Wang Shixian suffered a second defeat to Juliane Schenk in the matter of months as the world #2 continues her erratic form of late, after a convincing victory last week against Schenk, the German defeated her Chinese opponent in two games today.
The top four seeds all safely progressed into the semi finals in the men’s singles, setting up two excellent matches. The all-Chinese semi final between Lin Dan and Chen Long has been a one sided one in their previous two matchup but both of those were over a year ago and won by Lin Dan. The other semi final sees Lee Chong Wei against Peter Gade play for the 15th time, with the Malaysian winning 13 of the 14 encounters previously. The world number 1 was taken to three games today against Kenichi Tago whilst Gade has failed to drop any matches to date. The Dane will look to any advantage to claim his second victory over Lee Chong Wei.
The up and down form of Wang Shixian took another dip today in her two game defeat to Juliane Schenk, edging their overall head to head ever closer with the Chinese player holding a mere 3-2 advantage now. Saina Newhal takes on Schenk in the semi final after a straight forward two game victory over Gu Juan. The other semi final is an all-Chinese clash with top seeded Wang Yihan taking on the 21-year old Liu Xin, touted to be one of the future stars of the Chinese game.
The men’s doubles has four of the top six seeds remaining, with Cai and Fu taking on Koo and Tan in the first semi final in their 12th encounter with the Chinese pair winning seven of the previous twelve. The other semi final is an all-Indonesian affair, with Ahsan and Septano taking on Kido and Setiawan, with the 6th seeded pair defeating the Korean pair of Lee and Ko in the quarter finals to reach this point in the tournament.
The women’s doubles semi finals are a stark contrast to previous events, with one Chinese pair as well as two unseeded pairs remaining at this stage. The 3rd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa are the highest seeds left in the draw and take on Chinese’s sole pair in the semi finals in Yixin and Zhong, who defeated the 6th seeded Naito and Matsuo in three games to reach the semi finals. Chen and Chien are the second seeds left in the draw, with the 5th seeds taking on Poon and Tse of Hong Kong who defeated the Danish pair of Pedersen and Rytter Juhl to reach the other semi final.
The highly anticipated match between Zhang and Zhao against Xu and Ma was a disappointment, but the match was completed after two abrupt endings with the top seeds progressing in two games. They will take on Chen and Cheng of Chinese Taipei in the semi final after their victory over Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in their quarter final match. An all-European semi final awaits for the first time in recent memory in the Super Series with Denmark’s Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen taking on the German pairing of Fuchs and Michels for a place in Sunday’s final.
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.
The second of three events in June takes the world’s best to Singapore, with only Lee Chong Wei missing from the men’s singles field. China have all of their big names here this week ahead of next week’s Premier Series event in Indonesia too.
Taufik Hidayat is the top seed this week with Lee Chong Wei’s absence and could face a real battle to progress this week with three Chinese players in his half of the draw. Wang Zhengming likely waits in the second round with Bao Chunlai and Chen Long looming should the Indonesian progress into the weekend. Viktor Axelsen gets a second shot at Wong Choong Hann inside of a week and world champion Chen Jin is unseeded this week and is also in the top half of the draw. Lin Dan is the 2nd seed this week and starts his campaign aganinst Shon Wan Ho before likely taking on the winner of Jan O Jorgensen and Kenichi Tago. Peter Gade starts his campaign this week against Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia before likely quarter final match against Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand.
Saina Nehwal begins her campaign this week against Lu Lan, again. The 4th seeded Indian also has Tine Baun in her half of the draw, but the top seed is China’s Wang Shixian who could face Wang Lin in an all-Chinese 2nd round match. Wang Yihan and Wang Xin are the big threats from the bottom half of the draw, but there is unseeded threats in the way of Ai Goto, Eriko Hirose, Yao Jie and Pi Hongyan.
The big shock in the men’s doubles is the pre-event withdrawal of top seeded Danish pair Boe and Mogensen, with the pair in a poor run of form since their performance at the Sudirman Cup. The main beneficiaries are the 3rd seeded Ko and Yoo whose run in the top half of the draw has become all the more easier. The bottom half of the draw is headlined by Lee and Jung, seeded 2 and the 4th seeded Cai and Fu of China, who are set to meet at the semi final stages this week. The match to look out for tomorrow is the 6th seeded Kido and Setiawan taking on the unseeded Bach and Gunawan in the opening round.
With no Wang and Yu this week, the Japanese pair of Maeda and Suetsuna are top seeds this week. However they face a new Chinese partnership in Ma and Pan who are both accomplished players within the Chinese ranks and are playing their first event together. Tian and Zhao, last weeks winners in Thailand are also in the top half of the draw. The 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa have less competitive half of the draw, with only Jauhari and Polii, Ha and Kim and Vislova and Sorokina as main threats to the Japanese pair.
The top half of the mixed doubles is loaded with potential winners, from the top seeded Zhang and Zhao to 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir and countless unseeded pairings capable of putting a good run this week together. Hashimoto and Fujii, He and Yu, Xu and Ma, Lee and Ha, Widianto and Marissa as well as Nikolaenko and Sorokina are all in the top half of the draw. The bottom half as a distinct European feel to it, from the 3rd seeded Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen as well as the 5th seeded Laybourn and Rytter Juhl of Denmark. There are three British pairs in Robertson and Wallwork, Adcock and Bankier as well as German Open winners White and Blair but there is still a Chinese threat in the 6th seeded Jiaming and Tian.
Few expected the results on finals day in Hong Kong as the Chinese juggernaut was tamed for the first time in recent memory with two stand out performances. There is no doubting Lee Chong Wei’s credentials as the world number 1 at the moment in the men’s singles with his performance this year and he added the Hong Kong title to his list of achievements this year with a 21-19, 21-9 win over the 3rd seeded Taufik Hidayat in just 31 minutes.
Few expected Saina Nehwal to pose much of a threat to Wang Shixian, even though the Indian was seeded higher in Hong Kong. Their only meeting previously resulted in a 21-8, 21-14 win for the Chinese player and it looked to be going that way again with Wang Shixian taking the opener 21-15. However the Commonwealth champion faught back to take the 2nd and then continued her excellent form to stun the 3rd seed in a 71 minute encounter which could be the future of things to come in the women’s game in 2011 with the Chinese ranks in the women’s singles being so open, with no outright number 1 player.
Ko and Yoo pulled off their own shock in the men’s doubles final, as they defeated Kido and Setiawan in a three game, 52 minute match that the 6th seeded Koreans took 23-21 in the third to bolster Korea’s strength in this discipline. Wang and Yu were the class act in the women’s doubles and then impressive run continued in the final with a 21-11, 21-12 victory over the top seeded Chien and Cheng of Chinese Taipei.
The week ended on a downer for the Chinese squad as they lost their second final of the day, this time in the mixed doubles as Pedersen and Fischer Nielsen pulled off another impressive win after their victory over Xu and Yu in the semi finals, this time defeating the 5th seeded Zhang and Zhao in a toughly faught 67-minute matchup, with the Danes winning 22-20 in the third.
After the withdrawal of Chen Jin and Lin Dan earlier in the week, the tournament needed a show final in the men’s singles. The top seeds left in the due delivered in their semi final matches. Lee Chong Wei’s 21-14, 21-17 win over the 8th seeded Tien Minh Nguyen put the top seed into the final and was joined later that evening by the 3rd seeded Taufik Hidayat, who defeated China’s Chen Long in a three-game, 69 minute encounter that Hidayat battled back from an opening game defeat to win and reach the final.
Wang Xin has been excellent in recent months when playing against any other players apart from just two, one of those players is Wang Shixian and it was the 3rd seed who defeated top seeded Wang Xin for the second week running to reach the women’s singles final, she will play the 2nd seeded Saina Nehwal who has continued her excellent form from her Commonwealth Games gold in October. The Indian defeated Juliane Schenk in three games to set up her second meeting against Wang Shixian, the first being a comprehensive win for the Chinese 3rd seed at the World Championships in August.
Lee and Jung will not make it two titles in two weeks as they lost in their semi finals to the 2nd seeded Kido and Setiawan in a tight two game match, the Indonesian pair take on another Korean pair in tomorrow’s final as Ko and Yoo beat the 2005 world champions Bach and Gunawan of the USA in two games to reach the final. Top seeded Cheng and Chien are through to the final of the women’s doubles after defeating the 3rd seeded Vislova and Sorokina in three games, taking just 39 minutes to complete. The top seeds take on the Chinese pair of Yu and Wang who demolished their Chinese team-mates and 5th seeded Pan and Tian in a 21-9, 21-8 victory in just 23 minutes, the pair have not dropped a game and have been on court just 91 minutes on route to the final.
The All-England champions Zhang and Zhao are through to the final this week after a two game win over Chien and Lee in their semi final and will take on the Danish pair of Pedersen and Fischer Nielsen who defeated the Chinese pair of Xu and Yu in three games, but the Danes made hard work of the third game as their 16-8 lead was brought back to 19-19 before regaining the lead and taking the match 21-19 in the third game.
Lee Chong Wei against Lin Dan was the perfect final for the final match of the Asian Games, with the Malaysian’s last hope for gold lying with the world #1. China had secured the first two golds in the women’s singles and women’s doubles and looked for gold number 3 and 4 on the last day of the Badminton.
Tian and Zhao won China’s first gold on Friday evening, defeating Wang and Yu in three games to ensure a gold and silver for China in the opening final. Wang Shixian defeated Wang Xin in the women’s singles final in two games after an a couple of impressive wins over Ai Goto and Yip Pui Yin before defeating her Chinese team mate. Wang Xin was also in excellent form over the week, especially in her 21-7, 21-15 win over Eriko Hirose in the semi final.
Malaysia’s first chance at gold came in the men’s doubles final with Koo and Tan taking on Indonesia’s Kido and Setiawan. The Indonesian pair had scrapped their way into the final, with every one of their games going to three games to reach the final. Koo and Tan had survived their own three game matchup against Hirata and Hashimoto in the quarter finals. The final, unsurprisingly went to three games and the experts of three game victories, Kido and Setiawan took gold in three tight games, winning 16-21, 26-24, 21-19.
Lee Hyo Jung won another major title, this time without Lee Yong Dae as her mixed doubles partner. This time, it was Shin Baek Cheol in the mixed doubles who defeated Zhang and Zhao in an excellent two game victory as China failed to win gold number 3 at the games.
However, Lin Dan would secure gold number 3 for China. After an impressive run to the final, he would meet world #1 Lee Chong Wei who had to battle through two matches that went the full distance, including a semi final against Chen Jin. Lin Dan secured the opening game 21-13 before Lee Chong Wei fought back to win the second game, 21-15. However, it was the Lin Dan of old that showed up in the deciding game to secure his first Asian Games gold medal, taking the final game 21-10 to win China’s 3rd individual gold of the games.
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.
This week turned into an opportunity for Zhou Mi to win her first ranking event of 2010 but was defeated by unseeded Li Xuerui to continue her winless streak this year. The women’s singles final will be contested by another unseeded player, Indonesia’s Adriyanti Firdasari is through to tomorrow’s final after a two game victory in her semi final.
Lee Chong Wei dropped his first game of the week, but fought back to win his semi final encounter against Simon Santoso, the 4th seed from Indonesia. He will play the unseeded Lee Hyun Il in the final, a player who only made it into the main draw after Peter Gade’s withdrawal earlier in the week. The Korean defeated the 5th seeded Boonsak Ponsana in two games to book his place in tomorrow’s final against the World #1.
There was yet another shock, this time in the men’s doubles as Ko and Yoo defeated the 2nd seeds, Kido and Setiawan to book their place in tomorrows final against the 3rd seeds, Chandra and Gunawan. They defeated the other unseeded Korean pair of Cho and Kwon in their semi final to book their place in tomorrow’s final.
The top seeds in the women’s doubles are out also, Maeda and Suetsuna were defeated by last weeks winners in the US, Cheng and Chien of Chinese Taipei. The 3rd seeds will play the 5th seeds Jauhari and Polii of Indonesia who ended the hopes of the 6th seeds, Zhang and Zhang of Macau. The mixed doubles is an all-Indonesian final, with top seeds Gunawan and Marissa taking on Ahmad and Natsir. The 6th seeds ended the impressive run of another Indonesian pair, Teng and Bernadet.
It was a bad day to be the 3rd seed in both singles events as both fell at the quarter final stage today. Eriko Hirose lost in the women’s singles to unseeded Adriyanti Firdasari of Indonesia in two games whilst Sony Kuncoro lost out to the 5th seeded Boonsak Ponsana in three tight games, losing 25-23 in the final game in 77 minutes.
Lee Chong Wei had no such problems in his two game win over Wan Ho Shon of Korea, his fourth straight victory without the loss of a game this week. In the semi final, he will play 4th seed Simon Santoso after his stunning 21-6, 21-5 victory over Wing Ki Wong of Hong Kong. The other semi final sees Boonsak Ponsana take on the Korean qualifier Lee Hyun Il who defeated the 13th seed Hsieh Yu Hsing of Chinese Taipei.
The women’s singles draw has just one seed remaining in Zhou Mi, the 4th seed defeated on-form Ai Goto in two games to book her place in the semi final against unseeded Li Xuerui of China, who defeated Macau’s Wang Rong in three games to book her place in the last 4. The other semi final sees Adriyanti Firdasari take on Chinese Taipei’s unseeded Shao Chieh Cheng, who profited in the women’s doubles from Lee Hyo Jung’s retirement in the opening round.
Shao Chieh Cheng’s run in the women’s doubles ended today with a tight two game loss to 6th seeded Zhang and Zhang of Macau. The Macau pair take on Jauhrai and Polii of Indonesia in the semi finals after the 5th seeds defeated 2nd seeed Chin and Wong of Malaysia. The two highest seeded pairs remaining in the draw play each other in the other semi final, as top seeds Maeda and Suetsuna of Japan play Cheng and Chien of Chinese Taipei, the 3rd seeds and last weeks winners in the US Open.
The top 2 seeds from the men’s doubles are still in the competition and are joined in the last 4 by two unseeded Korean pairs. 2nd seeded Kido and Setiawan, who have failed to drop a game this week take on Ko and Yoo of Korean who defeated Endo and Hayakawa 22-20 in the third of their quarter final match. The other Korean pair, Cho and Kwon take on the 3rd seed Chandra and Gunawan in the last 4 for a place in Sunday’s final.
The mixed doubles is between 3 Indonesian pairs and a Thai partnership. Top seed Gunawan and Marissa take on the 8th seeds Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam of Thailand, who have yet to drop a game on route to the last 4. The other semi final is an all-Indonesian match between 6th seeded Ahmad and Natsir against the on-form unseeded pair of Teng and Bernadet who have defeated two seeds on route to the last 4 without the loss of a game to date.