Peter Gade was hoping to earn his second victory over Lee Chong Wei in their 14th meeting, only for it to turn into his biggest defeat to the world number 1 ever.
Lee Claims Second Premier Title
The on-form Lee Chong Wei’s performance this week will undoubtably make him the favourite in London in just over 6 weeks time. The 21-11, 21-7 win over Peter Gade will be one of the standout performances of this year, purely for the dominating nature and the ease that he won the title this week. Wang Yihan claimed her first Premier Series title with a three game victory over Saina Nehwal, where she saved a match point in the second game before coming through 12-21, 23-21, 21-14 in 65 minutes.
Doubles Delight For China
The Chinese monopoly on the doubles events loomed large this week, with the all-Chinese men’s doubles final being won by Cai and Fu over Chai and Guo in a straightforward 21-13, 21-12 victory for the 3rd seeds. The women’s doubles final was also a very one-sided affair as the top seeds and world championship favourites Wang and Yu defeated Indonesia’s Marissa and Melati 21-12, 21-10 to claim China’s 3rd title. The mixed doubles title was also won by the top seeded Chinese pair of Zhang and Zhao, who defeated the Indonesian pair of Ahmad and Natsir in three games after dropping the opening game and battling back to win 20-22, 21-14, 21-9.
It was the final that few people expected with Lin Dan returning, but few people will begrudge Gade a place in the final.
The world number 1 has been relentless in his route through to the final, his two game victory over Chen Long was his longest match of the week but was never in threat of dropping even a single game in his 21-17, 21-18 victory. Gade defeated the on-form Sho Sasaki who has beaten Lin Dan and Chen Jin on route to the semi final, but Dane has been been in excellent form this week and won with his biggest margin of victory of the week, winning 21-11, 21-14 to reach the final.
Saina Pushed To The Brink
Saina Nehwal’s recent events have been littered with tough openers, but this week she was given the chance to play her way into form and has delivered with a place in the final. Her toughest match was her semi final against Cheng Shao Chieh, who herself put out a pair of Chinese seeds to reach the semi final, but the Indian 4th seed was too strong, winning 21-14, 14-21, 21-17. Her opponent in tomorrow’s final is the 3rd seeded Wang Yihan of China, who has been very impressive this week in her route to the final. The Chinese player hasn’t dropped a game this week and defeated her team-mate Jiang Yanjiao in outstanding fashion in her semi final, winning 21-13, 21-12.
Indonesia’s Pair Of Chances
The men’s doubles will be an all-Chinese affair between Cai and Fu, seeded 3 against Chai and Guo, seeded 8. Both pairs came through their Indonesian opponents, with Cai and Fu defeating Kido and Setiawan in two games whilst the pair of Chai and Guo were pushed to the limit by Ahsan and Septano before winning in three games.
The unseeded Marissa and Melati booked their place in the women’s doubles final with a two game victory over Fujii and Kakiiwa in an impressive 21-12, 21-12 victory. They take on the top seeded Wang and Yu in the final, who were equally impressive in their 21-10, 21-12 victory over Pedersen and Rytter Juhl in the over semi final.
Ahmad and Natsir are also through to the mixed doubles final after beating the 2009 world champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl in two games but also face the top seeded Chinese pair in the final. Zhang and Zhao defeated Chen and Cheng 21-17, 21-17 to book their place in the final, without the loss of a game this week.
Almost half of the matches played today had Indonesian interest but less than half had the desired success of the capacity crowd.
Gade Topples Taufik
The big match of the day seen two of the world’s best go head to head for a 17th time, Gade won the previous encounter but Hidayat held the overall lead in the head to heads. Gade was at his imperious best through the match, defeating Taufik in two games for the first time in four years to claim victory 21-17, 21-15. His opponent in the semi final will be Sho Sasaki, who stunned another Chinese player today in Chen Jin. The 71-minute match was widely expected to be a one-sided matchup, with the current world champion cruising into the last 4, but the unseeded Japanese player claimed his third consecutive victory over Chen Jin in three games to book his place in the semi finals. The other semi final sees the top two seeds remaining in the draw, as world #1 Lee Chong Wei takes on the 4th seeded Chen Long. Both players have played well to this point, with neither player dropping a game on route to the last 4 but their last three meetings have been one-sided victories for the top seeded Malaysian.
Cheng’s Unlikely Run Continues
Few expected a repeat performance from Cheng Shao Chieh against Liu Xin, but that is exactly what the Chinese Taipei provided in another stunning two game victory to book her place in the semi finals, winning 21-17, 21-15. Her opponent in the last 4 will be Saina Nehwal, who defeated the 6th seeded Tine Baun in two tight games to reach the semi final. The other semi final is an all-Chinese affair as Wang Yihan takes on Jiang Yanjiao in their 9th meeting, with the 3rd seeded Wang Yihan holding a slight advantage in the head to head, winning 5 of their previous 8 meetings.
Kido And Setiawan Stun Danes
The success story of the day was the 7th seeded Kido and Setiawan’s victory over the top seeded Danish pair of Boe and Mogensen in two games, winning 21-13, 22-20 to reach the semi final stage. Their opponents will be the 3rd seeded Cai and Fu of China, the current world champions defeated the 5th seeded Korean pair of Ko and Yoo to reach the last 4. There was yet more success as Ahmad and Septano defeated the current Commonwealth champions and 4th seeds this week Koo and Tan in two games to set up a semi final against the 8th seeded Chai and Guo of China, a pair that the Indonesian pair have never beaten in two attempts.
Wang and Yu Survive Scare
The all-conquering top seeded Chinese pair of Wang and Yu were under pressure in their quarter final match against the 5th seeded Ha and Kim after losing the opening game to the Korean pair. They fought back with the same qualities that have made them so unbeatable in their time as a partnership and erased the deficit before going on to clinch the match 13-21, 21-10, 21-11. They will face the Danish pair of Pedersen and Rytter Juhl who defeated the Indonesian 6th seeds of Jauhari and Polii in two games to book their place in the last 4. There is some Indonesian presence however in the second semi final as Natsir and Melati take on the 4th seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa in the last 4, with both pairs coming through three game matches to set up their first ever meeting.
Zhang and Zhao The Pair To Beat
The top seeded Zhang and Zhao have been outstanding this week in reaching the last 4 and have not dropped a game to date this week. Their opponents in the semi final are the Chinese Taipei pair of Chen and Cheng, but the current world #12 pair have failed to defeat the Chinese pair in two attempts, but did take them to three games in their previous meeting. The other semi final features the 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir of Indonesia taking on the 8th seeded Danish pair of Laybourn and Rytter Juhl, with the Danish pair defeating the 2nd seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in the quarter finals in the tightest of matches, eventually winning 22-20 in the deciding game.
The first major shock of the tournament took place in the men’s singles as Lin Dan was defeated by Sho Sasaki in a tame two game defeat.
Lin Dan Out
Lin Dan’s defeat to Sho Sasaki was the only blip in a good day for the Chinese in the men’s singles. Sho Sasaki’s victory over Lin Dan set up a quarter final match against Chen Jin, which will stop the question about Lin Dan potentially pulling out of a second Chen Jin encounter within a week. Lee Chong Wei is safely into the last 8 where he will take on Tien Minh Nguyen, who narrow beat Wang Zhengming in the tightest of matches, winning 22-20 in the deciding game.
Chen Long and Du Pengyu face off in the quarter finals, to ensure at least one Chinese player in the last 4 but the match of the day for tomorrow will be 3rd on the main court on Friday as local favourite Taufik Hidayat takes on Peter Gade for a place in the last 4. Gade has been impressive in his two victories and Taufik has bounced back well from his three game opening round matchup. It will be their 17th meeting, with Taufik holding a 9-7 advantage on the head to head, but Gade took their last matchup in three tight games at the 2010 All England Championships.
Wang Shixian Out
There was further disappointment for the Chinese camp as top seeded Wang Shixian joined Wang Xin in an early round defeat today, after the world #1 lost out to Cheng Shao Chieh of Chinese Taipei in two games. Her prize for defeating the top seed is a quarter final match against another Chinese player, 7th seeded Liu Xin who defeated her team mate Li Xuerui in three games to book her place in the last 8. The other match in the top half of the draw sees Saina Nehwal take on Tine Baun in a match that both players will feel they can win as well as being their best chance at a Superseries Premier title with the early exits of the top two Chinese seeds. Juliane Schenk’s recent form since the Sudirman Cup has continued in her two game victory of Sayaka Sato to set up a quarter final match against Wang Yihan.
Qualifiers Stun Lee And Jung
Home field advantage was never more evident than in the shock 21-17, 21-17 victory for the Indonesian qualifiers Pratama and Saputra over the 2nd seeded Lee and Jung. Their reward is a quarter final match over Chai and Guo of China, seeded 8 this week. Top seeded Boe and Mogensen have returned to somewhere near the form that took them to the world number 1 spot and take on the 7th seeded Kido an Setiawan in the last 8 after both pairs recording two game victories.
Wang And Yu Storm Into Last 8
The top seeded Chinese pairing of Wang and Yu have been unstoppable through the opening two rounds, dropping just 33 points on route the last 8 and they take on the 5th seeded Ha and Kim in the quarter finals. There was another unlikely victory, with Marissa and Melati defeating the second seeded Cheng and Chien in two tight games to reach the last 8 where they will take on the unseeded Chin and Wong of Malaysia.
Asians Supreme In Mixed
Just the 2009 world champions remain for European interest in the mixed doubles. 8th seeded Laybourn and Rytter Juhl take on the 2nd seeded Thai pairing of Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in their toughest match of the week so far. There were victories for the top seeded Zhao and Zhang as well as 5th seeded Jiaming and Tian, who face off against one another in an all-Chinese quarter final. There is more Chinese interest in the draw as He and Yu take on the 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir in the quarter finals.