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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Some of the seeded players faced their biggest tests of the week so far, as the world’s elite continues on their individual quests to reach Sunday’s final and the prize money on offer for winning this week. Over half of the 20 matches today went the full distance, with some of the world’s best crashing out before the weekend.
Lee Chong Wei was in the minority, he disposed of Wang Zhengming in just two games and further boosted his chances of winning this week in Seoul. He faces another Chinese player in his semi final, Du Pengyu defeated Japan’s Kenichi Tago in two games to set up a match against the world #1 tomorrow. The bottom half of the draw seen the two highest seeds crash out today, with Peter Gade losing out to on-form Simon Santoso in a two-game, 45 minute matchup. Santoso will take on the 6th seeded Lin Dan in tomorrow’s semi final as he defeated Santoso’s countryman Taufik Hidayat in a three-game match that took a mere 49 minutes to complete. The possibility of a Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan final looms large.
Top seed Wang Xin suffered a shock exit to Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun, after taking the opening game 21-11 the top seed lost the next two games to allow the unseeded Korean to progress. 2nd seed Wang Shixian had her own three-game matchup against the 5th seeded Tine Baun and needed 6 match points to defeat the Dane and progress into tomorrow’s semi final. 3rd seeded Wang Yihan defeated her team-mate and 6th seed Jiang Yanjiao in two games to set up a semi final against the unseeded Korean Sung Ji Hyun. The unseeded Thai player Porntip Buranaprasertsuk continued her improbable run with a win over Japan’s Sayaka Sato to book her place in the semi final against Wang Shixian.
Four seeds remain in the men’s doubles, with a double interest for the Korean fans as they have a partnership in each of tomorrow’s semi finals. 4th seeded Ko and Yoo defeated the 7th seeded Fang and Lee to set up a semi final against the top seeded Boe and Mogensen, who defeated fellow Danish pair Rasmussen and Conrad-Petersen in two games to reach the last 4. 2nd seeded Koo and Tan had to battle through a three-game match against Tazari and Ong to reach the semi final where they will play the 6th seeds and last years winners, Lee and Jung who defeated the Korean qualifiers Kim and Kim in two games to book their place in the last 4.
The Chinese monopoly on the semi final spots in the women’s doubles has been derailed by the top seeded Chien and Cheng as they defeated the 7th seeded Ma and Cheng in a three-game matchup with the top seeds taking the final game 23-21. They will take on the 6th seeded Wang and Yu in the last 4 after they defeated the Hong Kong qualifiers Tse and Poon to reach the semi finals. The second semi final is an all-Chinese match, with 8th seeded Tian and Zhao taking on 5th seeded Du and Pan, with the 5th seeds defeating the 2nd seeded Maeda and Suetsuna in three-game, 62 minute match.
Just like in the women’s singles, three Chinese are joined by a sole Korean. Zhang and Zhao held off Ahmad and Natsir in three games to book their place in the last 4, where they will play the unseeded Ma and Xu, with Ma Jin exacting revenge on her previous partner He Hanbin and partner Yu Yang in a two game victory for the unseeded pair over the 8th seeds. Ko and Ha of Korea are the highest seeds left in the draw at 4 and also ended the run of the 7th seeded Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen of Denmark in the quarter final, winning in three tight games. The Korean pair now take on the 6th seeded Tian and Jiaming of China, last weeks runners up in this event in Malaysia. The Chinese pair defeated the Chinese Taipei pair of Chen and Cheng in three games to continue their excellent form in 2011.
The massive Chinese presence saw some of the mainstream and formidable players humbled by the new generation of Chinese talent in Seoul in the second round. Whilst the day also seen several seeded players lose out to their unseeded opponents.
The top three seeds in the mens singles remain in the draw, with Lee Chong Wei bouncing back from his opening round match to defeat Park Sung Hwan in two games to set up a quarterfinal with Chinese qualifier Wang Zhengming, who defeated his team mate and current world champion Chen Jin in an impressive 21-11, 21-14 victory. Chen Long and Bao Chunlai also suffered losses in the second round, with 4th seeded Chen Long losing out to Kenichi Tago of Japan whilst 8th seeded Bao Chunlai was defeated by Du Pengyu in a 21-16, 21-13 win for the unseeded Chinese player.
The bottom half has two fantastic matchups, with Simon Santoso taking on the 3rd seeded Peter Gade, with both players in excellent form and have not dropped a game in reaching the last 8. The second match is one of the oldest rivalries of the current crop of players, with 6th seeded Lin Dan and 2nd seed Taufik Hidayat. Lin Dan has been throughly impressive in reaching the last 8, winning both of his matches comfortably whilst Taufik Hidayat narrowly won his second round match over Wong Wing Ki in three games to book his place in the last 8.
The probability of an all-Chinese final looms large in the womens singles, with several of the contenders crashing out on the second day. 4th seed Saina Nehwal suffering a surprise defeat to Sayaka Sato of Japan in their three-game match, 7th seeded Juliane Schenk also lost out to unseeeded Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in another three-game encounter and plays Sakaya Sato for a place in Saturday’s semi final. The other match in the bottom half of the draw seeds the two remaining seeds in this half play one another, 2nd seeded Wang Shixian plays 5th seeded Tine Baun with both players in excellent form on route to the last 8, neither player dropping a game on route to the quarter final.
The top half has three Chinese seeds and a sole Korean representative making up the four. Top seeded Wang Xin has dropped just 49 points on route to the last 8, where she takes on Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun who defeated the 8th seeded Bae Youn Joo in three games to book her place in the quarter finals. The final quarter final is an All-Chinese affair, with 3rd Wang Yihan takes on her second Chinese player this week, after defeating Lu Lan in the second round. Her opponent in the last 8 is the 6th seeded Jiang Yanjiao who has like Wang Yihan, failed to drop a game on route to tomorrow’s quarter final.
The men’s doubles has three different nations all taking on their countrymen for a place in the last 4. The first is an all-Danish matchup between the top seeded Boe and Mogensen who take on the pairing of Conrad-Petersen and Rasmussen, who defeated the 5th seeded Cai and Fu in a three game match today. There is an all-Korean match up between Kim and Kim, who defeated the 3rd seeded Kido and Setiawan. They take on the 6th seeds and last years winners Lee and Jung for a place in the last 4. The third and final match of this kind is an all-Malaysia encounter between Koo and Tan, seeded 2 and the unseeded pair of Ong and Tazari, who defeated the 8th seeded Chandra and Setiawan to reach the quarter finals.
The 4 Chinese seeds in the womens doubles loom large, with the potential of a Chinese monopoly on the semi final a distinct possibility. Top seeded Cheng and Chien take on the 7th seeded Cheng and Ma, with the Chinese pairing dropping just 49 points and spending just over an hour on court to this point. The unseeded pairing of Tse and Poon have the almighty task of taking on the on-form pairing of Wang and Yu, seeded 6th this week and in stunning form, winning three of their games to 3, 4 and 7 points and the fourth game to 12 points. The bottom half sees 8th seeded Tian and Zhao take on India’s Gutta and Ponnappa, who defeated the world #11 Fujii and Kakiiwa in the second round. The last of the quarter finals sees the 5th seeded Du and Pan take on Japan’s Suetsuna and Maeda, seeded 2nd and in excellent form in their opening two rounds.
The mixed doubles is without it’s two top seeds, losing the 2nd seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam to unseeded Chen and Cheng of Chinese Taipei. They take on 6th seeded Tian and Jiaming of China in their quarter final match. The other match in the bottom half seeds the 4th seeded Ko and Ha taking on the 7th seeded Pedersen and Fischer Neilsen, with the Danes being significantly more rested than their opponents who have struggled through two 3-game matches to reach this point. The top half of the draw is laden with Chinese potential winners, with Ma Jin taking on her ex-partner He Hanbin in the quarter final, as the 8th seeded Yu and He take on the unseeded Ma and Xu. The final quarter final sees the 2010 All-England winners Zhao and Zheng take on the Indonesian pair of Natsir and Ahmad.
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 Chinese dominance has been the main talking point in Malaysia this week, but the local world number 1 has been quietly conducting his business under the radar this week. There may be 7 Chinese players or pairs in the final tomorrow, but the top seed in the mens singles will be the undoubted main attraction on finals day.
Lee Chong Wei’s 21-9, 21-9 victory over the 3rd seeded Chen Long was a statement of intent for 2011 as he edges ever close to his first title of 2011. His opponent in tomorrow’s final is the 2nd seeded Taufik Hidayat who won his all-Indonesian clash with Simon Santoso in two games also. Their 17th meeting tomorrow is a real barometer for the year ahead to see if Taufik has narrowed the gap to the elite two or if Lee Chong Wei domination continues into 2011.
Wang Yihan continued her streak over the top seeded Wang Xin to 4 matches in their semi final, with the 3rd seeded winning the first of the all-Chinese semi finals. Jiang Yanjiao couldn’t make it a pair of upsets in the second semi final, losing to the 2nd seeded Wang Shixian in two tight games. The final will be the 4th meeting between the two, with Wang Yihan leading the head-to-head 2-1.
The mens doubles boasts the last of the European interest this week, with the unseeded Conrad-Petersen and Rasmussen defeating their Japanese opponents, Kawamae and Sato in two games to book their place in the final. They will take on the 5th seeded Chai and Guo in the final after their win over the 6th seeded Ahsan and Septano of Indonesia in two games.
The women’s doubles sees 4 Chinese pairs come down to 2 for the final tomorrow, such is the strength and depth in this event. Ex-partners Ma and Jin battled, with the latter taking the victory with partner Yu in two tight games. The 6th seeds will take on the 8th seeded Zhao and Tian after their win over the 5th seeded Pan and Du in another tight two game match.
Tian would also reach the mixed doubles final with partner Jiaming after their two game victory over the British pair of White and Blair in one of the more comfortable victories of the day, winning 21-11, 21-15. They will take on another Chinese pair in Ma and He who were a game and 17-14 up in the second when the 6th seeded Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen were forced to retire.
With an invested interest in most of the matches today, the Chinese squad had plenty of reasons to be confident about progressing into several of tomorrow’s semi final matches. There were two all-Chinese matchups that didn’t take place, with Lin Xiu withdrawing from her match against Jiang Yanjiao and Lin Dan pulling out of his match against Chen Long, the second time in just over a month.
Lee Chong Wei’s run to the last 4 has been as impressive as ever, without the loss of a game to date and brushing aside the 8th seeded Tien Minh Nguyen in a one-sided two game matchup and the Malaysian’s sixth win over Nguyen in their 7 meetings. Taufik Hidayat disposed of Kenichi Tago in two games in his semi final and his reward is an all-Indonesian semi final against Simon Santoso. Chen Long will have to make the most of his extra day of rest as he takes on the top seeded Lee Chong Wei.
The women’s singles has turned into a four-women Chinese shootout for the title, with the top 4 seeds all progressing to this stage. Wang Xin takes on Wang Yihan whilst Wang Shixian takes on Jiang Yanjiao in tomorrow semi finals. Both of the matches tomorrow sees the lower seeded player with the better of their higher seeded opponent in their recent head to heads also.
Another seeded was toppled in the mens doubles, with Chandra and Gunawan losing out to Danish pair Conrad-Petersen and Rasmussen in a tight two game battle. The remaining two seeds will play each other in the second semi final, with 6th seeded Ahsan and Septano taking on Chai and Guo of China, the 5th seeds.
The women’s doubles has a similar feel to the singles, with all 4 pairings coming from China. Former partners Ma and Jin face off in their new pairings in the second of the semi finals, whilst the elder stateswomen of the Chinese game play in their first semi final with Zhao and Tian taking on Du and Pan for a place in Sunday’s final.
The European interest in the tournament has been poor in the previous four disciplines, but the mixed doubles can boast two couples from Europe. Unseeded pairing of Blair and White have been one of the stories of the week with their unlikely run in their first event taking them to the last 4 where they will play Jiaming and Tian, the 5th seeds from China. The other semi final sees the 7th seeded He and Ma take on the 6th seeded Danes, Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen who defeated the 3rd seeded Zhang and Zhao in China’s only defeat on quarter finals day.
Day 2 in Malaysia and the first major surprises in the tournament were in the mens singles, with the perennial top-10 ranked players losing out in their second round matches.
6th seeded Boonsak Ponsana was the first to suffer a surprise defeat to Alamyah Yunus in a three game encounter lasting 72 minutes and just over an hour later, current world champion and 4th seeded Chen Jin lost his own second round in a 73-minute matchup with world number 27, Simon Santoso who claimed his first victory over the 4th seed in his sixth match against the Chinese player.
The rest of the seeds remaining had little problem in reaching the last 8, with Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei on a crash course in Saturday’s semi final if the pair can defeated their opponents tomorrow. Lee Chong Wei takes on Tien Minh Nguyen with both players reaching the last 8 without the loss of a game to date whilst Lin Dan takes on his Chinese team mate Chen Long in his quarter final, with the questions finally being answered of how close Chen Long is to beating the Olympic champion after the withdrawal of Lin Dan in China last month allowed Chen Long a free pass into the last 4. There were also wins for Taufik Hidayat and Kenichi Tago today and their reward is a matchup against one another for a place in the last 4.
All 4 of the women’s singles quarter final have a Chinese interest, such is the strength and depth of the Chinese squad. Top seeded Wang Xin was pushed to three games of Mew Choo Wong in her second round match and will be tested again with the 5th seeded Juliane Schenk being her opponent in tomorrow’s match. 2nd seeded Wang Shixian and 3rd seeded Wang Yihan have had little problem in reaching the last 8, with neither player dropping a game on route to this stage whilst the 4th of the quarter finals is an all-Chinese matchup between Jiang Yanjiao and Liu Xin, both have survived a three game match to reach the last 8 but this will be their biggest test to date with Liu Xin being one of the breakthrough players of the last few months for China, reaching 23 in the world rankings.
The men’s doubles is losing it’s compliment of seeded players on a daily basis, today saw the end of the 4th seeded Hashimoto and Hirata’s title challenge as well as the 7th seeded Bach and Gunawan losing out to Rasmussen and Conrad-Petersen of Denmark. Ko and Yoo begun their campaign with a straight forward two game victory and will take on Chai and Guo in their last 8 match up, whilst the two Indonesian seeds are also safely into the last 8. Chandra and Gunawan are through to face the Danish pair of Rasmussen and Conrad-Petersen whilst the 6th seeded Ahsan and Septano are through to take on the Korean pair of Cho and Kwon in their quarter final match.
The women’s doubles is another event laden with Chinese interest, with all four quarter final matches having Chinese players in it. Du and Pan, seeded 5 will take on the top seeded Cheng and Chien in the first of the quarter finals, with both coming through three game matches in the second round to book their place in the last 8. 8th seeded Tian and Zhao take on the unseeded Singapore pair of Sari and Yao with both duos in fine form without the loss of a game to date. Ma and Cheng take on Ha and Kim of Korea, another match with both pairs coming into the match in excellent form. The most intriguing of the 4 matches is the match between Wang and Yu, seeded 6 against the 2nd second Nedelcheva and Russkikh with the most dominant performances this week coming from their two pairs who have progressed with the loss of 70 points in 8 games to this point.
With six of the eight seeds remaining, the possibility of a winner coming from one of those six is high especially with the remaining two unseeded duos playing each other in the quarter final. Thai pairing of Voravichitchaikul and Anugritayawon take on the Scottish/English partnership of Robert Blair and Gabby White after both came through their difficult second round matches without the loss of a game between the two matches. The highest remaining seeds are the Korean pair of Ko and Ha who take on the 7th seeded pairing of He and Ma, a rematch of their second round match in Hong Kong last month that the Koreans won convincingly in two games.
Lin Dan ‘s withdrawal for the second week running has undermined the men’s singles draw, this week Chen Jin withdrew from his quarterfinal match against Lee Chong Wei, robbing the crowd of one of the best matches of the week. Tien Minh Nguyen is the main beneficiary of Lin Dan’s withdrawal with a free pass into the last 4.
Chen Long seems to be the only Chinese player that isn’t withdrawing and has progressed to the last 4 with a three game victory over Korean Lee Hyun Il, there was a second Korean defeat in the other quarter final as Taufik Hidayat defeated Park Sung Hwan in two games to set up the second semi final with Chen Long.
Jiang Yanjiao’s surprise defeat to Juliane Schenk will fuel the belief that the Chinese women are not unbeatable, the three game victory guarantees a non-Chinese player in the women’s singles final. Saina Nehwal takes on the 6th seeded Schenk after her two game win over Yip Pui Yin in her quarter final. The top half sees an all-Chinese semi final with Wang Xin and Wang Shixian, who both won comfortably in their respective quarter finals, with top seeded Wang Xin defeating the 5th seeded Pi Hongyan in just 29 minutes.
Lee and Jung have defeated Cai and Fu for the second week running, this time in just two games and have set up a semi final match against Kido and Setiawan, whose all-Indonesian quarterfinal didn’t happen after Gunawan and Chandra’s withdrawal. Ko and Yoo defeated Ahsan and Septano to end their excellent run in the event. Bach and Gunawan’s run in the event continues, after an impressive two game win over Chai and Guo to book their place in the last 4.
Wang and Yu may not have been seeded, but they are playing like a top 8 pair with another impressive two game win to book their place in the last 4 where they will play Pan and Tian, the 5th seeds. The other semi final sees the top two seeds from the top half take on each other, with Chien and Cheng the top seeds taking on Vislova and Sorokina, seeded 3.
Mateusiak and Zieba produced an excellent performance yesterday to make the last 8, but couldn’t match it today as they lost out to the 6th seeded Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen of Denmark in two games. The Danes take on the Chinese wildcards of Xu and Yu who have never been this far together as a partnership since losing in the final of the China Masters in September. The other semi final sees last weeks beaten finalists Zhao and Zhang take on the 8th seeded Lee and Chien of Chinese Taipei with both pairings coming through in three games from their quarter final matches.