Hiroyuki Saeki and Kana Ito had the opportunity for an unlikely Japanese double in the singles today at the Polish International, however only one of the two succeeded in their quest.
Hiroyuki Saeki’s 11th match of the week seemed to be a bridge too far against Pablo Abian of Spain, with the Spaniard in excellent form after defeating Peter Mikkelsen and Joachim Persson to reach the final. After a close opening to the first game, Abian pulled out a lead and stretched out his advantage and won the opening game 21-12, with 13 smash winners.
The momentum was still with the Spaniard and took a commanding lead in the second game after stringing a streak of 7 points to take an 11-2 lead at the interval, Saeki remained competitive in the second half of the game, but Abian took the second game 21-10 and the title.
Kana Ito played her 7th match in 4 days, winning the previous 6. Her opponent in the final was 4th seeded Chan Tsz Ka of Hong Kong, who was also in the women’s doubles final too. However, Ito was unfazed by the stage she was on and dominated the opening game, winning it 21-14. The Japanese women continued her excellent form in the second game, before a spirited comeback from Chan levelled the score at 18-18, only for Ito to serve out for the match and take the match 21-14, 21-18.
Chan Tsz Ka’s second final was the same result as her singles, losing 21-18, 16-21, 10-21 to the top seeds Sari and Yao of Singapore. It was a bad day for another Hong Kong pairing, the top seeds in the men’s doubles, Wiratama and Wong lost to 2nd seeds Ivanov and Sozonov 17-21, 21-14, 14-21. Russia took a second title in the mixed doubles as Ashmarin and Prokopenko defeated the Singapore pairing of Triyachart and Yao 21-12, 21-17 in Sunday’s last match.
The fields have been shortened to just 8, but countless seeds have fallen before the weekend’s play has even begun. 5 seeds have fallen in the men’s singles and the women’s singles, as well as the top seeds in the mixed.
One seed that is safely through to the last 8 is top seeded Joachim Persson, who defeated Magnus Sahlberg in Round 1 and Alex Pang of Canada in Round 2, both in two games to book his place against Petr Koukal, the 7th seed from the Czech Republic. Koukal is through to the last 8 without the loss of a game either.
The next quarterfinal is an all-Spanish matchup, as Pablo Abian overcame 4th seed Peter Mikkelsen, who pulled out in the 3rd game with injury. Indra Bagus Ade Chandra of Spain is also through; defeating 6th seeded Wong Wing Ki 21-19, 23-21 to book his place in tomorrow’s quarterfinal.
Singapore’s Robin Gonansa is through to the last 8, after Stephan Wojcikiewicz pulled out before the match after the Canadian beat 5th seed Dmytro Zavadsky in the opening round. Gonansa will play Hiroyuki Saeki of Japan, who defeated the 3rd seeded Christian Lind Thomsen 22-20, 21-17 to book his place in the last 8. Another Japanese player, Shuhei Hayasaki defeated Vladimir Malkov, the 8th seed from Russian to set up a quarterfinal match against Poland’s 2nd seed Przemyslaw Wacha.
Beiwin Zhang, the top seed from Singapore is through to the last 8 with two convincing victories to this stage, she will play Wang Lin Lang of Indonesia in the last 8 after the Indonesian defeated 7th seed Tatjana Bibik of Russia 23-21, 21-8 to progress.
Unseeded Japanese player, Kana Ito defeated 3rd seeded Rachel Van Cutsen to book her place in tomorrow’s quarterfinal against Austria’s Simone Prutsch, she defeated Rachel Howard who beat the 8th seed Elena Prus in the opening round. Olga Golovanova is through to the last 8 after a 21-17, 21-17 victory over Maja Tvrdy, the 6th seed from Slovenia. She will play the 4th seed Chan Tsz Ka of Hong Kong for a place in the semi final.
Anastasia Prokopenko is the 5th unseeded player in the last 8, after beating Larisa Griga 21-11, 21-14 in the second round. She will play the 2nd seed Judith Meulendijks in the quarters, with the Dutch seed coming through both her matches easily in 2 games.
In an event that promised so much for the Polish crowd, they have seen their chances in this event shortened to just one pair. Top seeded Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Kostiuczyk crashed out in the opening match to Hong Kong suo Wong and Chau in three games. Polish qualifiers Ociepa and Rudolf crashed out in the second round to Pang and Li of Canada.
The 4th seeds, Szkudiarczyk and Wotjtkowsa are Poland’s last hope in the competition; they will play Singapore pairing of Triyachart and Yao for a place in the last 4. Another Polish couple Moren and Pocztowiak crashed out in round 2 to Neo and Chrisnanta of Singapore.
The only other seed left in the draw is the 2nd seeds, Atrashchenkov and Prus of Ukraine, who came through a tight 3 game match with Wilson-Smith and Warfe of New Zealand 13-21, 21-13, 21-19.
This week’s event in Poland is one of the last events before the European Championships in Manchester next month and has attracted some of the big names in European badminton to play themselves into form ahead of next month’s European Championships.
The top seed is Joachim Persson who is coming off a poor 2-week run in the Super Series, losing out to Kenichi Tago in Round 2 in the All England and another second round defeat to Chen Jin in Switzerland last week. His campaign this week begins against the Swede Magnus Sahlberg before a potential 2nd round encounter with Ville Lang of Finland.
Christian Lind Thomsen (Seeded 3) and Peter Mikkelsen (Seeded 4) lead a strong Danish squad looking for success in the men’s singles draw. Przemyslaw Wacha is the local hope in the competition, seeded 2 but there is also threats from the Ukranian Dmtyro Zavadsky, seeded 5 and Petr Koukal of the Czech Republic, seeded 7. Vladimir Malkov of Russia is another threat, seeded 8.
Singapore’s top seed Zhang Beiwen starts her campaign against rising Belgian starlet Lianne Tan, hoping to past her semi final defeat to Gu Juan in last week’s event behind her. The other potential winners of the event coming from the Netherlands and Ukraine, with Judith Meulendijks and Rachel Van Cutsen leading the Dutch charge. Larisa Griga and Elena Prus are the big Ukrainan hopes.
Poland’s best chance of success lie with Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Kostiuczyk, however with their withdrawal at the semi final stage last week in Switzerland, questions will be asked if they are 100% fit to attempt to win on their home soil. Should they fail to deliver, two other Polish pairings are seeded. 3rd seeded Cwalina and Kurdieska and 4th seeded Szkudiarczyk and Motjkowska.
The second day was a stronger day for the seeds, however another top seed has fallen before the quarterfinal stage. Peter Gade continues on his quest for his second All England title as the top players in the world position themselves for a run at the title.
First on court again and safely into the quarterfinals was Lee Chong Wei with a fine victory over Sony Dwi Kunncoro 21-11, 21-17. He will play unseeded Korean Shon Wan Ho who defeated Chen Long in a three-game classic 21-18, 18-21, 21-19 after Chen Long disposed of 8th seeded Jorgensen in round 1 yesterday. The other quarterfinal in the top half is perhaps the match of the day tomorrow between 4th seed Taufik Hidayat and 5th seed Peter Gade. Hidayat safely through against Englishman Andrew Smith 21-18, 21-14 and Gade survived a first game scare to win 24-22, 21-18 over Simon Santoso.
The bottom half sees unseeded Kenichi Tago through to see Chen Jin in the first quarterfinal. Tago has progressed through two tough matches, playing Tien Ming Nguyen in round 1 and defeating Joachim Persson, last years 6th seed in three games, 22-24, 21-15, 21-8 to book his place against the 3rd seed from China. Chen Jin safely progressed after a tight opening game against another English player Rajiv Ouseph, winning in two games, 23-21, 21-8.
Lin Dan is also through to tomorrow’s quarterfinal where he will play Bao Chunlai, the 6th seed from China. Bao Chunlai’s phenomenal performance over Park Sung Hwan that seen him 13-0 in the opening game, before winning the match 21-5, 21-10. Lin Dan has failed to explode into life as yet but continues to progress in the tournament with another two-game victory over Muhammad Hafiz Hashim of Malaysia.
Wang Yihan was the first of the seeds through to the last 8 of the tournament with a 21-16, 21-16 win over Yu Hirayama of Japan. She will play the 8th seeded Zhou Mi in the quarterfinals after the all-Hong Kong second round match between her and Wang Chen was won by the 8th seed, 21-13, 21-15. The second quarterfinal match in the top half is an all-Chinese affair with 3rd seeded Jiang Yanjiao coming through her second round match against Maria Febe Kusamastuti 21-9, 21-14 to set up a match against Wang Xin, the 5th seed. She defeated Ai Goto of Japan 21-12, 21-13 to book her place in tomorrow’s quarterfinal.
Saina Nehwal booked her place in the last 8 with a win over Bae Sueng Hee of Korea, 21-11, 22-20 and will play unseeded Juliane Schenk of Germany, who also defeated a Korean to reach the quarterfinal stage, beating Bae Youn Joo 21-14, 21-16 to set up a match against the 7th seeded Nehwal. The last of the 4 quarterfinal matches is the pick of the bunch, with Tine Rasmussen playing 6th seed Lu Lan of China. Rasmussen progressed easily past Eriko Hirose 21-12, 21-12 to book her place whilst Lu Lan had to fight for a tight three-game victory over Scotland’s Susan Egelstaff, winning in the end 25-23, 20-22, 21-17 to reach the last 8 of the competition.
Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen continue their fantastic run at this year’s competition with a 21-18, 21-19 victory over Ko and Yoo of Korea. They will play Tan and Gan of Malaysia in the last 8 after they defeated Chinese pairing of Chai and Zhang 21-8, 23-21. The two pairings are the only two non-seeded partnerships left in the men’s doubles draw. Kido and Setiawan also progressed, winning 21-16, 21-16 over qualifiers Endo and Hirobe of Japan and the 3rd seeds will play Lee and Choong of Malaysia in the last 8 after the 8th seeds fought back from a game down to win 17-21, 23-21, 21-11.
The third of the quarterfinals sees the 5th seeded Cai and Fu play the 4th seeded Boe and Mogensen for a place in the semi finals. Cai and Fu winning 21-11, 21-17 over their Korean opponents Kim and Shin whilst Boe and Mogensen came through a much tighter match, winning 22-20, 21-19 over Fan and Lee of Chinese Taipei. The second seeds Lee and Jung have been the class pairing in the competition to date, winning both matches to date in convincing fashion, today defeating Kumar and Thomas of India 21-12, 21-6 to book their place in the last 8 against Guo and Xu of China, the 7th seeds. The Chinese pair defeating local favourites Nathan Robertson and Anthony Clark 21-14, 21-11 to book their place in the last 8.
There is a distinctly Asian feel to the event, with all 8 pairings coming from China, Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei or Indonesia. Top seeded Du and Yu are through to the quarter final after a 21-8, 21-12 win over Sorokina and Vislova of Russia and will play the Japanese 6th seeds Maeda and Suetsuna in the last 8. The Japanese pair defeating Wallwork and White over England 21-23, 21-9, 21-8 to set up an all-seeded match in the quarters.
Wang and Ma are also through to the last 8 with a stunning 21-4, 21-7 win over Amitapai and Munkit of Thailand, they will play Chen and Chien of Chinese Taipei who beat the Bulgaria/Russian partnership of Anastasia Russkikh and Petya Nedelcheva 24-22, 21-9 to book their place in the last 8 of the event.
The top seeds Zheng Bo and Ma Jin were expected to contest for the title on Sunday, but were defeated by the Chinese qualifiers Zhang and Zhao 21-16, 21-17 to book their place in the last 8. They will play the 8th seeded Gunawan and Marissa after their 21-14, 21-16 victory over Fujii and Hashimoto. He and Yu’s match against Blair and Bankier did not go ahead with Robert Blair’s leg injury forcing him to retire from the event. The 4th seeds He and Yu will play another Chinese pair, the 6th seeded Tao and Zhang after a three-game match with Mateusiak and Kostiucyzk 20-22, 21-18, 21-12.
There is English interest in the quarterfinals, with Anthony Clark and Heather Olver through to the last 8 against a 21-18, 22-20 win over Lee and Chien of Chinese Taipei. They will play the 3rd seeds, Lee and Lee of Korean after their victory in their all-Korean second round match against Yoo and Kim, winning 21-13, 21-17. The second English pair play in the last of the quarterfinals, with Jenny Wallwork and Nathan Robertson defeating the 7th seeds, Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl 21-14, 16-21, 21-15. They will play the second seeds Widianto and Natsir after their 21-12, 21-8 win over Careme and Choinet of France
The top male and female players in Europe will represent their nations in the European Team Championships this week in Warsaw, Poland. Denmark are looking to defend both the Men and Women’s titles this week, but will face stern opposition from the likes of Germany, England and Netherlands.
Men’s Team Championships
2008 Result – Winners
The winners from two years ago are again the favourites for the title in 2010, with the likes of Jan O Jorgensen, Joachim Persson and Peter Gade for the singles and in doubles, the 4th ranked partnership in the world, Mogensen and Boe. In their group awaits Iceland, Finland, Hungary and Croatia. With the group winner receiving a bye in the Quarter Final.
2008 Result – 3rd
Germany want to go one better than their 3-1 defeat in the semi final against Denmark in the 2008 Event. Marc Zweibler and Dieter Domke will have to live up to and play above their rankings of 16 and 73 for Germany to repeat their 2006 appearance in the final. A potential rematch against Denmark could await in the semi final this year.
2008 Result – 4th
Poland has been on the rise for the last few years, with recent Super Series success in the mixed doubles. Wacha (#31 Rank) and Logosz and Mateusiak (#35 Rank) will need to perform at their best after being paired in a group with 2008 runners-up England. Thursday at 6pm will ultimately determine the winners of Group B.
2008 Result – 2nd
Denmark’s biggest challenge will come from England, with Andrew Smith, Rajiv Ouseph and Carl Baxter being the strongest line-up for England’s singles could potentially shock the Danish. Experienced heads like Robert Blair, Anthony Clark and Nathan Robertson will be invaluable with a new young squad of players like Adcock, Wright and Middleton. Their big test in the group will undoubtedly be Poland on Thursday.
Women’s Team Championships
2008 Result – Winners
Tine Rasmussen will be one of the stars on show in the Women’s Championship, the 10th ranked player in the world will led off Denmark in the singles. Europe’s top ranked women’s double pairing, Kristiansen and Rytter Juhl will be the partnership to beat in the championships also. Like the men, they also a potential bye to the semi final if they win Group A, with Greece, Estonia and Czech Republic.
2008 Result – 2nd
With Yao Jie and Judith Meulendijks out of the Championships, the Dutch are very much understrength in the singles. Patty Stolzenbach will need to regain the form that seen her reach the semi final of the Norwegian Open late last year for the Netherlands to have any chance to progress.
2008 Result – 3rd
Juliane Schenk will lead the German team in Group D in the singles, with Marinello and Overzier being the top ranked all-German couple, however Nicole Grether is seeded higher in the world but with a Canadian partner, so Germany’s 2nd doubles partnership could be just as strong as their first.
2008 Result – 4th
A surprise 4th placed finish it might have been, but a full-fit Scottish squad will arrive in Warsaw. Emma Mason is back after an 18-month lay off, as well as Imogen Bankier returning to competitive competition after a knee injury. Susan Egelstaff is in the form of her life after winning the 2009 Scottish Open. However they are placed in a tough group with France, Poland and Ukraine.
The competition begins on Tuesday, February 16.
Welcome everyone to our first ever Skype video show. At this point we have no name for the show but leave a comment if you have any suggestions for a name, or if you have anything to add to our analysis.
We apologize for being a little late to do this as both these events have come and gone a while ago. In the future we plan to do this after every major event.
In this edition of the unnamed show we discuss Lee Chong Wei’s incredible performances at the first two Super Series events, Joachim Persson’s struggles to regain his form, and even a brief discussion of upcoming star Viktor Axelsen.
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
After the first day of competition at the Li Ning China Master Super Series 2009 both of the English entrants in the men’s singles have managed to live to another day in spite of strong competition. Rajiv Ouseph ousted Thailand’s Saensomboonsuk Tanongsak in three games 21-7, 12-21, 21-17 to find his way to the second round where he will now face world number one Lee Chong Wei. England’s other men’s singles player Andrew Smith also had a strong performance against Hong Kong’s Chan Yan Kit who is no slouch. Smith won in three games too, 21-19, 5-21, 21-15 and will now play Boonsak Ponsana in the 2nd round.
As is customary at the China Masters, the draw is ripe with Chinese players. In fact at the second round phase the bottom quarter of the draw is all Chinese players with a notable match up between Chen Jin and Bao Chunlai. Chunlai’s ranking has slipped lately after injury troubles. Another notable performance from the Chinese was Chen Long’s win over Malaysia’s Wong Choong Han 21-9, 21-17. Wong is the only seed to fall in the men’s singles so far. Other than Chen Jin vs Bao Chunlai, another match to keep an eye out for tomorrow is Andrew Smith facing Boonsak Ponsana, this could go either way in my opinion, in spite of Ponsana being the favourite.
The women’s singles had few surprises as all of the seeds won their matches to move on to the second round, but certainly there were some close matches. Tine Rasmussen had to fight for her right to play as Zhang Yuchun from China pushed her to three games. Another close match was Pi Hongyan’s victory over Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong where the first game went to the limit with Pi winning 30-29, and then winning the second game 21-18.
All I can say about the men’s doubles is Korea, Malaysia and China. That’s all you see in the draw, period. The only other country represented was Chinese Taipei who were knocked out in the first round. In the second round there are 2 Malaysian pairs, 2 Korean pairs and 11 Chinese pairs remaining. It’s a fair bet that a Chinese pair will win, and if they don’t they will certainly get a reprimanding from Li Yongbo.
The women’s doubles isn’t too different, except that with Charmaine Reid and Nicole Grether winning their first round in three games they are the only non-Asian pair remaining in any of the doubles events. Where are all of the Danes, and English? Finally the mixed doubles is a very similar picture to the other doubles events with a very small number of non-Chinese teams remaining, or even entered in the first place.
Li Ning China Master Super Series 2009 Draws
The first Super Series after the World Championships takes us to the homeland of 4 gold medallists in India last month. Lin Dan has improved his ranking after his world title but is still ranked just 4th for the event that starts on September 15.
Lin Dan begins his campaign against Rajiv Ouseph of England, who was part of the English team that pulled out of the World Championships. Lee Chong Wei remains top seed; he faces Christian Lind Thomsen of Denmark in Round 1. World silver medalist Chen Jin starts his campaign against Hong Ji Hoon of Korea.
Bao Chunlai will hope to put his nightmare in the World Championships behind him as he plays Alistair Casey of Scotland in Round 1 in front of a home crowd. The qualifying for the event is a Chinese-only affair, with 10 players hoping to make one of the 4 spots available to make the main draw.
Notably absent from the draw this week is the young rising star from Denmark, Jan O Jorgensen, after his strong performance at the recent World Championships. No word on why Jorgensen is not competing in this event.
Zhou Mi retains her number 1 seeding for the women’s singles and will play Jang Soo Young of Korea in the first round. World Champion Lu Lan plays Zhu Lin in an all-Chinese match in the opening round.
The Mens Doubles will be an event to watch as Lee and Jung are ranked 1 for the event, with Cai and Fu on the other side of the draw ranked 2. Another spectacular match would almost be guaranteed in front of a partisan Chinese support.
The Mixed Doubles is almost an all-Chinese draw with the obvious exceptions of Lee and Lee who are seeded 1 for the event. Anastasia Russkikh also appears in the draw, partnering Gan Teik Chai of Malaysia.
The tournament begins on September 15.