Day 2 provided yet more surprises as more seeds toppled at the last 16 stage. Carl Baxter, Petr Koukal and Scott Evans came through the opening day without losing a game between them but all fell on Day 2. Scott Evans took the opening game against the 4th seeded Hsing Hsieh Tzu 21-6, only to lose the next two matches 21-9, 21-9. 3rd seed Rajiv Ouseph is safely through to the quarter finals and will play Shon Wan Ho of Korea, the 7th seed.
The top three seeds in the women’s draw have all progressed into the last 8, 2nd seeded Pi Hongyan plays last weeks winner in Canada, Zhu Lin of China in the quarter finals. Juliane Schenk lost out to Zhu Lin in last weeks final and will want revenge this week. Her quarter final opponent is Singapore’s Fu Mingtian who defeated 8th Anu Nieminen in the opening round. Judith Meulendijks is also safely through, the 4th seed will play Ma Pai Hsiao of Chinese Taipei in the last 8.
There has been double success in the men’s doubles for the US, with two partnerships making it to the last 8. Chew and Ho are the lesser known of the duo but will get the chance to make a name for themselves as they are last on the main court on Thursday’s order of play against unseeded pair Kim and Shin of Korea. Bach and Gunawan have been in fine form as they have reached the last 8 without the loss of a game. They will play Chou and Lin of Chinese Taipei in the quarter final stage.
The top two seeds in the mixed doubles are safely into the last 8 also, with top seeds Mateusiak and Zieba in impressive form with two dominating wins to reach the quarter final stage. They will take on Ng and Jiang of Canada in their last 8 match. 2nd seeded Wallwork and Robertson have been equally impressive, with the loss of just 30 points in their two matches to date. Their quarter final test will be the biggest one to date, as they play the 6th seeded pair from Chinese Taipei, Chen and Cheng.
For the first time in over a decade Canada is hosting a grand prix event worthy of the world’s top players. Today we arrived in Richmond, Canada (a suburb of Vancouver) to begin coverage of this groundbreaking event. Bobby Milroy, president of ClearOne Sports was on hand to tell us a little bit about the event.
With several World and Olympic Champions on deck the event promises to be a fantastic one. The qualifying rounds begin Tuesday July 13, and main round matches begin on Wednesday. The draws are available online now at the link below:
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.
Lee Chong Wei played Chen Jin in a 70-minute classic; the pair shared the opening two games before the top seed delighted the local crowd winning the final game 21-15 to book his place in the semi finals. The winner of Tien Minh Nguyen and Jan O Jorgensen would play the top seed Lee Chong Wei, the on-form Dane was having an excellent competition to date but the Vietnamese player was too strong on the day, winning the match 21-17, 22-20.
The bottom half of the draw started with Peter Gade on court against Tanonsak Saensomboonsuk, the 4th seeded Dane was the last seed left on his side of the draw and safely progressed through to the semi finals with a 21-15, 21-13 win. He will play Boonsak Ponsana in the last 4 after his win over Chong Wei Feng of Malaysia, 21-14, 21-9.
Wang Yihan was in excellent form once again, this time defeating 5th seeded Jiang Yanjiao 21-13, 21-17 in an all-Chinese affair to book her place in the semi final. Bae Youn Joo won the all-Korean clash in the other quarter final in the top half of the draw, defeating last weeks runner-up Sung Ji Hyun 21-13, 21-19 to set up a match against Wang Yihan.
7th seed Saina Nehwal looked to be coasting into the semi finals against Wang Xin of China, before the unseeded Chinese woman fought back to win the next two games and defeat her seeded opponent 14-21, 21-8, 21-11 to continue her fantastic run in the event. She will play Eriko Hirose of Japan who shocked the 2nd seeded Wang Lin of China to win 21-19, 15-21, 21-19 to set up her encounter with Wang Xin.
Koo and Tan defeated 7th seeded Clark and Robertson to book their place in the last 4, beating the English pair 21-12, 23-25, 21-11. Unseeded Chinese partnership Chai and Zhang defeated Sato and Kawamae of Japan to set up a match with the top seeds Koo and Tan with an impressive 21-11, 21-16 win. The other semi final sees the 4th seeded Chandra and Gunawan, who defeated Bach and Gunawan play Guo and Xu of China.
All four partnerships in the women’s doubles have failed to drop a game to date. Ma and Jin, the top seeds from China set to play the 3rd seeds, Chin and Wong of Malaysia for a place in Sunday’s final. The other semi final sees Du and Yu, seeded 2 from China playing unseeded Korean couple Jung and Yoo of Korea.
The impressive Tao and Zhang have been the story of the mixed doubles this year, they defeated the 5th seeded Gunawan and Marissa to book a place in the semi finals, where they will play the unseeded Chinese Taipei pair Chen and Chou. World champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl are also through to the last 4, defeating Wallwork and Robertson of England to set up a match against the 8th seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam of Thailand.
The Semi Finals storylines were of two unseeded Chinese players, Bao Chunlai and Wang Xin and their impressive runs to the last four stage of the competition. Bao Chunlai was against 8th seeded Tien Minh Nguyen in the first of today’s semi finals.
The Vietnamese player had breezed into the Semi Final stage without the loss of a game en route and had been on court well under two hours to reach this stage. Bao Chunlai had defeated Peter Gade in the previous round to set up this encounter, spending over 2 and half hours on court to reach the semi final stage.
The first game did little to convince anyone that Bao Chunlai was feeling tired, never letting Nguyen take a led in the opening game that was won 21-15 by the unseeded Chinese player. The second game was a much tighter affair, the pair swapping the lead on various occasions. With the game poised at 12-12, Bao Chunlai 3 points and then four points without reply to take a 20-15 lead. With the second time of asking, Bao Chunlai took the game 21-16 and booked his place in the final.
Wang Xin was next on court, playing Wang Lin seeded 2. The pair had played just last week in China with Wang Lin winning in three games. This was Wang Xin’s 6th match of the week, having come through two rounds of qualifying to just make the main draw. Wang Xin stormed to a 4-0 led in the first game before Wang Lin rallied over the coming points to make the score 13-13.
Wang Xin then won the next six points, taking the first game at the second time of asking 21-15. Both players knew they needed a good start in the second game, Wang Xin stormed to a 5-1 lead, only for the second seed to reel off five points in a row to make it 7-7. However, Wang Xin never led her opponent into the lead in the second game, winning two points as soon as Wang Lin drew level once more. At 18-17, Wang Xin finished her opponent off with three points in a row to take the second game 21-17.
Both the other semi finals in the singles went to three sets. With Taufik Hidiyat beating fellow Indonesian Simon Santoso 13-21, 21-12, 21-18 in 62 minutes. Wang Yihan beat Japan’s Eriko Hirose 18-21, 21-12, 21-9 in 64 minutes.
Finals day with have some local interest, with Miyuki Maeda and Satoko Suetsuna beating second seeded Ma and Kim over Korea to reach the ladies doubles final in the longest match of the day at 75 minutes.
Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan’s run ended today, beaten in three games by Dasuki and Sukmawan of Indonesia. They set up an all-Indonesian final with Kido and Setiawan in the men’s doubles. There is also some European interest in tomorrow’s finals. Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen are through to the final against unseeded Thai pairing Anugritaywon and Voravichitchaikul in tomorrow’s mixed doubles final.
Play resumes tomorrow at 12 noon.
The highest seed remaining in the Mens draw at the quarter final stage was Peter Gade, looking for his first Super Series title since Korea earlier this year. The draw had opened up for him, Lee Chong Wei, out. Chen Jin, withdrawn. Lin Dan, not playing. He had sailed through to the quarterfinals in just over an hour.
Bao Chunlai waited in the Quarter Finals, an ex-World #2 and former Asian Champion, and still only 26. The first set of their encounter was all Bao Chunlai, the Chinese left-hander only surrendered the lead briefly in the middle of the first game before winning six points in a row to set him up for the first game.
The second set had a similar feeling, although Gade was taking the lead in the early part of the set, the Dane led at the mid-game interval 11-10. The pair exchanged points until Bao Chunlai took a 15-14 led, and then came the enslaught, Bao Chunlai reeled over another six points without reply and secured the second game 21-14. It was all over in less than 45 minutes.
The Mens draw has just two seeds remaining, Taufik Hidiyat in the top half of the draw, Tien Minh Nguyen in the bottom half. Hidiyat against Santoro is the first semi final, with a guaranteed Indonesian in the final. Nguyen plays Bao Chunlai in the other semi final.
The Women’s draw has also been littered with Chinese withdrawals, however they could still three players in the last 8. Qualifier Wang Xin is the least known of the three Chinese players left in the draw but her three set winner over Japan’s Mayu Sekiya. Wang Xin burst onto the scene in June, reaching the Malaysian Open Final.
She then took the Phillpine Grand Gold title, beating top seed and world #1 Zhou Mi in the final, she reached the Semi Finals of the China Masters Super Series event just last week, losing out to Wang Lin in three sets.
Tomorrow, she has a chance for revenge against Wang Lin as they play again in the semi finals. The other semi finals has some local interest, with Eriko Hirose playing 4th seeded Wang Yihan for a place in Sunday’s final.
The sub story of the championships has been Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan, since being forced to qualify in Indonesia in June, they rolled back the years at the World Championships. They have reached their first Super Series semi final after defeating Hashimoto and Hirata today in three games.
The draw is dominated by Indonesia at the Semi Final stage, of the 20 pairings/players remaining in the draw, 8 are from Indonesia, 5 from China, 2 from Japan and one from Korea, Thailland, Vietnam, Denmark and the USA.
Play resumes tomorrow at 12 noon on both courts.
Yonex Japan Open Super Series Draws
Round 2 begun with almost half of the seeds already out, the remaining seeds progression would be easier should they come through their matches against unseeded opponents but just like round 1, shock results were set to open the draw up.
Zheng Bo and Ma Jin, second seeds in the mixed event were defeated in three sets by Marissa and Gunawan of Indonesia. With top seeds Lee and Lee pulling out before the event, the Chinese pair were the favourites to win the event. Widianto and Natsir are safely into round 3 with a ominous performance over Kamura and Yonemoto, winning 21-7, 21-8.
Simon Santoso against Lee Chong Wei was the big match of the day; it also provided us with one of the longest matches of the day at 67 minutes. Lee Chong Wei took the opening set 21-19, but after taking a 4-3 lead in the second game, never looked to be in the second game and Santoso took the game 21-15. Santoso continued his excellent form and took at 7-1 lead in the final game, the lead was as high at 16-7 before a Lee Chong Wei comeback took 11 of the next 12 points to take an 18-17 lead. Santoso, unfazed by this brought it back to 19-19 before serving out to take the final game, dumping the top seed out in the second round.
The rest of the seeds in the men’s singles progressed safely into round 3, leaving five out of the eight seeds remaining in the draw at the quarter final stage, with Peter Gade being the top seed remaining in the draw, he plays Bao Chunlai tomorrow.
The Women’s draw has been decimated by pullouts pre-event and the loss of top seed Zhou Mi in Round 1 and there was another casualty today, with third seed Tine Rasmussen losing out to qualifier Wang Xin of China in three sets. Wang Yihan is the last seed remaining in the top half of the draw, with the remaining two seeds, Wang Lin And Pi Hongyan playing for a place in the semi finals tomorrow.
The Bach/Gunawan run also continues, with a 21-14, 21-15 win over Hoshino and Kobayashi to set up a quarter final clash with Hashimoto and Hirata.
Play continues on Friday at 12 noon local time.
Yonex Open Japan Super Series 2009 Draws
The draw in Japan left a real chance of seeds falling today, with potential shocks with Boonsak Ponsana against Lee Chong Wei in Round 1 being one of the matches of the day. Ponsana came into the event on the back of his Super Series Final defeat to Lin Dan and the Thai player was expected to trouble the world number 1.
That was simply not the case. Lee Chong Wei sailed into Round 2 with a 21-9, 21-15 victory. Joachim Persson, seeded 7 played Shon Wan Ho of Korea, a player showing promise in recent weeks. The Korean player took a set of Peter Gade just last week in the China Masters and continues his excellent form with a superb 21-13, 21-13 over Persson. He plays Bao Chunlai in Round 2.
The bottom half of the men’s draw has been decimating with Chen Jin’s withdrawal and Joachim Persson’s defeat, leaving just two seeds in the bottom half of the draw going into Round 2. The Women’s draw is none the better, with Wang Yihan the last seed left in the top half of the Women’s draw.
Zhou Mi’s half of the draw was a potentially easier one that she expected, the withdrawal of world champion Lu Lan and Xie Xingfang meant that only herself and Wang Yihan were seeded in the top half. Adriyanti Firdasari was her Round 1 opponent, three sets and 56 minutes later, the top seed tumbled out of the competition. Zhou Mi held a 16-12 lead in the third set, only to lose nine of the next eleven points. Half of the seeds in the Women’s singles are now out or withdrew pre-event. Salna Nehwal also failed to reach Round 2, with a three-set defeat against Jiang Yanjiao.
The event is littered with Chinese withdrawals, Lu Lan, Xie Xingfang, Cai and Fu, Xie Zhongbo and Zhang Yawen to name a few.
The Men’s Doubles has also suffered its fair share of shocks in Round 1. Second seeds Tan and Koo losing to Japanese partnership of Hayakawa and Kazuno. The pair was seeded 14th at the World Championships. The story of the early rounds of the World Championships was Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan’s run at world title number two.
The pair put together some incredible victories to reach the quarterfinals; they have started their campaign with another outstanding win over Paaske and Rasmussen, the 6th seeds. The American partnership was never behind in the third set and play Hoshino and Kobayashi in Round 2.
Play begins on Thursday at midday local time.
Yonex Japan Open Super Series 2009 Draws
Another year and another World Championships is over, new World Champions have been crowned whilst some continue their domination of the sport. It was a tournament full of surprises, from England’s withdrawal on the eve of the Championships to seeing Lin Dan seeded a mere fifth.
He might have been seeded fifth, but Lin Dan is still the best player in the world. He almost eased into the tournament with three simple wins in under 90 minutes, and then hit top form when it mattered against Peter Gade, Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Chen Jin to win his third straight World Championship.
Lu Lan came in as China’s 4th best player, but now she is World Champion. Beating four of the top ten seeds on her way to the world title without losing a set is a remarkable achievement for the 22-year old. She defeated Xie Xingfang and Wang Lin on her way to the world title to declare herself as the number one player in China and in the world.
Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng’s lack of tournament experience this year did little to hinder their progress at this years world championship, but had to come through the most remarkable match of the Championships in the final against Lee and Jung where they had a to save two Championship points at before taking the title at their sixth match point, winning 28-26 in the third game in a 75 minute epic.
Zhao and Zhang came in as China 4th best women’s doubles partnership but they showed the depth and quality of the nation by defeating two higher Chinese seeds on their way to their first World title. Their stunning win over Ha and Kim in the quarterfinal will live long in the memory.
The only non-Chinese winner and a first gold for Denmark since 2003 as Laybourn and Rytter Juhl take the mixed doubles title, beating the top three seeds on their way to the title. It is an event that the Chinese haven’t won since 2001 and a result that will boost the game as a whole in Europe that the Asian stranglehold can be broken.
Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan rolled back the years at this years World Championship, unseeded and unfancied at the start of the week they went on a run that turned them from no-hopers to contenders for the title. Only a narrow defeat in the quarterfinal robbed them of another run at the world title.
Jan O Jorgensen’s run to the quarterfinals could be the first look into the future of Danish badminton and to continue the legacy of outstanding men’s singles players. The 21-year old gave Taufik Hidayat a real scare in the last 8 before narrowly losing out, but don’t count out another run by Jorgensen next year.
Paaske and Rasmussen’s shock round 2 defeat was one of the big disappointments of the opening three days of action. Their half of the draw opened up with the withdrawal of Kido and Setiawan but the 2005 World Championships fell at the first hurdle.
There was a lot of harsh criticism of Lee Chong Wei’s defeat to Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the quarterfinal stage on the live-blog that was onsite during the World Championships, but that is not my reason for putting him down as a disappointment. I think he was the only genuine contender to Lin Dan this year and we were almost robbed on their potential semi-final encounter, a victory over Lee Chong Wei would have made Lin Dan’s three-peat all the more impressive.
What next for the world’s best? Macau next week.