Saina Newhal had the opportunity to avenge her defeat to Eriko Hirose from the All England today in Basel and it was an opportunity she took advantage of as several big names crashed out in the last 16 in the Swiss Open.
Jan O Jorgensen was one of the top seeds to progress today as he defeated Kazushi Yamada in three games to book her place in tomrorow’s quarter final against Wong Choong Hann, the 12th seed from Malaysia who defeated Dicky Palyama to progress. Park Sung Hwan wasthe first of two Korean successes as Lee Hyun Il defeated his counterpart from Korea, the 5th seeded Shon Wan Ho in a three game victory today. Pablo Abian also defeated the 9th seeded Muhammad Hafiz Hashim to book his place in the quarter final against Lee Hyun Il. 2nd seeded Simon Santoso is also into the quarter finals, where he takes on Sho Sasaki of Japan after both recorded two game victories today.
Juliane Schenk is the sole seed and European left in the top half of the women’s singles draw, with Yao Jie crashing out to Kim Moon Hi of Korea in three games and now takes on Schenk in the last 8. The bottom half of the draw still has three seeds, with Bae Youn Joo defeating Japan’s Sayaka Sato to reach the last 8 whilst the other quarter final sees the 6th seeded Petya Nedelcheva take on Saina Nehwal. Nedelcheva defeated Germany’s Karin Schnaase in two games whilst Saina Nehwal gained revenge for her defeated in the quarter finals last week to win this week in three games and reach the last 8 to take on the Bulgarian 6th seed.
The big shock of the day came with the All England champions and top seeds Boe and Mogensen crashed out to the Dutch pair of Bosch and Ridder in a three game match, with the Dutch’s reward being a quarter final match against the 7th seeded Chandra and Gunawan of Indonesia. Lee and Jung safely progressed into the last 8 where they take on the 8th seeded Germans Kindervater and Schoettler who defeated Malaysia’s Chan and Lim to set up their match with the 3rd seeded Koreans. The 2nd seeded Ko and Yoo had to battle through a tight three game match with Sato and Kawamae to reach the last 8 and a match against the 5th seeded Indonesian pair of Septano and Ahsan who also defeated a Japanese pair in their last 16 match in Hirobe and Kazuno.
Cheng and Chien struggled into the last 8 with a win over Misaki and Takahashi in three games and will take on the lone European pair left in the draw, the 5th seeded Pedersen and Rytter Juhl who defeated Wang and Wang of the USA to reach the last 8. Jauhari and Polii were taken to the brink of elimination before defeating White and Wallwork 24-22 in the deciding game of their match to reach the last 8, where they will take on the unseeded Korean pair of Jang and Kim who defeated the 8th seeded Rie and Wakita in three games.
Lee and Ha’s new partnership has been undefeated to date, with the 8th seeds winning both matches to date comfortably but face their toughest test against the top seeds Chen and Cheng of Chinese Taipei who came through a three game match against Ikeda and Shiota to reach the last 8. Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen defeated the German Open champions Blair and White in two games to reach the quarter finals and they are joined in the last 8 by another Danish pair, Pieler Kolding and Houmann who take on the 5th seeded pair of Ahsan and Natsir in their quarter final. 2nd seeded Wallwork and Robertson are also safely into the last 8 after a two game victory over Triyachart and Yao of Singapore.
The majority of the seeds have progressed safely through the opening two days of the Swiss Open with an excellent field present in Basel even with the loss of it’s Super Series tag for the 2011.
Jan O Jorgensen is the top seed this week and has safely progressed his opening two rounds without the loss of a game to Ville Lang and Christian Lind Thomsen to reach the last 16. His 3rd round opponent is Kazushi Yamada who is in excellent form since his victory over Taufik Hidayat last week in the All Englands. Also in this half of the draw is Park Sung Hwan who has been the pick of the players in his opening two rounds, with a pair of impressive victories for the 4th seed. Viktor Axelsen almost defeated the 16th seeded Hans-Kristian Vittinghus to reach the 3rd round, only for Vittinghus to battle back in the 3rd game to win the all-Danish match up.
Joachim Persson had shown a return to form in recent months but the manner of his defeat to Lee Hyun Il is a worrying sign to the 11th seed as he crashed out tamely in the second round, losing 21-10, 21-9 in just 21 minutes. 2nd seed Simon Santoso has been nothing but impressive in reaching the last 16 with two victory with the loss of just 42 points to date. Spain’s Pablo Abian is the pick of the unseeded Europeans left in the draw with a pair of good victories taking him to the last 16 where he will play Muhammad Hashim, the 9th seeded Malaysian.
Saina Nehwal didn’t have to wait long to get another shot to defeat Eriko Hirose as the pair meet in the 3rd round this week, with both players coming through their opening matches in two games. Juliane Schenk is Newhal’s main rival in the other half of the draw and has a tough second round match against Bae Sueng Hee of Korea. Ella Diehl is the biggest casualty of the opening round, with the 5th seed losing to Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying 21-9, 21-19. There is another Spanish story this week, this time with the European junior champion Carolina Marin who has progressed through qualifying and has reached the second round with a two game win over Nicole Grether.
Boe and Mogensen have continued in the form that won them their first All England title to set up a second round match against Bosch and Ridder of Holland in the second round. The strength of the men’s doubles draw is very high, with Lee and Jung also playing this week and progressing to the second round with a three game win over Endo and Hayakawa of Japan. Ko and Yoo of Korea are the second seeds this week and are into the last 16 after winning their all-Korean first round match against Kim and Kim.
Top seeded Cheng and Chien are hoping that the lack of Chinese pairings in the women’s doubles will improve their chances of success in Basel this week and have started with a two game victory in their opening round to set up a 2nd round match against Japan’s Misaki and Takahashi. The 2nd seeds this week are Jauhari and Polii who take on England’s White and Wallwork in the second round. The European challengers this week will be the 5th seeded Rytter Juhl and Pedersen, who take on Wang and Wang of America after their opening round triumph.
Lee Yong Dae is partnered up with a new female this week as the Korean squad try to find their best partnerships ahead of the Olympic qualification for London, Ha Jung Eun is partnering Lee Yong Dae this week and the 8th seeds start has been impressive, winning 21-10, 21-8 in their opening round match to set up a second round match against Valiyaveetil and Gutta of India. Chen and Cheng of Chinese Taipei are the top seeds this week and take on the Japanese pair of Ikeda and Shiota in round 2 after both won their opening round matches in two games. The main rival from the bottom half comes in the form of the 2nd seeded Wallwork and Robertson of England who defeated Kazuno and Takahashi in their opening round match to progress into the last 16.
Swiss Open Grand Prix
The first morning at the All England saw seeds tumble on a regular basis before the afternoon brought the best players in the world show to off their ability. However, play ended with the biggest shock of the day with the defeat of Taufik Hidayat.
World championship quarter finalist Kazushi Yamada crushed the 2nd seeded Hidayat in a one-sided 21-14, 21-10 victory that took just over 30 minutes and opened the bottom half of the draw for the likes of Lin Dan to capitalize on. The Chinese have a strong showing with six players in the last 16 and the biggest name of them all is safely into the second round as Lin Dan progressed to set up a second round match against Rumbaka of Indonesia. Last years beaten finalist Kenichi Tago takes on last years semi finalist in Peter Gade in the second round this year, both progressing without difficulty today.
Lee Chong Wei was in superb form to set up a tough second round match against the 4th of last years semi finalists in Bao Chunlai, with the Chinese player impressive in his 21-10, 21-6 win over Sony Kuncoro in his opening round match. The Danish presence in the draw is down to just the 4th seeded Gade, with Jan O Jorgensen and Joachim Persson both crashing out on the opening day. World champion Chen Jin survived a tough opening game against Rajiv Ouseph before cruising to a 2 game victory and a second round match against Germany’s Marc Zwiebler. Continue reading »
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The second SuperSeries Premier event of 2011 takes place this week in Birmingham as the All England Championships take centre stage this week. Lin Dan is looking to regain his title and take his second Super Series Premier title whilst defending champion Lee Chong Wei will be looking for revenge after his Korea Open defeat to Lin Dan.
Lee Chong Wei is the top seed this week and starts his campaign against Sho Sasaki of Japan before a potential second round match against the winner of Bao Chunlai and Sony Kuncoro, both players have been seeded in Super Series events in the past few years but such is the strength and depth of the draws in the Premier events, they meet in the first round this week. The 8th seed Boonsak Ponsana faces a tough test against Simon Santoso in his first round match and the winner will likely play Joachim Persson of Denmark for a place in the last 8. Continue reading »
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An all-conquering Danish performance was punctuated with the lack of use of the European #1 Peter Gade to ensure victory in Amsterdam. Tine Baun was also used sparingly on route to the final as the younger generation of Jan O Jorgensen and Karina Jorgensen were used throughout the week as the top singles player.
The last 8 failed to provide any shocks, with the Bulgarian’s unlikely run coming to an end against England in a 3-1 defeat whilst home interest also ended at the quarter final stage as the Dutch were defeated in a convincing 3-0 loss to Russia. Germany had little trouble defeating the French in the last 8, with Juliane Schenk being in impressive form in her 21-4, 21-3 victory to book the German’s place in the last 4. Denmark also had little trouble defeating Poland to reach the last 4 to set up a rematch with the English in the semi final.
The surprise of the semi final match between Denmark and England was Rajiv Ouseph’s impressive three game win over Jan O Jorgensen in the 2nd match of the rubber to level it at 1-1. Denmark took the women’s doubles comfortably and after Ellis and Adcock took the opening game in the 4th match against Boe and Mogensen, England were hopeful of taking it to a 5th and final match but the world #1′s fought back to take the next 2 games and book Denmark’s place in the final.
The other semi final looked to be all but over after two impressive German victories in the singles, with Zwiebler and Schenk taking Germany within a match of the final. The Russian pairing of Vislova and Sorokina won a tightly faught match to send the match into a 4th rubber but surprisingly didn’t play the experienced pairing of Durkin and Nikolaenko, instead putting out Sozonov and Dremin against Kindervater and Scholetter in a one-sided win for the German’s to set up a rematch of last years final.
Juliane Schenk got Germany off to the perfect start with a win over Karina Jorgensen, Schenk would go unbeaten over the week winning all 4 of her matches. Marc Zwiebler had the chance to capitalize on Jan O Jorgensen who was defeated in his previous match against Ouseph. The world #12 had little trouble in beating Zwiebler, ranked 5 places below him in the world rankings to level the final at 1-1. The Danish strength over the week had been in their doubles matches and the final was no exception as Pedersen and Rytter Juhl put Denmark within a match of the title with a two game victory over Overzier and Marinello. Boe and Mogensen completed the task with a two game victory over Kindervater and Scholetter to ensure Denmark retained their title for the 8th time in succession, dating back to 1996 when they won on home turf in Herning.
The opening day of the Super Series Premier offered the opportunity for several of the world top players to stumble early, however all of them passed their opening round tests. The Chinese as expected faired well on the first full day of competition, with several of their new partnerships getting off to excellent starts in the doubles events.
The last 16 of the men’s singles is one befitting of this new Premier series of events, with even the second round match of Rajiv Ouseph and Simon Santoso being one of intrigue. Santoso defeated the 7th seeded Boonsak Ponsana, whose nightmare start to 2011 continues whilst Rajiv Ouseph defeated Hu Yun, ranked one place higher at #12 in the world in his opening round matchup. Lee Chong Wei survived a scare against Jan O Jorgensen, eventually progressing in three games to set up his second round match with Park Sung Hwan. Peter Gade’s opening Super Series match of 2011 was a excellent two game win over Indonesia’s Dionysuis Hayom Rumbaka, leaving him as the last Dane remaining in the draw. China however have 6 of the last 16 players in the singles, with all four of their seeded players progressing into round 2. The top half of the draw has 5 Chinese players in it, with Bao Chunlai taking on qualifier Wang Zhengming is what is unlikely to be the last all-Chinese match this week. Lin Dan is the sole representative in the bottom half of the draw and takes on Germany’s Marc Zwiebler in the second round.
All 8 of the seeded women are safely into the second round of the singles, with Tine Baun impressively beating China’s Li Xuerui in two games to book her place in the last 16. The four Chinese seeds are also joined in the last 16 by the 2009 world champion Lu Lan, who takes on 3rd seeded Wang Yihan in tomorrow’s second round. The Korean’s will have split allegiances in the second of the women’s singles matches as 8th seeded Bae Yoo Joun takes on Sung Ji Hyun in an all-Korean affair. Saina Nehwal had to battle all the way in her opening round match winning a tight three game match 22-20 in the final game.
Top seeded Boe and Mogensen survived a minor scare in their opening round match against Gan and Tan, needing eight attempts to win the opening game after leading 20-13 but eventually coming through in two games and take on the Japanese pairing of Kawamae and Sato. Cai and Fu progressed safely into round 2 and have set up one of the best matches in tomorrow’s order of play against the on-form Danish pair of Rasmussen and Conrad-Petersen who avenged their loss in last week’s final in Malaysia to Chinese pair Chai and Guo. 4th seeded Korean pair Ko and Yoo are also safely into the second round and take on the partnership of Blair and Limpele in the last 16.
The prospect of an all-Chinese final in the women’s doubles is all the more likely with the loss of two non-Chinese seeds on the opening day, with 4th seeded Nedelcheva and Russkikh defeated by Indonesian’s Marissa and Melati. The 3rd seeds did no better, with Vislova and Sorokina defeated by last years runners-up in this event, Fujii and Kakiiwa of Japan. The four Chinese seeds all progressed easily into the second round with the loss of just one game between them, the 5th seeded Pan and Du were taken to three games by the Chinese Taipei pair of Hsien and Wang. The top two seeds also progressed without difficulty, with Chien and Cheng defeating the Danish pair of Rytter Juhl and Pedersen in two games and take on the Korean qualifiers of Eom and Kim in the second round.
The 3rd seeds in the mixed doubles, Mateusiak and Zieba suffered a crushing two game defeat to the new partnership of Xu and Ma as this new partnership hopes to continue in the long line of Chinese domination in this event. A potential quarter final match with old partner He Hanbin is on the cards for Ma Jin if both progress through tomorrow’s games, with Ma and Xu taking on semi finalists last week, Blair and White whilst He and Yu take on Korean qualifiers Kim and Yoo. 2010 All-England winners Zhang and Zhao made it a double disappointment for Anastasia Russkikh today, defeating her and partner Hendra Setiawan in two games and the 5th seeds set up a second round match with Rijal and Susanto of Indonesia.
The opening Premier event of 2011 ushers in a new era for badminton, with added prize funds now over $1,000,000 there is suddenly a massive incentive to play in these “Premier” events that will ultimately attract the best players in the world. The opening round in Korea has provided the strongest field since the World Championships in August, perhaps even stronger than that due the depth of certain nations that allows them to field more than 4 players from their nation.
The clear favourite going into this week is Lee Chong Wei, dominant in Malaysia in his home event and looking to be in similar form to his impressive 2010 campaign. He will need to be at his very best for his opening round match when he takes on the world number 9 Jan O Jorgensen in his opening round match, such is the depth of talent in this event. Potentially all of his opponents this week will be ranked inside the top 25 in the world, nothing that could ever be boasted before this week. The question marks over Lin Dan’s withdrawals over the last couple of months should end here, with no Chinese players in his half of the draw for him to conveniently withdraw before player, the chance of seeing the dream final against Lee Chong Wei is a strong possibility. However, he must overcome a qualifier in Round 1 and the potential of playing his long-time rivals Taufik Hidayat and Peter Gade in the later rounds is going to test the 6th seed to the very limit.
There are other high-caliber matches in the opening round in the singles, world number 4 and 4th seeded Chen Long takes on the world number 7 Tien Minh Nguyen who did not receive a seed for this week’s event and the on-form Simon Santoso takes on Boonsak Ponsana who will be looking to play better than last week in Malaysia.
The women’s singles will undoubtably be a mainly Chinese affair, with 4 of the 6 top seeds coming from China. Only Saina Nehwal (seeded 4) and Tine Baun (seeded 5) potentially posing any sort of challenge before the all-Chinese matches later in the week than has been the story of much of the later half of 2010. Top seed Wang Xin could have an all-Chinese match as early as the second round with Liu Xin a potential opponent, there is also Lu Lan and Li Xuerui in the draw to boost the potential for a Chinese monopoly this week. Wang Shixian takes on the world number 16 Salakjit Ponsana in her opening round match whilst the world number 5 Tine Baun’s campaign begins against Li Xuerui, seeded just six places lower than her in the current rankings. Saina Nehwal’s campaign will not run into a Chinese opponent at least until the semi final, but will potentially have a meeting with Germany’s Juliane Schenk to reach the last 4.
Local favourites Lee and Jung are hoping to retain their title from last year where they triumphed as the top seeds, 12 months later and they are the 6th seeds and begin with a match against the 2005 world champions Bach and Gunawan with Kido and Setiawan as well as Koo and Tan in their half of the draw. There is also potential banana skins in the draw with the unseeded Chinese pairings throughout the draw, Zhang and Xu are also in the bottom half of the draw whilst the likes of last weeks winners Chai and Guo who were seeded last week in Malaysia and play their opponents from that final in Conrad-Petersen and Rasmussen in the opening round this week, with a potential matchup against Cai and Fu waiting in round 2. The top seeded Danish pair of Boe and Mogensen could almost boast to have an “easy” draw until the last 8, taking on the world #16 pairing of Gan and Tan of Malaysia in their opening round match.
The women’s doubles is one of the events this week where seedings simply don’t matter, this about how is on form that week, especially with the Chinese ladies playing at such a high level over the past few months. The two “favourites” for this week are the 6th seeded Wang/Xu and 7th seeds Cheng/Ma from China who are both in the top half of the draw whilst another Chinese pair is expected to come out of the bottom half for the expected all-Chinese final on Sunday. The other four seeds simply have to stop that happening, with top seeded pair Chien and Cheng taking on the Danish pair of Pedersen and Rytter Juhl and the 2nd seeds from Japan, Maeda and Suetsuna having to play into some sort of form before the expected matchup with the 5th seeded Chinese pair of Du and Pan.
Ma Jin’s excellent run with He Hanbin seemed to be a temporary one, as Yu Yang has returned as He Hanbin’s partner this week in what must be an increasingly annoying situation for one half of the current mixed doubles world champion. However her partner this week is the excellent Xu Chen but they begin their campaign against the 3rd seeded Polish pair of Mateusiak and Zieba. The main news from the mixed doubles draw is the withdrawal of the top seeded pair of Laybourn and Rytter Juhl, with Thomas Laybourn not recovering from an injury that cut his SuperSeries finals appearance short earlier in the month. The top half of the draw has been opened up for a Chinese monopoly with 4 pairings in the top half of the draw. 8th seeded He and Yu and 5th seeded Zhang and Zhao will look to capitalise on the opportunity. The bottom half is not without some excellent pairings also, with last week’s runners up Tian and Jaiming seeded 6. Ko and Ha are the big local hope, seeded 4th and taking on the German pairing of Fuchs and Michels in their opening round match.
The recent decision from the Chinese to try out new partnerships has caused havoc throughout the three doubles events, leading to some of the top players in the world going into tournaments unseeded. Yu and Wang in the women’s doubles are used to being seeded in the top 3 of the event but fine themselves in the lottery of the unseeded players in who they match up with in the opening round.
The men’s singles does offer some sense of normality, with all of the 7 seeds progressing into the second round. Lin Dan safely disposed of Jan O Jorgensen in the opening round in two games, whilst 6th seeded Boonsak Ponsana narrowed scraped through against Chinese qualifier Wen Kai in three games. Lee Chong Wei and Chen Jin are still on route to meet in the last 8, with both coming through their first round matches in two games. Taufik Hidayat is also through to round 2 after an impressive win over Du Pengyu in his first match of the week.
The ladies singles was also a similar story, with all the seeds progressing except the 8th seed Ella Diehl who suffered her second opening round defeat in two weeks, this time losing out to Inthanon Ratchanok of Indonesia in three games. The fall of last year’s world champion Lu Lan has never been more evident than over the past two weeks, losing to Inthanon Ratchanok in China last week and this week a first round exit to Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in two games, who will now take on top seed Wang Xin in the second round. Saina Nehwal returned to Super Series action with a comfortable two game win and will have a much harder test in Round 2 against Salakjit Ponsana.
Lee and Fang, seeded 4 crashed out to the 2005 world champions, Bach and Gunawan in their opening round matchup in two games but were not the only seed to crash out in the opening round. Another Chinese Taipei pair, Chen and Lin also lost in the first round. Chai and Guo of China defeating the 8th seeds in two games to book their place in the second round. There was little trouble for the top seeds in the men’s doubles, #1 seeds Koo and Tan progressed easily with a two game victory and the 2nd seeded Kido and Setiawan joined the top seeds in the second round with their own two game victory.
Only 6 seeds progressed in the women’s singles, with the 8th seeded Ha and Jung as well as 7th seeded Zhang and Zhang crashed out in the first round. The match of the day tomorrow will undoubtably be the second round match between Zhao and Cheng who take on the unseeded Chinese pair of Wang and Yu as this match could easily be a matchup in a final in 2011 should the two partnerships stick together into next year.
Half of the seeds in the mixed doubles lost in their opening round matchups, some due to new Chinese partnerships whilst others were disappointing performances from the higher ranked partnership. 4th seeded Robertson and Wallwork crashed out to Yoo and Kim of Korea in three games, 7th seeded Voravichitchaikul and Anugritayawon of Thailand lost out to the new Chinese pairing of Xu and Yu in a tight three game match. 3rd seeded Thoungthongkam and Prapakamol were defeated in impressive fashion by He and Ma of Chinese and the 2nd seeded Marissa and Gunawan lost to Malaysians Chan and Goh in three games. The top seeded Mateusiak and Zieba take on last weeks winning pair Jiaming and Tian in their second round match to test their title credentials tomorrow.