and Tang winning in three games and Bao and Tian needing three games also to reach the second round.
Chan and Goh survived a massive scare in their opening round match, needing to save three match points to remain in the competition against the Thai pairing of Prapakamol and Aroonkesorn. Their opponents in the second round are even more fortunate to be in the last 16, Pieler Kolding and Rytter Juhl saved seven match points over the course of two games to win 19-21, 24-22, 24-22 and ensure their place in the second round. The second seeded Danish pair of Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen take on a new Chinese pairing feature one half of the Olympic gold pairing of Zhao Yunlei and partner Qiu Zihan, who needed three games to progress past qualifers Lee and Chau of Hong Kong.
Day 1 Results:
There was disappointment for the Dutch as they failed to convert two chances for a title but there was plenty of celebration for the English as they took both their chances to claim two of the three doubles titles.
Pi and Chan Take Singles
Yan Kit Chan took just 31 minutes to end the resistance of Eric Pang in the men’s singles final, taking the title in two games 21-17, 21-19. Pi Hongyan was just as efficient in her victory over Kristina Gavnholt, taking just 35 minutes to claim her 21-13, 21-17 victory and the women’s singles title without the loss of a game this week.
English Take Two
Ivanov and Sozonov took the men’s doubles title in their 27 minute demolition over De Ruiter and Khodabux, winning 21-16, 21-9 to claim their first title of 2012. Agathangelou and Olver claimed the women’s doubles over Lee and Obanana of the USA in two games, with the 2nd seeds claiming the title 21-15, 21-12 for England’s first title of the day. Robertson and Wallwork claimed England’s second title in the mixed doubles with a victory over Pieler Kolding and Houmann in two games, winning 21-17, 21-17 to boost their chances of reaching the Olympics.
Only England and Holland can claim two titles on finals day in Stockholm, whilst the remaining six places in finals day are taken up by 6 different nationalities.
Axelsen and Lang Toppled
Viktor Axelsen fell at the quarter final stage in two games to Ville Lang, but the 5th seed couldn’t continue his form in his semi final. His three game defeat to Eric Pang was the 8th seed second victory over another seeded player on the day, taking out the 2nd seeded Kashyap Parupalli earlier in the day. Yan Kit Chan progressed into the final after a pair of three game victories, first taking out Christian Lind Thomson before defeating Raul Must in the semi final.
Gavnholt Takes On Pi
The unseeded Czech Kristina Gavnholt has been the star of the event this week, taking out Ai Goto in the second round and then continuing her stunning form with a victory over Anastasia Prokopenko to reach the last 4. She ended any chance of an all-French final with her victory over Sashina Vignes Waran in the semi final to set up a final against Pi Hongyan. The 2nd seed has failed to drop a game on route to the final, with Germany’s Karin Schnaase being her toughest opponent to date but still winning comfortably 21-13, 21-12.
English Threat In Doubles
Unseeded Dutch pair of De Ruiter and Khodabux take on the 2nd seeded Russian pairing of Ivanov and Sozonov in the men’s doubles final. The Dutch pair defeated two Danish pairings to reach the final and have also dropped just a single game to date. The Russian have been equally as impressive, dropping a single game this week in their quarter final against the pairing of Magee and Elbjorn on route to the final.
The women’s doubles sees the 2nd seeded English pair of Agathangelou and Olver take on the American pairing of Lee and Obanana. The English pair have not dropped a game to date having spent just over 90 minutes on court. The American pairing ended the run of the 4th seeded Wallwork and White in the 2nd round before defeating another British pairing in the semi final, this time beating the Scottish pair of Cooper and Gilmour in two tight games.
The highly anticipated rematch between Wallwork and Robertson against Bankier and Adcock never materialised, with the 4th seeded Pieler Colding and Houmann ending the top seeds run at the semi final stage. Robertson and Wallwork however did reach the final, defeating their Danish opponents Sorensen and Kjaersfeldt in three games to book their place in tomorrow’s final.
The day threatened to be a precession of English victories, that turned out not to be the case in Lisburn as a double defeat ensured just two titles for England on finals day.
Mills and Olver first final was the mixed doubles, which turned out to be one of the most one-sided of the completed matches. Their 21-19, 21-17 victory over Khodabux and Piek ensured at least one title for the English pair as they took on their level doubles finals later in the day. There was a shock brewing in the women’s singles, as teenager Carolina Marin took the opening game against Pai Hsiao Ma before the Chinese Taipei player found her form and completed a comeback in 58 minutes, winning 12-21, 21-19, 21-7.
Rajiv Ouseph claimed his second title in three weeks, albeit through a retirement from Przemyslaw Wacha at the second game interval. The match was never close as the Englishman took the title 21-15 and was leading 11-5 in the second game. The Malaysian’s Ng and Ng claimed their second title in two games with a victory over Olver and Agathangelou after dropping in the opening game, however faught back to take the title 14-21, 21-16, 21-11. Peter Mills also failed in his quest for two titles this week as he partnered Marcus Ellis, but the Polish top seeds of Cwalina and Logosz were too strong on the day, winning 21-15, 21-15 to take the men’s doubles title.
The three week stretch of the European Tour of Scotland, Wales and Ireland has featured a lot of the same names throughout, with the English squad dominating in Ireland this week.
Rajiv Ouseph has already won the Scottish International recently and will hope for title number 2 against the Pole Przemyslaw Wacha in tomorrow’s final. It will be their fourth meeting, with Wacha claiming victory in all of their previous meetings. Ouseph defeated Ville Lang and Mathieu Lo Ying Ping to ensure his place in the final whilst Wacha beat two seeds in Dicky Palyama and Dmytro Zavadsky to reach the final. Spanish teenager Carolina Marin is through the women’s singles final against Pai Hsiao Ma of Chinese Taipei, with Marin defeating the 3rd seeded Linda Zechiri to reach the final. The 4th seeded Pai defeated the top seeded Pi Hongyan in her semi final match in two games to book her place against Marin tomorrow.
The Malaysian pair of Ng and Ng have had a successful run of recently with a victory in Wales last week and beaten finalists in Scotland the week before. Their opponents in tomorrow’s final is the 3rd seeded Agathangelou and Olver, who defeated the top seeded Damkjaer Kruse and Roepke in the semi finals. Ellis and Mills will also hope to go one better than in Glasgow two weeks previously in the men’s doubles final as the unseeded pair take on the top seeded Logosz and Cwalina, who have been on court just 63 minutes on route to tomorrow’s final. The mixed doubles final sees two unseeded pairs with Ellis and Olver reaching their seconds finals of the week, where they will take on the Dutch pair of Khodabux and Piek tomorrow.
Around this time last year the badminton world sat in awe of the young Viktor Axelsen after he brushed aside on opponent after another on his way to his first ever senior international final. Now the Dane is back in familiar territory as he has found himself once again in the final of the Swedish International, and this time with a much less formidable opponent, an opponent who Axelsen easily disposed of earlier this fall. The last time Pablo Abian played Viktor he lost 21-10, 21-7. Hopefully for the crowd this time around will be a much closer match. Abian has played well this week with a big win over the tall Dutch shuttler Eric Pang in three exceedingly close games 21-19, 19-21, 21-18. Axelsen’s semi-final was less hostile as he defeated Kestutis Navickas 21-13, 21-14.
The women’s final should hold much less drama and excitement as both finalists hail from Japan. Nevertheless respect is owed to both players who were required to overcome formidable opponents on their way to this stage. Qualifier Mayu Sekiya defeated the top seed Judith Meulendijks in the second round, as well as third seed Susan Egelstaff to earn her finals spot. Her compatriot Kaori Imebeppu defeated the female phenom Carolina Marin in her semi-final match 19-21, 21-16, 21-8 to earn her final spot.
In the mens doubles it appears that Denmark has much talent ready and waiting to fill the places of their top pairs should they retire anytime soon. With Axelsen shining in the mens singles it looks like yet another young Dane is showing promise as Rasmus Fladberg and his partner Kim Astrup Sorensen have made their way into the finals after defeating Andi Hartono Tandaputra and Gert Kunka 21-18, 21-16. On a side note Fladberg is the son of previous doubles world champion Steen Fladberg. They will now face off against Lukasz Moren and Wojciech Szkudlarczyk who made their way through by defeating another Danish pair, Mats Bue and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen 21-15, 11-21, 22-20.
In the womens doubles we have the only top seed to survive through to finals day as Japans Rie Eto and Yu Wakita have gone on relatively unchallenged thus far. They won relatively comfortably against Maria Helsbol and Anne Skelbaek 21-11, 21-13 in their semi-final match. They will now place another Danish pair Line Damkjaer Kruse and Maria Ropke who defeated second seeds Heather Olver and Mariana Agathangelou due to a withdrawal part way through the match.
Heather Olver does however have an opportunity to make up for her disappointment in the doubles as she has found herself in the mixed final alongside partner Robin Middleton. Olver and Middleton defeated Imam Sodikin Irawan and Cecilia Bjuner in three games 15-21, 21-12, 21-10. Their opponents will be the Dutch pair Dave Khodabux and Samantha Barning. Khodabux and Barning defeated Ireland’s Sam and Chloe Magee 21-16, 21-18.
After a quiet last few weeks the EBU circuit is back in action again this week in Stockholm for the Swedish International 2011. In both the men’s and women’s singles events the Dutch have taken the top spots with Eric Pang and Judith Meulendijks sitting atop their respective draws.
Pang starts off his men’s singles campaign with a tough first round encounter against Ukrainian Dmytro Zavadsky who is known to be a scrappy contender. Seeded second here is Lithuanian Kestutis Navickas who will likely face off against Denmark’s Peter Mikkelsen in the second round. Mikkelsen surprisingly had to qualify, but was promoted to the main draw. Other notables in the men’s draw include Pablo Abian of Spain, Ville Lang of Finland and of course all eyes will be on the young Danish world junior champion, Viktor Axelsen. This time last year Axelsen gained attention by making it to the finals and upsetting numerous strong opponents on his way.
Meulendijks first major challenge will likely come in the quarter-finals against Denmark’s Karina Jorgensen who is fifth seeded. Their half of the draw also holds Scotland’s Susan Egelstaff who appears to be a strong favourite to come through to the semi-finals stage. The second seed Larisa Griga has an especially difficult starting match as she faces off against Spanish phenom Carolina Marin, a match which from the looks of things should be the toughest match on that half of the draw.
The men’s doubles draw lacks the usual punch expected in an EBU event with few big names present. The top seeds are France’s Baptiste Careme and Sylvain Grosjean, while the second seeds are Russia’s Vitalij Durkin and Alexander Nikolaenko. Of note is the large contingent of French players in the doubles draw as four pairs are present.
Japan look to be the favourites in the womens doubles with Rie Eto and Yu Wakita in the top seeded position, however England’s Heather Olver and Marian Agathangelou will be trying to upset the Japanese pair. Japan also has another couple of pairs lurking unseeded in the draws, as does Denmark, so don’t be surprised to see a couple of upsets in the earlier rounds.
Finally in the mixed doubles it’s the Ukrainian pair of Valerly Atrashchenkov and Elena Prus taking the top spot while Baptiste Careme and Laura Choinet are second seeds. England’s Robin Middleton and Heather Olver are unseeded, and no doubt a threat regardless of their lack of seeding. Ireland’s Sam and Chloe Magee are also strong threats in the fourth seed position.
For full draws and ongoing results be sure to check back here again tomorrow, and also have a look at the draw page below:
The partnership of Adcock and Bankier might be a new one, but the history of the players gave you an idea that it would be a successful one. Bankier reached #12 in the world with Robert Blair in 2008/9 and Adcock has been part of the GB Olympic set-up for a number of years.
They wasted little time in Ireland securing their second title in three weeks with a two game, 26 minute victory over Skovgaard and Andersen of Denmark, winning 21-13, 21-11. Scottish success was doubled as 2nd seeded Susan Egelstaff won her first title of 2010, defeating a Dane of her own in Karina Jorgensen, winning 23-21, 21-8.
The men’s singles was a much tighter affair, with Vittinghus and Abian sharing the opening two games and the third going all the way to 20-20 and beyond. It was the top seeded Dane that eventually came through, taking the third game 23-21 in their 57 minute matchup, which would be the longest match of the day.
The women’s doubles seen the top 2 seeds in the final, with Denmark doubling it’s tally for the week as 2nd seeded Heisbol and Skelbaek defeated the top seeded English duo of Olver and Agathangelou in a three-game, 48 minute matchup with the Danes winning in the third 21-15. Chris Adcock doubled his tally of wins in Ireland as he and partner Andrew Ellis defeated their more experienced team-mate Anthony Clark and his partner Chris Landridge in the men’s doubles final, with Ellis and Adcock winning 21-13, 21-16.
Another two match day awaited the remaining players on Day 2, for some it could potentially mean four matches over two events. Chloe Magee fantastic win over the top seeded Elizabeth Cann put her through to the semi finals, only to be defeated by Karina Jorgensen in a tame two game match. The mixed doubles was a similar story for Magee, as her and partner Sam Magee defeated the English pairing of Middleton and Olver in the quarter finals but lost out to the Danish pair of Skovgaard and Andersen in a two game defeat leaving Ireland with no representatives on finals day.
The men’s singles final sees the top seeded Hans-Kristian Vittinghus take on 8th seeded Pablo Abian of Spain. Vittinghus won his all-Danish quarter final against Peter Mikkelsen and then went out to defeat the 3rd seeded Frenchman, Matthieu Lo Ping Ying to book his place in tomorrow’s final. Abian defeated the 4th Rune Ulsing in his quarter final match then defeated the 7th seeded Ville Lang in two games to reach the final. Karina Jorgensen’s opponent in the women’s singles final is the 2nd seeded Susan Egelstaff of Scotland after wins over Ragna Ingolfsdottir of Iceland in the quarter finals and then a tight two game victory over Spain’s Carolina Marin.
The men’s doubles final is an all-English affair, with two unseeded pairs making the final. Adcock and Ellis defeated two Danish pairs, including the 3rd seeded Elbjorn and Skovgaard in the semi finals whilst the other pair of Clark and Middleton defeated the German pair of Heinz and Schulz in the last 8 before beating the 2nd seeded Careme and Grosjean to reach tomorrow’s final.
The women’s doubles final sees the top two seeds meeting, with top seeds Agathangelou and Olver taking on the Danish 2nd seeds Heisbol and Skelbaek. The English pair were taken to three games in their quarter final against Fangel and Sorensen before winning their semi final in convincing fashion to reach the final. Heisbol and Skelbaek dropped their first game of the week in their semi final over Lefel and Luttmann but bounced back to take the next two games. Chris Adcock reached his second final this week with partner Imogen Bankier and the pair look for their second title in three weeks after winning the Scottish Open late last month, the pair take on the Danish pair of Skovgaard and Andersen in the final.
Two matches on the first day is always tough but is almost a mainstay of the EBU circuit, it is often a day that determines the winner with the players who come through the opening two rounds in the quickest possible time on court. Only three of the 8 remaining players in the men’s singles won in two straight games for both matches and just two in the women’s singles.
Irish hopes ended in the men’s singles at the second round, with 2nd seeded Scott Evans losing out to Gabriel Ulldahl in a tame two game defeat that was on court just 30 minutes. Top seeded Hans-Kristian Vittinghus has struggled through his opening two matches with both matches going to three games, he takes on Peter Mikkelsen in an all-Danish quarter final who has been impressive in his opening two rounds, winning both in two games. 7th seeded Spainard Pablo Abian is another player who impressed on the opening day, winning both his matches in two games and will take on the 4th seeded Dane, Rune Ulsing for place in the last 4. Scottish Open runner-up Ville Lang has also breezed through into the last 8 and takes on the Swede Ulldahl in his quarter final match.
7 seeds remain of the 8 in the women’s singles, with European junior champion Carolina Marin making up the quarter final lineup. Marin defeated the 7th seed Prutsch in her opening round and another victory against French qualifier Marie Maunoury sees her into the last 8 against Karin Schnaase of Germany. The top 2 seeds also battled through to the last 8, Elizabeth Cann struggled in her opening round match before finding form in her two game win over Nanna Brosolat Jensen in her second round match whilst 2nd seeded Susan Egelstaff defeated last weeks winner Anita Raj Kaur in three games in her opening round before beating Perrine Lebuhanic to set up her quarter final with Ragna Ingolfsdottir of Iceland. Chloe Magee of Ireland is also through to the last 8 after two victories and takes on the top seeded Cann in the quarter finals.
Top seeded French pair Constantin and Vincent crashed out at the second round in the men’s doubles, losing to Denmark’s Bue and Rasmussen who will play the unseeded Adcock and Ellis of England in the last 8. The 2nd seeded French pair of Careme and Grosjean did come through the opening day and face their own Danish opponents in the quarter finals in Mork and Winther. The pair to look out for in the event though is the English pair of Landridge and Clark who have breezed into the last 8. Clark is not in Hong Kong playing with usual partner Nathan Robertson and this new pairing has the potential to go all the way this week.
The women’s doubles has been marred with a mass of withdrawals but the top seeded Agathangelou and Olver are safely into the last 8 with second seeds Heisbol and Skelbaek also through. The 3rd seeded Belgian pair of Annys and Corvilain crashed out in the second round to the French pair of Lefel and Luttman. The 4th seeded St Jacques and Lavoie are also into the last 8 after a win over Latvian pair of Pope and Sefere.
Scottish Open winners Adcock and Bankier’s excellent run continued as they defeated the top seeded Gao and Ng in their second round match to progress to the last 8. There has been little problems for the other 3 seeds to date, but the two Magee’s from Ireland face a tough task in their quarterfinal taking on Olver and Middleton for a place in the last 4. Croatian 4th seeded Durkinjak and Poznanovic have also been impressed as they have reached the last 8 with dropping a game.