Sony Kuncoro’s quest for a second title in two weeks ended today at the hands of the top seed, Lee Chong Wei delivered a resounding 21-13, 21-9 victory over the 7th seeded Indonesian to rob the locals of a potential all-Indonesian final. They did get one player into the final, 2nd seeded Taufik Hidayat defeated the 3rd seeded Tien Minh Nguyen in two games to set up a final between the top two seeds in the singles draw. Saina Nehwal is into her second final in 7 days with a fabulous 21-10, 21-9 victory over Eriko Hirose of Japan to book her place in tomorrow’s final. Nehwal plays another Japanese player in the final as Sayaka Sato defeated unseeded Indonesian Ana Rovita in two games to book her place in the final.
The men’s doubles will be an unseeded affair, with Cho and Kwon taking out the 6th seeded Hashimoto and Hirata to book their place in the final. The Korean’s will take on Fang and Lee of Chinese Taipei who defeated Clark and Robertson in their semi final encounter. Both pairs came back from a game behind in their respective matches to win in three games. The mixed doubles final will be without it’s top seed and local superstars Widianto and Natsir as they suffered a three game defeat to Poland’s Zieba and Mateusiak, the 3rd seeds. There is still some local interest the final as the partnership of Anastacia Russkikh and Hendra Setiawan defeated the 7th seeded Ko and Ha of Korea to book their place in the final. For the second Super Series running, there will be a European winner in the mixed doubles.
This week’s Super Series gives some of the top seeds from last week a chance to redeem themselves but also allows some unlikely winners an opportunity to continue their excellent vein of form. Peter Gade has returned to Denmark to prepare for the World Championships but there is still an excellent turnout of the world’s top players. Lee Chong Wei will hope for a better week than in Singapore as the top seed looks to regain the form that took him to All-England success in March. Peter Gade may not be in the draw, but Taufik Hidayat is a more than acceptable replacement for the Dane as the 2nd seed this week. Last weeks beaten finalist Boonsak Ponsana is also in the draw, seeded 4th and last weeks winner Sony Kuncoro is the 7th seed this week. There is also some young hopefuls in the draw, such as 5th seeded Jan O Jorgensen and 8th seeded Kenichi Tago.
Saina Nehwal has a fantastic chance to repeat the success from last week as she is the top seed and Pi Hongyan, seeded 2 has withdrawn pre-tournament. Zhou Mi has been unable to consistently win at the Super Series level but the 3rd seed is a handful for any player on her day. Eriko Hirose will want to put her first round defeat last week behind her, the Japanese #1 is seeded 4 for the event.
Koo and Tan are the top seeds in the men’s doubles and hope to go a lot further than their second round defeat last week. 2nd seeded Kido and Setiawan will want to go one better than their loss in the final on Sunday in Singapore. Bach and Gunawan of the USA are the 5th seeds this week and will look to build on a solid performance last week in Singapore.
The top two seeds in the mixed doubles are set for a rematch this week as Widianto and Natsir are seeded 1 and Laybourn and Rytter Juhl are the 2nd seeds this week. Lee Hyo Jung continues with her new partner Kim Min Jung and they are seeded 5 for the event. The 6th seeded Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork will want to put their shock first round defeat from last week behind them with a solid performance this week.
The three-month absence of Super Series badminton ends this week when the worlds best converge in Singapore for the 5th Super Series event of 2010. With the World Championships just three months away, the top players will be looking to play their way into winning form before Paris in late August.
The draw however is without a large Chinese attendance, with the squad likely in a 3-month training camp ahead of the World Championships. The draw is still laden with world-class players such as #1 seed Lee Chong Wei in the men’s singles. The 2010 All England Champion plays Brice Leverdez of France in his opening match. The European threat will come from #2 seed, Peter Gade. The current European champions starts with a tough match against Andre Tedjono of Indonesia. Kenichi Tago’s fantastic 2010 has been rewarded with the Japanese player earning the #8 this week; he begins with a first round match against Hsieh Yu Hsing of Chinese Taipei.
Saina Nehwal is the #1 seed in the women’s singles, with the Indian beginning his campaign against Wong Mew Choo of Malaysia. Tine Rasmussen is the #2 seed, as she returns to a full schedule after missing most of the 2009 with injury. She begins her campaign against Aditl Mutatkar of India. The sole “big name” Chinese representative is the 2009 World Champion, Lu Lan. The Chinese #4 seed begins her campaign against one of the stars of the Thomas Cup for Japan, Ai Goto.
The men’s doubles is without the Chinese powerhouses of Cai and Fu as well as Lee Yong Dae but the draw is still packed with excellent players. The #1 seeds are Koo and Tan who begin their week against Kim and Shin of Korea. Kido and Setiawan are seeded 2 and begin against the talented Japanese duo of Hayakawa and Kazuno, but in their previous meeting in the Thomas Cup, Kido and Setiawan demolished the duo 21-11, 21-9. The #3 and #4 seeds are battling for their own personal reasons, to be Denmark’s #1 partnership. Boe and Mogensen are the #3 seeds this week and begin against Ellis and Mills of England; whilst the #4 seeded Paaske and Rasmussen take on the new Chinese pair of Liu and Qiu. Qiu reached the Asian Championship Semi Final in the mixed with partner Tian Qing.
The mixed doubles is littered with potential winners, from the top seeded Widianto and Natsir to the new Korean pair of Shin and Lee seeded 7. The current world champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl are also in the draw seeded #2. Widianto and Natsir begin against Delbo Larsen and Schjott-Kristiensen of Denmark in round 1. The #8 seeded Wallwork and Robertson could have an all-English match in Round 2 against White and Blair if both come through their opening matches.
China made it four in a row with convincing win over Indonesia with Lin Dan back at his imperious best.
The Lin Dan of old reappeared yesterday against Lee Chong Wei and many expected a repeat performance against Taufik Hidayat in the opening singles of the Thomas Cup final. It didn’t take long to receive an answer as Lin Dan took an 11-1 lead into the interval of the first game, Hidayat attempted a comeback but the deficit was too great as Lin Dan took the opening game 21-7. The second started as a much tighter affair, but Lin Dan pushed ahead just before the interval in the second game to lead 11-6 and refused to led the Indonesian back into the match and stretched his lead before taking the match on the first of his match points, taking the second game and match 21-7, 21-14.
Cai and Fu played Kido and Setiawan in the opening of the doubles matches, with the Indonesians starting the best of the two pairings taking an 11-6 lead to the opening interval. Cai and Fu responded by stringing six points together to turn a 12-15 deficit into an 18-15 lead and then had three chances to win the opening game, only to let them slip away and then passed up a 4th chance to win the game before Kido and Setiawan also blew their chance to win the opening game, Cai and Fu missed out with their 5th chance before taking the game on the sixth attempt, 25-23. The second game was testament to the Indonesian pair as they dominated the game and never gave Cai and Fu a chance to lead after the interval in the second game, as Kido and Setiawan took the second game 21-16 to set up a deciding game. The Indonesian’s took an early lead in the deciding game before Cai and Fu strung seven points together from 3-1 down to lead 8-3 and after a brief comeback by Kido and Setiawan stretched their advantage further and further away from them to take the deciding game 21-12 and put China into a 2-0 in the rubber.
Chen Jin had China’s first chance to secure the Thomas Cup for the fourth consecutive time with a win over Simon Santoso. However the Indonesian had other plans as he took the opening game 21-19 after Chen Jin held an 18-15 lead in the opening game, Chen Jin responded in the second game by taking an 18-14 lead and eventually winning the second game 21-17. Chen Jin had beaten Simon Santoso in their previous four meetings but they had never went to a deciding game into today but Chen Jin was supremely confident of victory after taking a stunning 11-1 lead into the final game interval and just like Lin Dan had done in the opening game against Taufik Hidayat, he won the game 21-7 and completed the 3-0 rout as China defended their Thomas Cup
The hosts last chance of success came in the Thomas Cup Semi Final against the favourites China, Lee Chong Wei would need to begin the charge against Lin Dan in the opening singles.
Japan vs. Indonesia
This afternoon’s matches saw an in form Taufik Hidayat demolish Kenichi Tago in the opening singles 21-9, 21-14 to give Indonesian an early advantage. The lead was doubled when Kido and Setiawan annihilated Hayakawa and Kazuno 21-9, 21-11 in just 22 minutes, putting Indonesia within a game of the Thomas Cup Final. Sho Sasaki halved the lead with a brave three-game victory over Simon Santoso, winning 21-19, 13-21, 21-11 to send the match to it’s 4th rubber. Indonesia completed their victory with 21-14, 22-20 win from Widianto and Chandra against Hirata and Endo to put them through to Sunday’s final.
China vs. Malaysia
The most anticipated match of the week was a Lin Dan – Lee Chong Wei matchup, would we get the Lin Dan who crashed out of the All England and Swiss Opens or the all-conquering Lin Dan who won the 2008 Olympics and 2009 All-England. The match in itself lasted 48 minutes, but from the outset there was only going to be one winner as Lin Dan returned to greatness with a 21-17, 21-8 victory over the world number 1. With Lee Chong Wei only taking one lead in the entire match, at 3-2 in the opening game. Cai and Fu carried on from Lin Dan’s opening victory with a 21-15, 21-10 with over Koo and Tan in 36 minutes to put China within one game of the final. Chen Jin booked China’s place in Sunday’s final after crushing Wong Choong Han 21-16, 21-7.
Heading into the quarter-finals the Chinese team has secured all but one of the remaining eight places, and Malaysia’s Wong Mew Choo has managed to spoil the party by defeating the top seed Wang Yihan 21-18, 21-17. Perhaps equally surprising was the defeat of Denmark’s second seeded Tine Rasmussen at the hands of China’s Wang Xin 13-21, 21-12, 21-19 on the other side of the draw.
The men’s singles was far less dramatic with no seeded players falling, however Carl Baxter pushed Simon Santoso to the limit but failed to win the match. Santoso won in three games 14-21, 21-12, 21-18 to set up his quarter-final against Lin Dan. Lin Dan had another relatively smooth match, defeating yet another one of his teammates Chen Long 21-12, 21-15. The quarter-finals however should prove to be very exciting as there are a number of tough match ups. Of particular interest will be to see whether or not Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen is capable of going the distance, or if perhaps his big wins are restricted to the earlier rounds.
Chinese Taipei has reason to be happy with two pairings in the quarter-finals after Fang Chieh Min and Lee Sheng Mu upset third seeds Hendra Setiawan and Markis Kido in the second round. The match went the full distance with the Chinese Taipei pair winning 21-19, 11-21, 21-15. Unfortunately the two Chinese Taipei pairs must now face each other in the quarter-finals.
For full results and quarter-final line ups visit the draws below:
China Super Series 2009
After slipping in the world rankings, and entering this tournament unseeded, Bao Chunlai has had a return to grace by winning the Yonex Open Japan Super Series. While both Lin Dan and Chen Jin were absent this week, Bao was in charge to take the mens singles title for China. It was a good tournament for Bao, losing only one set which seemed something of an anomaly since it was to an unseeded qualifier from Korea. Bao’s opponent in the final Taufik Hidayat had much more of a struggle on his way to the final which may have contribute to Bao easily defeating him 21-15, 21-12.
Wang Xin may have made it through to her first ever Super Series final, but that was the end of it for the youngster who was thrashed by her teammate Wang Yihan in the final. Wang Yihan won the final in two quick games 21-8, 21-9. Nonetheless a great run for Wang Xin who had to upset Tine Rasmussen and Wang Lin on her way to the final.
Markus Kido and Hendra Setiawan were the saving grace for Indonesia today, winning 21-19, 24-22 in the finals of the mens doubles. However, regardless of the outcome of that match Indonesia would have been the winners as their opponents were also from Indonesia.
The women’s doubles final featured Satoko Suetsuna and Miyuki Maeda the first Japanese finalists in the Japan Open in 19 years! Unfortunately they lost in a close two game match to the Chinese Ma Jin and Wang Xiaoli 21-19, 21-18. This was the third of three titles for China today.
Finally in the mixed doubles were the only European representatives remaining on the finals day. Denmark’s Joachim Fisher Nielsen and Christina Pedersen played well to make it this far, and played well again in the final, but it wasn’t enough as they lost in three games to Thailand’s Songphan Anugritaywon and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul.
View the full results below
Yonex Japan Open Super Series Draws
With the World Championships just a week away, we take an in-depth look at all five events. First up is the Mens Doubles.
2007 World Championship Winners and 2008 Olympic Champions: Markis Kido
and Hendra Setiawan
Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan
Last Tournament: Malaysian Open (Semi Finals)
2nd Round Opponents: Hu Chung Shien and Tsai Chia Hsin (TPE)
The defending World and Olympic Champions would be the safe bet in the draw if you were looking for a winner, however their last success was in the Asian Championships in April.
Their first main test will come in the last 16 will come against Japanese duo Kenta Kazuno and Kenichi Hayakawa, the 14th seeds.
Other Seeds to Watch:
Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen
Last Tournament: Singapore Super Series (Semi Finals)
2nd Round Opponents: Han Sung Hoon and Shin Baek Choei (KOR)
The big European hope in the competition has progressed deep into main draws this year, without picking up a major title. They have lost to most of the high seeds in the tournament in these events and most recently losing to Kido and Setiawan in Singapore in two games.
They will need to be at their very best to progress past the Quarter Final stage and potential mouthwatering tie against Cai and Fu in the last 8.
Jung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dae
Last Tournament: Indonesian Super Series (Won)
2nd Round Opponents: Adrian Liu and Derrick Ng (CAN)
Runners-up in this competition in 2007, they are perhaps the form duo in this year’s competition and will come in full of confidence with their win in Indonesia two months ago.
They defeated Cai and Fu as well as Kido and Setiawan to win the title that week and could be the partnership to watch this week.
Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng
Last Tournament: Indonesian Super Series (Finalist)
2nd Round Opponents: Bosch/Ridder (NED) or Wijaya/Saputra (SIN)
Olympic silver medalists and 2009 All-England winners Cai and Fu have played a mere three tournaments this year but still are seeded 5. The three tournaments form gives you an idea on what to expect.
Won, Semi Final, Finalists.
The 2006 Champions are a strong bet for the title, but lack of tournaments might be their downfall.
Anthony Clark and Nathan Robertson
Last Tournament: Indonesian Super Series (2nd Round)
2nd Round Opponents: Kristof Hopp and Johannes Schoettler (GER)
This might seem like a strange pair to draw attention to, but they have been in excellent form over the summer with their win in the final against Kido and Setiawan in the Singapore Open in June.
They also have the knack of beating seeded partnerships; they have an intangible that on their day makes them one of the top partnerships in the world. They will have to be at their very best to progress to the last eight with Jung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dae waiting in the last 16.