For a few minutes, Peter Gade rolled back the years and looked to have the beating of Lee Chong Wei. 6-2 up in the deciding game and playing some of his best badminton in recent times, only for it to end in a stunning 15 rally series as a 6-2 lead became a 14-9 deficit. One run of six points and another of five all but ended Gade’s chances of winning in India, with Lee Chong Wei eventually winning the deciding game 21-15 and claiming the men’s singles title.
The women’s singles was a different matter, as unseeded Porntip Buranaprasertsuk claimed her third victory over a seeded player in defeating Bae Youn Joo 21-13, 21-16 to win the women’s singles title in a stunning turnaround from saving three match points in her second round match against Eriko Hirose.
The two doubles finals went the way of the higher seeded players, with Hashimoto and Hirata defeating the unseeded Indonesian pair of Saputra and Pratama in a one-sided final. The Japanese 4th seeds winning 21-17, 21-9. The longest match of the day came in the women’s doubles final as Maeda and Suetsuna defeated their Japanese team-mates Fujii and Kakiiwa 26-24, 21-15 in a match that took 70 minutes to complete, begging the question how long the match would have lasted had the match gone to three games.
The mixed doubles was won by the 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir over their 3rd seeded team-mates Kurniawan and Bernadeth in two tight games, winning the match 21-18, 23-21 in 44 minutes to claim Indonesia’s only title this week.
Day 5 Results:
The devoid of talent this week has been the subplot of a week of surprises, but there has been one outstanding constant within the week and that has been the play of Lee Chong Wei. His semi final today was another match that he was a class apart from his opponent, this time being Hu Yun of Hong Kong. Even the 8th seed had no answer for the Malaysian’s form this week as Lee Chong Wei won 21-11, 21-15 in just 28 minutes.
His opponent in tomorrow’s final will be Peter Gade, after he came through his semi final with Park Sung Hwan in two games, albeit a tighter match than the top seeds. His 21-15, 21-19 victory came in 45 minutes but Gade himself has been in excellent form this week in the loss of just one game to Kazushi Yamada in the first round.
The women’s singles featured another seed crashing out, with Yip Pui Yin tamely losing to Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 21-13, 21-8. Bae Youn Joo however had better success than her seeded counterpart in her semi final victory over Sayaka Sato in three games. The 63 minute match was the longest of the tournament for the Korean but has spent less time on court than her opponent tomorrow who survived two early round scares to reach the final.
It was a double shock in the men’s doubles, with Hashimoto and Hirata defeating the top seeded pair of Koo and Tan in their semi final and also the unseeded Saputra and Pratama’s win over the 3rd seeded Chandra and Gunawan to set up the most unlikeliest of finals at the start of the day. The women’s doubles final however, is an all more expected story with the top two seeds both from Japan reaching the final with only the 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa being tested by Poon and Tse of Hong Kong in their semi final matchups, eventually winning in three games.
An all-Indonesian final was all but assured in the mixed doubles, with Chan and Goh failing to regain the form that got them to this stage. The 5th seeded Malaysian lost out to Kurniawan and Bernadeth in two games, with the 3rd seeds winning 21-12, 21-16. The other all-Indonesian semi final was slightly anti-climatical with the 7th seeded Rijal and Susanto having to retire deep into the second game, however the pair were already a game and 15-9 down to the 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir, who go through to the final.
Day 4 Results:
Only Hashimoto and Hirata stood in the way of five titles for China in the Asian Championships, with four all-Chinese finals already confirming China’s success this week.
The day begun with the women’s doubles and a victory for the 2nd seeded Wang and Yu over Tian and Zhao in a one-sided final with Wang and Yu winning 21-13, 21-10. It was a similar story in the men’s doubles as the top seeded Cai and Fu defeated Hashimoto and Hirata in equally impressive fashion winning 21-12, 21-15 to take the Asian title. Both pairs failed to drop a game on the way to the title and also both defeated their opponents in the final in 33 minutes.
Lin Dan claimed his 20th victory over Bao Chunlai in the men’s singles final, winning a two game match 21-19, 21-13 in 42 minutes to further establish himself as Lee Chong Wei’s only real competitor. Lu Lan’s run ended at the final stage, losing out to the 2nd seeded Wang Yihan in two games in a 21-15, 23-21 match that took 49 minutes.
The final match of the day was the closest, with top seeded Zhang and Zhao taking on 8th seeded Ma and Xu. Both pairs claimed a game by the score of 21-15 before the match reached 20-20 in the final game, with Ma and Xu saving a match point then getting one of their own before the top seeded reeled off three points from 23-22 down to claim the Asian title 25-23 in the decider in a 69 minute match.
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.