Henri Hurskainen’s victory over Peter Gade could have been deemed a fluke result over an legend in his final year of competition, but in his last two matches he has defeated Peter Gade and the future of Danish badminton, Viktor Axelsen.
Hurskainen Takes On Zwiebler
There is always usually a standout performance from a pair or person playing in from of his home crowd. Adcock and Bankier’s performance at the 2011 Worlds was made possible in front of a partizan London auidence. Hurskainen’s last two performances have seen him play above and beyond his world ranking of 57 to claim two incredible victories just 3 months ahead of the Olympics. His three-game victory over Axelsen has seen him progress to his first European final, where he takes on Germany’s Marc Zwiebler.
Zwiebler fell at the semi final stage in 2010, losing in three games to Peter Gade but his impressive two game victory over Jan O Jorgensen ensures that he reached the final without the loss of a game and that the European title wouldn’t be returning to Denmark for the first time since 1990.
Danish Presence In Four Finals
Whilst the clean sweep of golds is no longer an option, Denmark have secured at least one gold in the women’s doubles final. Tine Baun takes on Juliane Schenk in a rematch of their 2010 final in Manchester, with the top seeded Baun defeating Linda Zechiri to reach the final whilst the second seeded Schenk was impressive in her 21-13, 21-10 victory over Jie Yao to ensure the German like Zwiebler, reached the final without the loss of a game.
Boe and Mogensen will hope to go one better than 2010 as they take on Fuchs and Roth in the men’s doubles final. The top seeded defeated Adcock and Ellis to reach the final whilst their German opponents ended any chance of an all-Danish final with their victory over Bonde and Kristiansen in a three game, 62-minute semi final. Their previous and only meeting was over two years ago, with the Danes taking the match in three games.
Pedersen and Rytter Juhl take on their team mates Damkjaer Kruse and Roepke in the women’s doubles final, with the 3rd seeds ending the run of the 2010 winners Vislova and Sorokina in three games. The top seeds needed just two games and half the time to defeat Michels and Marinello of Germany to ensure their place in the final with the loss of just 96 points to date this week.
The mixed doubles final features the 2010 runners-up Mateusiak and Zieba taking on the Danish pair of Pielder Colding and Houmann. Both pairs needed three games to defeat their higher seeded opponents, with the 7th seeded Poles defeating the 4th seeded Adcock and Bankier whilst the 8th seeds defeated their team mates and 2010 winners Laybourn and Rytter Juhl who were seeded 2nd this week. Their only meeting came at the 2011 World Championships, which the Polish pair won in three games.
Peter Gade’s last run at the European Championships ends with a quarter final defeat to Sweden’s Henri Hurskainen as several Danish seeds crash out at the last 8.
Axelsen and Jorgensen Keep Danish Dream Alive
With Henri Hurskainen’s shock victory over Peter Gade, the hopes of a nation rested on Jan O Jorgensen and Viktor Axelsen. The 7th seeded Axelsen set up his semi final against Hurskainen with a two game victory over Dieter Domke whilst Jan O Jorgensen ensure there wouldn’t be another upset with his own two game victory over Mattias Wigardt. Jorgensen takes on the 4th seeded Marc Zwiebler after the German defeated Rajiv Ouseph in the only quarter final to have a pair of seeds play one another.
Tine Baun is also into the semi finals to keep the hope of five Danish titles alive. The top seed defeated Carolina Marin in three games to set up her semi final with the 7th seeded Linda Zechiri, who defeated Kristina Gavnholt to end the unseeded players run in the event. Jie Yao ensured there wouldn’t be two Bulgarians in the last 4 with a three game victory over Petya Nedelcheva to set up a semi final against Germany’s Juliane Schenk. The second seed defeated Sabrina Jaquet in her quarter final to set up her semi final with the 5th seeded Jie Yao.
Danish Dominance In Doubles
Boe and Mogensen reached the last 4 over Ivanov and Sozonov in two games to set up a semi final against Adcock and Ellis of England, who defeated the 3rd seeded Kindervater and Schoettler in a tight three game match to ensure Chris Adcock’s excellent week continues. Fuchs and Roth ensured at least one German presence in the last 4 with a victory over the 4th seeded Cwalina and Logosz and set up a semi final against the unseeded Danish pair of Bonde and Kristiansen who defeated Quere and Ronan of France.
Pedersen and Rytter Juhl relentless run to the last 4 continued with a 21-8, 21-7 victory over the on-form Piek and Tabelling and set up a semi final against Michels and Marinello of Germany who ended the run of Sweden’s Lennartsson and Wengberg in a two game quarter final. The other semi final sees Damkjaer Cruse and Roepke taking on the 2nd seeded Vislova and Sorokina, with the Russian pairing needing three games to progress against the 6th seeded Agathangelou and Olver of England.
The big shock in the mixed doubles was the loss of the top seeded Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen, after they crashed out to the 7th seeded Mateusiak and Zieba in two games. The Polish pair take on Adcock and Bankier, who saved a match point in the third game to eventually come through their all-British clash with Robertson and Wallwork to reach the last 4. Laybourn and Rytter Juhl take on their team mates Pieler Kolding and Houmann to ensure a Danish finalist in the mixed doubles with the 8th seeded Danes defeating the 3rd seeded Nikolaenko and Sorokina in three games to advance to the last 4.
Two of the Dutch seeds in the doubles both crashed out earlier today as there were shocks throughout the draw in Karlskona.
Two Swedes Into Last 8
Henri Hurskainen and Mattias Wigardt are both into the last 8 to the delight of the home crowd but face their toughest tests of the week as they take on the top 2 seeds in the draw next. Hurskainen defeated Lukas Schmidt and Ivan Sozonov, who defeated their 5th seeded Pablo Abian in his second round clash but the Swede defeated the Russian in two games to set up his quarter final against Peter Gade. The top seed defeated Ville Lang in his second round clash and defeated the Ukrainian Valeriy Atrashchenkov in two games to reach the last 8.
Mattias Wigardt takes on Jan O Jorgensen after wins over Stilian Makarski and Vladimir Ivanov to reach the last 8. Jorgensen defeated Kari Gunnarsson and Eetu Heino in straight games to safely progress into the quarter finals. The other two quarter finals sees the 7th seeded Viktor Axelsen take on Dieter Domke, who ended the run of the 3rd seeded Hans-Kristian Vittinghus on route to the last 8. The only quarter final with two seeds involved is between the 4th seeded Marc Zwiebler and 6th seeded Rajiv Ouseph, with both players not losing a game on route to the last 8.
Two Seeds Gone In Women’s Singles
Pi Hongyan was the biggest casualty in the women’s singles, losing her opening match to Germany’s Karin Schnaase before losing out in the next round to Kristina Gavnholt. The unseeded Czech takes on the 7th seeded Linda Zechiri who progressed without the loss of a game. Tine Baun set up her quarter final against Carolina Marin with two solid performances against two past Scottish Open winners in Judith Meulendijks
and Elizabeth, whilst the 6th seeded Marin defeated Tatjana Bibik and Neslihan Yigit to reach the last 8 in impressive fashion.
Jie Yao has been clinical in reaching the last 8, defeating Ellinor Widh and Kirsty Gilmour with the loss of just 40 points to date. Her opponent in the quarter final, Petya Nedelcheva as dropped just 35 points as the 3rd seeded Bulgarian reached the last 8 with little resistance. The last quarter final sees Juliane Schenk take on Switzerland’s Sabrina Jaquet, who defeated the 8th seeded Agnese Allegrini in two games to set up her quarter final against Schenk.
Double Disappointment For The Dutch
8th seeded Bosch and Ridder crashed out to the French pairing of Quere and Ronan in the third round, with the French pair being rewarded with a quarter final against Bonde and Kristiansen of Denmark who defeated their team mates and 2nd seeds, Conrad-Petersen and Rasmussen to reach the last 8. Boe and Mogensen are safely into the last 8, where they take on the Russian pair of Ivanov and Sozonov in their quarter final matchup.
Piek and Tabelling are one success story for the Dutch, reaching the last 8 after a third round win over Cooper and Gilmour of Scotland to set up a quarter final against the top seeded Pedersen and Rytter Juhl. However, there was disappointment for the 5th seeded Van Dooremalen and Jonathans as they lost out to Augustyn and Wojtkowska of Poland in two games, with the Polish pair taking on Damkjaer Cruse and Roepke in the their quarter final.
The mixed doubles got underway today, with all 8 seeds progressing into the quarter finals. The top seeded Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen take on the 7th seeded Mateusiak and Zieba after two straight forward victories. The 2nd seeded Danes Laybourn and Rytter Juhl take on Fuchs and Michels of Germany in their quarter final, with both pairs progressing without the loss of a game. The third Danish pair, 8th seeds Pieler Colding and Houmann take on the 3rd seeded Russian pairing of Nikolaenko and Sorokina, with the 3rd seeds needing just a single victory to progress into the last 8 after the withdrawal of Careme and Fontaine.
The last of the quarter finals is an all-British clash between the 4th seeded Adcock and Bankier against the 6th seeded Robertson and Wallwork. Whilst no ranking points are on offer this week, it is still a massive match with the Olympics just 100 days away. They are separated by just 10 spots in the world rankings and both pairs have taken a match in their two encounters previously this year.
The European contingent took a massive hit today, with player crashing out of every event leaving just a handful of European hopefuls left in the draws.
8 Of The Best Remain
Even without Lee Chong Wei or Peter Gade, the quarter final lineup has plenty of intrigue. The re-emergence of Taufik Hidayat is both unexpected but welcome as he refuses to give up on an Olympic spot. Shon Wan Ho is Hidayat’s quarter final opponent, whose run has been highly impressive in dropping just 61 points in three matches. Viktor Axelsen continues to appear in the later rounds of these events but takes on Lee Hyun Il of Korea in his quarter final. This will be a fantastic test of how good the Danish teen is. Chen Long is also through to the last 8, taking on Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in the quarter finals after the Dane defeated the 7th seeded Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam.
Chinese Withdrawals Open Up Draw
The withdrawals of Wang Yihan and Jiang Yanjiao are somewhat strange in their timing, with having the opportunity to progress without the loss of a Chinese player which is often the reason for such withdrawals during events. Wang Shixian and Liu Xin remain in the draw to add further question marks, with Wang Shixian taking on Juliane Schenk and Liu Xin taking on Saina Nehwal in tough quarter final matches.
Adcock and Bankier Claim Tight Victory
The all-British encounter was talked about as being the potential deciding game on who would make the Olympics for Team GB. After 68 minutes and saving 3 match points, with the world number 14 pairing of Adcock and Bankier progressing 25-23 in the third game. Their reward is a quarter final against the unseeded Japanese pair of Hayakawa and Matsutomo whilst the other match in the top half is a rematch of the All England semi final with Ahmad and Natsir taking on Chan and Goh.
The top seeded Chai and Guo crashed out to the unseeded pairing of Goh and Teo of Malaysia who take on the 5th seeded Indonesian pair of Chandra and Gunawan. There is one Chinese pair left in the draw, the unseeded pair of Hong and Shen take on the 8th seeded Japanese pair of Endo and Hayakawa. The world number 13 and 14 pairs have played twice previously with both pairings claiming a victory.
6 of the 8 seeds in the women’s doubles are safely into the quarter finals, with the top seeds Ha and Kim taking on the 7th seeded Chien and Cheng of Chinese Taipei. The sole European hope lies with the 5th seeded Pedersen and Rytter Juhl who take on one of the unseeded pairs in Chin and Wong in their quarter final.
Three of the biggest rivalries in the game are to be renewed on the finals stage as China’s hope to claim 5 titles ends today.
Lee Takes On Lin
The top two players in the world will meet for the 28th time and the 4th time at the All Englands. Both have secured their place in the final without the loss of a game this week and Lee Chong Wei complete their route to the finals with a victory over Lee Hyun Il, whilst Lin Dan defeated Kenichi Tago to reach tomorrow’s final. Lee Chong Wei has never strung two victories together against Lin Dan, he will hope to change that after defeating Lin Dan in Korea in their previous encounter in January.
All Chinese Finals In All England
Wang Yihan takes on Li Xuerui tomorrow’s women’s singles final after the world number defeated Wang Shixian in her semi final whilst Li Xuerui beat Tai Tzu Ying in the second of the semi finals. The 7th seed does not hold a good record against the top seeded Wang Yihan in previous encounters, losing all of her previous four encounters. Wang and Yu renew their rivalry with Tian and Zhao in the women’s doubles final, with both pairs meeting little resistance on route to the final. It will be their 9th meeting with Wang and Yu winning their last 7 matches.
The 21st Encounter
Cai and Fu take on Lee and Jung for the 21st time in the All England final, with their historic rivalry tired at 10 wins apiece. Cai and Fu have won the previous two matches but this is their first meeting in the All England final, with both pairs not losing a game this week on route to tomorrow’s final with Lee and Jung being especially impressive in their victory over Boe and Mogensen in their semi final.
The mixed doubles final is the only final without Chinese interest, with Laybourn and Rytter Juhl ending the run of the 2011 champions Xu and Ma at the semi final stage in a two game victory. The 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir will be the Danes opponent in the final after ending the run of the Malaysian pair of Chan and Goh. It will be their 3rd meeting with the Danish pair taking their most recent match in China last November.
There were no excuses of a 3am finish today, with play ending well before midnight on Day 2 with the loss of several seeds over all 5 events.
Taufik Returns To Super Series Latter Stages
Both Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan have progressed without much fuss into the quarter finals, winning their second round matches in two games. Top seeded Lee Chong Wei takes on the unseeded Rumbaka of Indonesia in his quarter final after toppling the 6th seeded Sho Sasaki in two games. Lin Dan takes on Taufik Hidayat in one of the matches of the third day, with the Indonesian defeating Chen Jin in the second round to progress to his first Super Series Premier quarter final of 2012. It will be a massive boost to the Indonesian’s rankings with the qualification period for the London Olympics ending in just over 2 months time.
Chinese Threats Loom Large
Four of the remaining eight players in the women’s singles are the Chinese seeds, with that number set to decrease by at least one going into Saturday’s semi finals. Wang Yihan takes on Tine Baun in the quarter finals in the pick of the matches but the all-Chinese match between Wang Shixian and Jiang Yanjiao has it’s own sub plot. The Chinese number 3 and 4 are battling for the last place in the Olympic team, so this match will have massive implications on who might progress to the Olympics. Li Xuerui is the only Chinese player on the bottom half of the draw and takes on Saina Nehwal in the quarter finals.
Massive Chinese Presence In Doubles
The Chinese have three pairs in the men’s doubles quarter finals, with Cai and Fu reaching their quarter final against Ahsan and Septano without the loss of a game so far this week. Lee and Jung will have to reverse their defeat against Hong and Shen to progress into the last 4, with the unseeded Chinese pair defeating Koo and Tan of Malaysia to reach the last 8. The 5th seeded Chai and Guo take on the Danish 3rd seeds Boe and Mogensen in the pick of the men’s doubles quarter finals, with the Danish pair defeating the 5th seeds last year on route to their victory at the 2011 All Englands.
Two of the newer pairings for China face off in the women’s doubles quarter final, with Ma and Zhong taking on Huan and Tang with a likely semi final against Wang and Yu looming large. Both pairings have defeated a seed to reach the last 8, with Ma and Zhong defeating Fujii and Kakiiwa in their opening round match whilst Huan and Tang defeating Chien and Cheng of Chinese Taipei, seeded 8. The top two seeds have had little trouble in reaching the quarter finals, with both pairs needing around a hour to book their places in the quarter finals.
The GB Olympic sub-plot is very much still alive this week, with Bankier and Adcock defeating the Korean pair of Yoo and Jang to reach the last 8, only to be followed soon after by their rivals Robertson and Wallwork who defeated the 5th seeded Chen and Cheng to also book their place in the quarter finals. Adcock and Bankier take on the world number 9 pairing of Chan and Goh whilst Robertson and Wallwork take on the 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir with the reward for another victory each is a semi final match against one another. Xu and Ma are the sole Chinese pair left in the mixed doubles and they take on the Russian pair of Nikolaenko and Sorokina who have regained the form of late last year to reach the last 8. There is also an all-Danish quarter final with Laybourn and Rytter Juhl taking on Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen for a place in the last 4.
The world’s elite descend on Birmingham for the last Premier event of the Olympic qualifying year and also the last visit for some of the world’s greatest players set to retire in London in less than 6 months time.
Gade’s Last Run
Gade confirmed on Sunday evening that this would be his last All England as a player. The 4th seed starts with a first round match against his opponent at the 2011 World Championships, England’s Rajiv Ouseph. Gade has won the previous 7 encounters against Ouseph, all in two games. Top seed Lee Chong Wei is also in Gade’s half of the draw, taking on the dangerous Wang Zhengming in his opening round match but the world number 1 has won all four of their matches in two games also.
Lin Dan enters the tournament as the form player with his fantastic run in Germany last week, he takes on India’s Ajay Jayaram in his opening round match for their first meeting. The bottom half of the draw is loaded with Chinese threats with Chen Jin and Chen Long all likely to make deep runs this week. Taufik Hidayat has dropped to 12th in the world rankings and has been displaced as Indonesia’s #1 player by Simon Santoso. His status as Indonesia’s number 2 should remain unless Tommy Sugiarto defeats Chen Jin in his opening round match, with Hidayat taking on Guatemala’s Kevin Cordon in the first round.
Chinese Strength On Show
China have only brought a mere 6 players for the women’s singles, with all of them ranked inside the top 10 in the world. Liu Xin is the only unseeded of the six and takes on Michelle Li of Canada before a likely second round match against top seeded Wang Yihan.
Should the Chinese team allow their players to play one another, this could be a fascinating week of play with six players attempting to qualify for potentially three spots in the Olympics. Wang Xin and Wang Shixian hold the other two qualifying places and both have tough openers. Wang Xin takes on the world number 12 Sung Ji Hyun of Korea whilst Wang Shixian takes on the world number 10 and world silver medalist
Cheng Shao Chieh.
Tine Baun and Juliane Schenk lead the European charge, with Baun taking on Fu Mingtian of Singapore in her opening round match whilst Juliane Schenk takes on the world number 13 Bae Youn Joo in her opening round match. The sub-plots begin on Tuesday when qualifying takes place with Susan Egelstaff and Elizabeth Cann fighting for the GB spot at the Olympics, both have been in poor runs of form but could play each other in the final qualifying round on Tuesday night in what could be a decider for the Olympic spot.
China The Nation To Beat
China hold the top seed in all three doubles events, with Cai and Fu on route to take on Lee and Jung for their 21st encounter. Last week’s winners Hong and Shen are in Lee and Jung’s half of the draw also as well as Boe and Mogensen of Denmark. Cai and Fu’s main threat in their half in the Korean pair of Ko and Yoo, their world championship opponents.
Wang and Yu have been off the radar for almost 2 months after their stunning loss to Ha and Kim in Korea, they still remain the top seeds in the women’s doubles and will face a qualifier in their opening round. Their main rivals Tian and Zhao start with Chin and Wong of Malaysia, the world number 14 pairing. Ha and Kim are the 3rd seeds this week and are in the bottom half of the draw and have a rematch of their opening round in Germany last week against Sari and Yao of Singapore who defeated them in three games.
The mixed doubles offers another Zhang and Zhao against Adcock and Bankier rematch in the first round, after meeting in the first round in Korea with the British pair coming up on top. Adcock and Bankier are also in a tight qualification fight against Robertson and Wallwork who take on the world number 11 Thai pairing of Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul in the opening round. Xu and Ma are the second seeds this week and start with under the circumstances an “easy” game against the world number 31 pairing of Kim and Jung of Korea. The Danish contingent could face off in the quarter final, but the 3rd seeded Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen take on the new Chinese partnership of Jiaming and Huan. Last week’s German Open winners Laybourn and Rytter Juhl await a qualifier in their opening round.
The story of the day was the hope of a title remaining in Germany with Juliane Schenk but at the end of play on Sunday, the storyline was nothing new as China took 4 of the 5 titles.
Danish Delight In Mixed
The only title not won by the Chinese was the mixed doubles, won by Laybourn and Rytter Juhl who defeated their higher seeded opponents Lee and Ha in a stunning 21-9, 21-16 victory to ensure one title would remain in Europe and giving the Danish pair a massive boost going into the All England Championships.
Four For China
Lin Dan was the overwhelming favourite at the start of the week and was rarely tested throughout the week, claiming victory in the final over Simon Santoso 21-11, 21-11 to claim the men’s singles title. Huan and Tang took the women’s doubles title with a two game victory over Jung and Kim of Korea. The Korean’s could have claimed three titles today also which was another storyline of the day as they left with none.
Hong and Shen stunned the top seeded Lee and Jung in the men’s doubles final, winning their tight three game match in 65 minutes to ensure Lee Yong Dae would leave Germany empty handed. Li Xuerui finished the run of Juliane Schenk at the final hurdle in the women’s singles final, a spirited performance from Schenk was to no avail as the 2nd seeded Chinese player took the title 21-19, 21-16.
Germany’s hope of a title on home soil lies with Juliane Schenk, the 3rd seeded topped the world number 2 Wang Xin to reach the women’s singles final.
Chinese Presence In Singles Finals
Lin Dan progressed into tomorrow’s men’s singles final with a straight forward two game victory over Tommy Sugiarto to stop any chance of an all-Indonesian final. Simon Santoso defeated Jan O Jorgensen in two games to set up a 10th meeting with Lin Dan, with his sole victory coming by way of walkover in 2007. Li Xuerui takes on Juliane Schenk in the women’s singles final after the 2nd seed topped Gu Juan in her semi final in two games.
Lee Going For Two Titles
Lee Yong Dae has successfully reached the mixed and men’s doubles finals, losing just two games on route to both finals. Lee and Jung defeated the Japanese pairing of Endo and Hayakawa but their 2nd seeded team-mates Ko and Yoo crashed out in the second semi final to the unseeded pair of Hong and Shen. This is the 6th meeting between the pairs, with the top seeded Koreans winning the previous 5 matches.
The 7th and 8th seeds will play in the women’s doubles final, with the 7th seeded Jung and Kim defeating the 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa to reach the final. The second semi final saw the 8th seeded Huan and Tang defeating Cheng and Pan in an all-Chinese semi final. The 8th seeded Chinese pair hold a 1-0 advantage in the head to head in previous meetings.
Lee and Ha needed over an hour to defeat the unseeded Japanese pairing of Sato and Matsuo before booking their place in the mixed doubles final. Their opponent will be the 2009 world champions, Laybourn and Rytter Juhl who defeated the 2nd seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in the second semi final. This will be the first meeting between the world number 7 and 8 pairings.