Lee Chong Wei Asserts His Dominance

A poor day for the Chinese yesterday was put right today with a trio of titles on finals day. Zhang and Zhao reversed their result from their first meeting with Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in the China Super Series, The 3/4 seeded Chinese pair won the match today 21-17, 21-12 to win China’s first title on the day.

Title number 2 was quick in arriving as Wang Shixian avenged the defeat of her team-mate Wang Yihan with a two game victory over Bae Youn Joo of Korea in the women’s singles final. The 40 minute encounter saw the Korean ahead for just 3 points in the entire match in a one-sided final.

Peter Gade and Lee Chong Wei met for the second time in three days but this time it was for much more than just topping the group.  The dominating win on Friday for Lee Chong Wei was a mere taster ahead of an even more impressive victory for the world number 1, winning 21-9 , 21-14 in 40 minutes. It was a match that Gade never lead at any point and only widened the gap from Lee Chong Wei and the rest of the field.

The women’s doubles final guaranteed a third Chinese victory as Wang and Yu took on Cheng and Zhao but the margin of victory was far from expected as Wang and Yu dominated the 29-minute encounter with the score of 21-7, 21-17. Wang and Yu look to be the partnership to watch in 2011, with four titles in their short partnership.

Europe claimed their only title in the mens doubles, as Boe and Mogensen defeated Lee and Jung in the final in a tight two game matchup that will serve as a massive boost to Danish badminton, the 21-17, 21-15 defeat will only re-intensify Lee and Jung’s efforts to win their home event at the end of the match at the first Premier Series event of the year.

Finals Results

Lee Yong Dae

Eight Chinese players and partnerships continued the recent run of impressive form since the World Championships in August, but today was different. Today the old guard of world badminton and the rising stars of the game took centre stage and upset the recent Chinese dominance of the last few months.

The day started with a Chinese victory in the mixed doubles, as 3/4 seeded Zhang and Zhao defeating Ko and Ha in two games in the first of the mixed doubles semi finals. Then came the top seeds in the singles disciplines, Lee Chong Wei took on Boonsak Ponsana in the mens singles semi final whilst Wang Shixian took on Yip Pui Yin. Both Lee Chong Wei and Wang Shixian progressed in two tight games to await a potential Chinese player in their respective finals.

The first mens doubles semi final seen the top seeded Boe and Mogensen take on Cai and Fu. The Chinese pair had dominated the recent head to head matches between the duos but the Danish pair defeated Cai and Fu in a tight three game match to claim their first victory over the Chinese pair since the All-Englands in March last year. There was success for the Chinese women with Cheng and Zhao defeating the top seeded Cheng and Chien in their womens doubles semi final, a discipline that has been dominated in the last few years by the Chinese.

Wang and Yu completed the all-Chinese line-up in the womens doubles with a victory in two games over Maeda and Suetsuna in a much closer matchup than their previous encounter in the Japan Open last year. Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam booked their place in the mixed doubles final to play Zheng and Zhao after defeating Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul in two games.

Another day of Chinese dominance seemed to be coming, but 3 of the last 4 matches of the day saw some stunning results. Korea’s Bae Youn Joo defeated the top seeded Wang Yihan in a tight three game matchup lasting just over an hour and sets up a match with another Chinese player, Wang Shixian in tomorrow’s final. Chen Long took on Peter Gade in a matchup between the old and new generation of the sport, with the more experienced Gade taking the match in two tight games in a match that took just less than a hour to complete to set up a rematch with Lee Chong Wei after their group match on Friday.

The final match of the day seen the second of the men’s doubles semi finals, with Lee and Jung taking on Chai and Zhang for a chance to play the top seeded Boe and Mogensen in tomorrow’s final. The match never really materialized as a close encounter with the Korean pair winning comfortably in two games to set up a final with the Danish top seeds.

Semi Final Results

Chen Long Wins His Group

The world’s elite has been halved from 40 participants to just 20 as the final group matches determined who progressed into Saturday’s knockout rounds. Whilst most of the favourites are into the semi finals, there has been some big name departures at the group stage.

Lee Chong Wei’s two game victory over Peter Gade confirmed his place at the top of Group A, whilst Chen Long’s win over Boonsak Ponsana ensured top spot for the Chinese player. Chen Long takes on Peter Gade in the first semi final, with the two sharing one victory apiece in their head to heads. Lee Chong Wei’s head to head over Boonsak Ponsana in the other semi final is much more one sided, with the Malaysian winning 10 of their 12 encounters.

The group winners in the women’s singles as expected, were the two Chinese seeds in Wang Yihan and Wang Shixian. Both claimed perfect records from their group matches and go into tomorrow’s semi finals as clear favourites. Wang Yihan takes on Bae Joun Yoo, with the Korean winning their only match to date. Wang Shixian takes on Yip Pui Yin in the other semi final, with the top seed from China winning all of their 3 encounters to date. Tine Baun’s sole victory in Group B was not enough to see her qualify, which is a massive blow to the Danish team that also seen Laybourn and Rytter Juhl pull out of the mixed doubles.

Every tournament almost brings up another potential Cai/Fu versus Lee/Jung matchup and this week is no different. Both partnerships impressively won their groups without losing a match and look on route to their 13th matchup in Sunday’s final, if both can win their semi final. Cai and Fu take on the top seeded Boe and Mogensen for a place in the final, whilst Lee and Jung take on the Chinese pair of Chai and Zhang. Both group winners are ahead in their head to heads with their semi final rivals.

Wang and Yu have been the story of the women’s doubles in the past 6 months since joining forces, with their impressive run of results continuing this week as they topped Group B ahead of team-mates Cheng and Zhao. The second seeded Cheng and Zhao take on the top seeded Chien and Cheng in their semi final with the lower seeded Chinese pairing winning all of the previous 3 matches. Wang and Yu take on Maeda and Suetsuna of Japan, with their only matchup being a 21-5, 21-10 win for the Chinese pair in the Japan Open last year.

The mixed doubles has thrown up the most unlikely of semi finals, with just two seeds in the semi finals and an all-Thai semi final. Anugrtiayawan and Voravichitchaikul take on Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in the first of the semi finals, with the Group A winners Anugrtiayawan and Voravichitchaikul leading the series 2-0. The other semi final is between Zhang and Zhao of China and Group B winners, Ha and Ko of Korea. The Chinese pair lead the series 1-0 with a win in the Hong Kong Super Series just last month.

Day 3 Results:


Gade and Lee Through

A trio of withdrawals on the second day meant that some groups had just shrunk to just three, helping some qualify for the knockout stages whilst hindering others with only the top 2 progressing.

Group A in the Mens Singles has been settled with a round of games still to be played, with Lee Chong Wei and Peter Gade both winning in two games to set up a match on Friday to determine final group placings. Group B seen the withdrawal of Taufik Hidayat in his match with Chen Long with the Chinese player up in the second game as well as winning the opening game. Boonsak Ponsana’s win over Du Pengyu confirms his place in the last 4, with the top two also playing to determine the group winner.

The women’s singles is a similar story to the men’s singles, Wang Shixian has cruised into the last 4 with her opening two victories in her group with the loss of just 39 points, she is joined in the last 4 by Bae Youn Joo of Korea who defeated Yao Jie in two games to also progress to the semi finals. Group B still has a lot of life still in it, with Tine Baun winning her second match in the group whilst Yip Pui Yin lost out to the group winner Wang Yihan. Tine Baun has to defeat Wang Yihan to have any chance of qualifying for the last 4 whilst Yip Pui Yin needs only to beat Petya Nedelcheva to progress.

Cai and Fu top Group A in the men’s doubles after defeating top seeded Ko and Yoo in their second group and the Korean’s must bounce back tomorrow in a winner take all match against Chai and Zhang to determine who takes the second spot in Group A. Group B seen the withdrawal of Kido and Setiawan early in the first game of their match against Lee and Jung, meaning that the top two seeds from the group have safely progressed into the last 4. Boe and Mogensen take on Lee and Jung tomorrow to determine top spot in the group.

It has been a disappointing week for Petya Nedelcheva as her and partner Anastacia Russkikh are out of the women’s doubles as they bring up the rear in Group A with a second loss today. Cheng and Chien are safely into the last 4 as group winners whilst Maeda and Suetsuna take on Polii and Jauhari in a winner take all match for second place in the group. Wang and Yu have topped Group B and will be joined in the last 4 by Cheng and Zhao should they defeat Voravichitchaikul and Aroonkesorn in their final match in the group, otherwise Fujii and Kakiiwa can take second place with a win over Wang and Yu.

The mixed doubles lost it’s top seeds, Laybourn and Rytter Juhl before the start of play. Zhang and Zhao have to wait on the result of the only match tomorrow between Robertson and Wallwork against Voravichitchaikul and Anugritayawan of Thailand. A win for the Thai pair ensures their place in the last 4 however if the English pair Robertson and Wallwork win it will go to the head-to-head matches between the pairs. Group B is a similar situation, with Ko and Ha needing to beat the group winners Marissa and Gunawan to progress, whilst Mateusiak and Zieba can still progress with a win over Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam and a Ko and Ha loss, providing they are ahead in the head-to-head standing after all the matches. A win for the Thai pair almost guarantees their place in the last 4.

Day 2 Results

Lee Hoping For Gold

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.

Men’s Doubles Draw

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