The fairytale at the start of the week was Kevin Cordon’s unlikely run to last 8 but even his heroics haven’t matched the performances of Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier this week as they are one match away from being world champions.
Lee Chong Wei defeated the current world champion in convincing style in the morning session to book his place in the final by the score of 21-13, 21-9. His opponent in the final will be the 2nd seeded Lin Dan who had to come through Peter Gade in three games, after the Dane took the opening game but Lin Dan responded in the second and reeled off seven straight points at 14-15 down in the third game to book his place against Lee Chong Wei. Their 24th meeting will be for a world title, with the pair splitting their last 4 matches but the Malaysian won their last encounter in the All England Championships in March.
Wang Yihan won the all-Chinese semi final against Wang Xin to take a 5-0 lead in their head to head matches. The 2nd seed will take on the 7th seeded Cheng Shao Chieh, who defeated Juliane Schenk in convincing fashion to continue her excellent run after defeating the top seeded Wang Shixian in the quarter final stage. Wang Yihan holds a 3-0 record against her Chinese Taipei opponent, with their most recent matchup in the Asian Games being won by Wang Yihan in two games.
The Korean pair of Ko and Yoo reached the men’s doubles final with a two game victory over Ahsan and Septano, the 7th seeded pair from Indonesia. Their opponents in tomorrow’s final will be the top seeded Cai and Fu who are looking for their 3rd straight world title after defeating the 3rd seeded pair of Lee and Jung in two games and taking the advantage in their head to head to 8-7 to the Chinese pair. Cai and Fu will go in as undoubted favourites with a 4-0 advantage in their head to head.
The women’s doubles final is an All-Chinese affair, with the top seeded Wang and Yu defeating the 3rd seeded Maeda and Suetsuna in two games to book their place in the final against the 5th seeded Tian and Zhao, who defeated the unseeded Indian pair of Gutta and Ponnappa. Wang and Yu have won every single match they have played in 2011 except one, against the pairing of Tian and Zhao in Malaysia early in the year but since then Wang and Yu have defeated their opponents in the final twice.
The mixed doubles final sees the top seeded Zhao and Zhang take on the story of the championships in the pairing of Adcock and Bankier, who defeated their 4th seeded pair this week to be their place in tomorrow’s final. Adcock and Bankier’s stunning victory over the second seeded Ahmad and Natsir booked their place in the final whilst the Chinese pair had to play just one game against the 6th seeded Xu and Ma before an ankle injury to Ma Jin cut the match short. The Chinese pair have won both their previous matches but one of their victories was a retirement and the other meeting was in 2010 that the Chinese pair won 24-22 in the deciding game.
The question marks over the 2008 Olympic champions Lee and Lee making the World Championships were still unanswered as little as 3 weeks ago as Lee Hyo Jung pulled out of Macau just as Lee Yong Dae returned from his own injury layoff, however they are here in Paris. The Chinese squad come here without a seed in the top 5 and will look for an exceptional performance from one of three seeded pairings.
The top seeds are Widianto and Natsir and after their first round bye, they will play another Indonesia pair of Kurniawan and Bernadet ranked 14th in the world but not seeded for the world championships. The 11th seeded Chen and Chou is the other seeds in the section and play against Germany’s Schottler and Marinello for a place in the second round, the other match in the section is between Australian pair Raj and Renuga Veeran and Yoo and Kim of Korea.
Zheng and Ma are the 8th seeds, even though they are provisionally ranked 35th in the world and have failed to live up to the hype surrounding them for the past few years, could this year be their year? They begin their campaign against Zavadsky and Diptan of Ukraine, ranked 91st in the world. Also in this section is the 14th seeds, Thailand’s Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam who begin their campaign against Croatia’s Durkinjak and Poznanovic, the world number 58. The other match in the section is between Wong and Chau of Hong Kong, the world number 62 against the world number 52 pairing of Sam and Chloe Magee.
Poland’s Mateusiak and Kostiuczyk are seeded 3 for the event and have a tough opening match in the second round against the world number 27 duo of Triyachart and Yao of Singapore. This section will clearly be one of the toughest to progress through as the 9th seeded Diju V and Jwala Gutta take on the world number 21 pairing of Adcock and White of England. The final match of the section sees Chan and Goh of Malaysia take on the Belgian pair of Gillis and Corvillain.
The 5th seeded Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen are another high seeding with a tough opening match, against the 23rd ranked Sorokina and Nikolaenko of Russia in their second round match. The 12th seeded Ko and Ha from Korea have an easier start than the other seeds in the section, taking on Jacquet and Dumartharay of Switzerland. The first of the French pairings are in this section also, Careme and Choinet take on the Japanese pairing of Hashimoto and Fujii, who are both seeded in their level doubles events and could be a pairing to watch this week.
Lee and Lee are seeded 7 for the event, even thought they have a world ranking of 5. Perhaps there are still concerns of Lee Yong Dae’s injury, but the 7th seeds take on Larsen and Schjoett-Kristiansen of Denmark, ranked 32nd in the world and will test the Korean’s credentials in their opening game. The 16th seeded Lee and Chien have a tough match to start out also, against Russia’s Durkin and Vislova, ranked 31 in the world. The final match in the section sees Wiratama and Tse of Hong Kong take on Vietnam’s Duc and Ham, ranked 112 in the world.
The 4th seeds are another Indonesia pair in Gunawan and Marissa who begin their campaign against James and Edwards of South Africa, ranked 97th in the world. The 10th seeds Jiaming and Yawen take on France’s Rasadi and Labar in one of the weaker sections of the draw, with the final match of the section between world number 25 Ng and Gao against Hirata and Miyuki of Japan, ranked 34 in the world being easily the most competitive match in the section.
The big Chinese hope is in the 6th seeded He and Yu, who are ranked below Jiamind and Yawen but received a higher seeding. He and Yu begin their campaign against the Spanish pair of Longo and Ojeda. The 13th seeded Anugrtiayawon and Voravichitchalkul from Thailand take on the German duo of Overzier and Kindervater, ranked 67th in the world. The final match of the section sees Misha and Svetlana Zilberman of Israel take on Zirnwald and Prustch of Austria.
The final section sees the 2nd seeded and current World Champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl take on the Polish pair of Szkudiarczyk and Wojtkowska in the second round after their first round byes. The other seed in the section is the 15th seeds, Wallwork and Robertson of England who begin their campaign with a first round match against Prus and Atrashchenkov of Ukraine. The final match in the section is between the Bulgarian pair of Makarski and Dimova and Dutch pairing of Khoabux and Barning in an excellent matchup between the world number 36 and 39 in the world.
The Chinese domination of the 2009 Women’s Doubles looks likely to attempt a double in 2010 with 4 of the top 7 seeds being Chinese, with a new world champion guaranteed also with the 2009 champions with Zhang and Zhao not taking part this year.
The top seeds are the young Chinese pairing of Ma and Jin, much is expected of them after making the semi finals last year and they start their campaign in Round 2 against the American pairing of Wang and Wang, ranked 43rd in the world. The 11th seeded Sari and Yao from Singapore also receive a bye into round 2, and they will play the winner of Cooper and Slee of Australia and Ideh and Maria of Nigeria who are both ranked outside the top 100 in the world.
The Korean pair of Ha and Kim are seeded 6 for the championships and begin their run to the final against the world number 72 Swiss pairing of Gruber and Jacquet in round 2. The 16th seed Gutta and Ponnappa start in round 1 against Barning and Muskens of Holland, before a likely matchup between the winners of the Edwards and Viljoen of South Africa and Ulitina and Voytsekh of the Ukraine.
Last years beaten finalists look to go one better as the 4th seeded Cheng and Zhao begin with a first round bye before taking on Chang and Chou of Chinese Taipei, the world number 96. They are joined in this section by 14th seeded Thai pairing of Arronkesorn and Voravichitchaikul who take on the Greek duo of Karkantzia and Ligomenou, ranked 147th in the world. The other match in the section sees two of Europe’s best pairings go at it for a place in round 2 as Overzier and Marinello of Germany take on Denmark’s Damkjaer and Schjoett-Kristiansen, with both pairings ranked inside the top 30 in the world.
The 5th seeded Japanese pairing of Miyuki and Suetsuna has a first round bye before taking on the Spanish pairing of Molina and Ojeda, ranked over 100 places lower in the world rankings. The 10th seeded Bulgarian/Russian partnership of Nedelcheva and Russkikh take on the French pairing of Choinet and Rasidi The final match in the section is between England’s young pairing of Wallwork and White take on Canada’s St. Jacques and Cloutier for a place in round 2.
8th seeded Koreans Hyun and Jung take on the Canadian pair of Gao and Ko, ranked 53rd in their opening match after a first round bye, they are joined in their section by one of the top pairings on the EBU Circuit in Sorokina and Vislova who are ranked 12th for the event. They take on Ukrainian pair Prus and Kobtseva in their opening round match and the final match sees another French pairing of Chanteur and Matias take on Czech duo Basova and Krizkova for a place in round 2.
One of the form pairs of the last month are seeded 3rd, Chinese Taipei pairing of Cheng and Chien are the duo to look out for after wins in the US and Chinese Taipei in the last month, they begin with a second round match against Hong Kong’s Chan and Chau. The other seed in the section are the 13th seeds Amitapal and Munkit of Thailand who take on Scotland’s Mason and Bankier who are both coming back from long-term injuries. The other match in the section is between Denmark’s Roepke and Kristiansen and Holland’s Van Dooremalen and Jonathans.
The 7th seeded Pan and Tian might receive a first round bye, but their second round opponent will be a match for any partnership this season, they take on Korea’s Lee and Lee for a place in Round 3. The 9th seeded Japanese pairing of Fujii and Kakiiwa are the other seeds in the section and take on Yeh and Yeh of the USA in their opening round match. Also in the section is the world number 25 pairing of Lennartson and Wengberg of Sweden, who take on Australian pair of Veeran and Tang for a place in the second round.
The 2nd seeds begin their campaign against local pairing Fontaine and Luttmann for a place in round 3 of the competition. The 3rd Japanese seeded pair of Matsuo and Naito are the 15th seed for the event and take on the Polish pair of Poczyowiak and Wojtkowska for a place in the second round. The final match in the section sees the Belgian #1 duo of Annys and Corvillain take on Finland’s Rautala and Virta for a place in the second round of this years World Championships.
Women’s Doubles Draw