Lee Chong Wei ensured his second success on home soil in 2012 after his Super Series success in January as Malaysia claimed 4 of the 5 titles this week.
Lee Takes Title
It was a far from dominant display from the world number 1 this week but nevertheless Lee Chong Wei claimed the title in a three game final against the unseeded Sony Dwi Kuncoro. After losing the opening game 21-17, the world number 1 dropped just another 18 points on route to the title. For Kuncoro, it was a positive week that far from reflect his drop in the world rankings to 79 as he defeated three players inside the top 50 in the world.
Three More Titles For Malaysia
Koo and Tan claimed the men’s doubles title, dropping just a single game in the process as Malaysia swept the doubles events. The world number 9 pairing of Chan and Goh have had an excellent year to date and claimed the mixed doubles title without the loss of a game. Chin and Wong defeated the top seeded Sari and Yao in the women’s doubles to claim Malaysia’s fourth title of the week, with the 2nd seeds defeating the Singapore pairing in two tight games.
Busanan Ongbumrungpan claimed the women’s title, as the Thai player defeated another unseeded player in Sayaka Takahashi in the final with the world number 157 claiming the title in two games.
This weeks GP Gold’s field is almost as strong as the Super Series field of last week with some Chinese stars playing this week as well as the world #1 Lee Chong Wei looking for his second title in his home nation this year.
Lee Chong Wei won the Super Series event in January with an opening round win over Tommy Sugiarto and this week, he defeated the 15th seeded Sugiarto today in two games to reach the last 8 where he will take on France’s Brice Leverdez. China’s chance of clinching the title this week is down to just the 7th seeded Bao Chunlai as 4th seeded Chen Jin lost to Sho Sasaki of Japan in the last 16, with the 11th seeded Sasaki winning in three games to set up a quarter final match with Park Sung Hwan of Korea. The bottom half of the draw is headlined by 3rd seeded Tien Minh Nguyen, who takes on Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the last 8. In the last of tomorrow’s quarter finals, 7th seeded Bao Chunlai takes on the 9th seeded Lee Hyun Il of Korea for a chance to reach the semi finals on Saturday.
Top seeded Saina Newhal will have her toughest test of the week as she takes on Wang Lin in the quarter finals, with the unseeded Chinese player defeating 6th seeded Eriko Hirose in convincing fashion to reach the last 8. There is interest in three of the four quarter finals for China, with 3rd seeded Jiang Yanjiao taking on Sung Ji Hyun in the top half of the draw whilst Wang Xin takes on the on-form Japanese player of the past two weeks, Ai Goto who defeated last week’s India Super Series winner Porntip Buranaprasertsuk today as well as Saina Newhal last week.
Koo and Tan are Malaysia’s second chance of a title this week, having been impressive on route to the last 8. They take on the 6th seeded Japanese pairing of Endo and Hayakawa who have also been playing well this week. Ahsan and Septano are the other seed left in the top half of the draw with the 3rd seeds taking on the Dutch pairing of Bosch and Ridder in their quarter final match. The big shock in the draw was the defeat of 2nd seeded Kido and Setiawan to Malaysia’s Abdul Khalid and Mawan, whose reward is a quarter final match against Cho and Kwon of Korea, seeded 6.
The potential rematch of the top two Japanese seeds is over, as 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa lost out to Jung and Kim of Korea in their match today, who take on the Chinese pairing of Ying and Yu who defeated Malaysia’s Chin and Wong to reach the last 8. Top seeded Maeda and Suetsuna have had little problems to date and take on the 8th seeded Dutch pairing of Jonathans and Van Dooremalen in their quarter final match.
After Ma and Xu’s stunning first round loss, there has just been no more seeds eliminated from the mixed doubles. With all 6 remaining that started the second round, the only unseeded pairs in the draw are Thailand’s Jongjit and Amitapai who defeated Widianto and Irawati in the second round and Malaysia’s Mohd Tazari and Mg, who take on the 3rd seeded Kurniawan and Bernadeth who reached the India Super Series final last week.
The devoid of talent this week has been the subplot of a week of surprises, but there has been one outstanding constant within the week and that has been the play of Lee Chong Wei. His semi final today was another match that he was a class apart from his opponent, this time being Hu Yun of Hong Kong. Even the 8th seed had no answer for the Malaysian’s form this week as Lee Chong Wei won 21-11, 21-15 in just 28 minutes.
His opponent in tomorrow’s final will be Peter Gade, after he came through his semi final with Park Sung Hwan in two games, albeit a tighter match than the top seeds. His 21-15, 21-19 victory came in 45 minutes but Gade himself has been in excellent form this week in the loss of just one game to Kazushi Yamada in the first round.
The women’s singles featured another seed crashing out, with Yip Pui Yin tamely losing to Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 21-13, 21-8. Bae Youn Joo however had better success than her seeded counterpart in her semi final victory over Sayaka Sato in three games. The 63 minute match was the longest of the tournament for the Korean but has spent less time on court than her opponent tomorrow who survived two early round scares to reach the final.
It was a double shock in the men’s doubles, with Hashimoto and Hirata defeating the top seeded pair of Koo and Tan in their semi final and also the unseeded Saputra and Pratama’s win over the 3rd seeded Chandra and Gunawan to set up the most unlikeliest of finals at the start of the day. The women’s doubles final however, is an all more expected story with the top two seeds both from Japan reaching the final with only the 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa being tested by Poon and Tse of Hong Kong in their semi final matchups, eventually winning in three games.
An all-Indonesian final was all but assured in the mixed doubles, with Chan and Goh failing to regain the form that got them to this stage. The 5th seeded Malaysian lost out to Kurniawan and Bernadeth in two games, with the 3rd seeds winning 21-12, 21-16. The other all-Indonesian semi final was slightly anti-climatical with the 7th seeded Rijal and Susanto having to retire deep into the second game, however the pair were already a game and 15-9 down to the 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir, who go through to the final.
Day 4 Results:
Lee Chong Wei gained his revenge on Lin Dan on what claimed would be his “second to last” visit to the All England’s before he plans to retire but the big winners on finals day were the Chinese as they claimed three titles.
Lee Chong Wei didn’t drop a game all week on his route to defending his All England title but was given his biggest test by his long-term rival in Lin Dan however the top seeded Malaysian came through in two games to win the men’s singles by the scoreline of 21-17, 21-17 in 52 minutes.
There was a trio of Chinese success, starting with Wang Shixian in the women’s singles as she took her first All England title, defeating Eriko Hirose of Japan in a tight two game match which the top seeded Chinese player won 24-22, 21-18 in 55 minutes to claim her second Super Series title of 2011 and her first Premier triumph. Wang and Yu were at their awesome best in a stunning display in the women’s doubles final against the world #9 pair of Fujii and Kakiiwa, the 3rd seeded took the opening game 21-2 in just 9 minutes and completed their demolition with a 21-9 scoreline in the second to claim their first All England as a partnership. Wang Xiaoli’s previous partner Ma Jin also claimed the mixed doubles title with new partner Xu Chen over the 3rd seeded Thai pairing of Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in another one-sided final that the Chinese pair won 21-13, 21-9.
There was some European success as the Danish top seeds of Boe and Mogensen claimed the men’s doubles title, 12 months after having four match points in last year’s final to win it. They defeated Malaysia’s Koo and Tan in a three game match, coming back from a being a game down to win 15-21, 21-18, 21-18 in 62 minutes to claim their first All England title.
All England Final Results
Lee Chong Wei proved his credentials as the world number 1 with a three-game victory over his archrival Lin Dan. The 80-minute match was the longest match of the day by some distance, with Lee Chong Wei taking the match 22-20, 16-21, 21-17 to put him in excellent form ahead of next months Commonwealth Games, where he is likely to be the undoubted favourite.
The women’s singles also sprung a surprise as unseeded Jiang Yanjiao defeated the new world number 1 Wang Xin in two tight games, winning 23-21, 21-18. News also emerged that new world Champion Wang Lin will be sidelined after knee surgery in Germany this week, which could propel Jiang Yanjiao higher up in the rankings over the coming weeks.
Cai and Fu repeated their World Championship success over Koo and Tan, again in three games with an 18-21, 21-14, 21-12 win in 46 minutes. The lower seeded Chinese pair have won their last three tournaments together, as well as defeating Koo and Tan for the fifth consecutive time, dating back to the 2009 Sudirman Cup.
The new partnership of Wang and Yu has been a successful one for the Chinese pair, winning last week China and again this week in Japan. They defeated another Chinese pair, Cheng and Zhao in very impressive fashion in just 31 minutes, winning 21-17, 21-6 to take their second title in as many weeks.
Zhao however did win one title on the day, taking the mixed doubles title with partner Zhang Nan in another all-Chinese final. They defeated the 8th seeded Tian and Tao in two tight games, winning 21-19, 22-20 in 49 minutes. It was the unseeded pairs second Super Series title of 2010, winning the All England Championships earlier in the year.
The Chinese cleaned up in the singles events, as well as taking the women’s doubles crown but the Koreans took the remaining two events.
Chen Jin claimed his first Super Series event of 2010 after a hard fought three game victory over 8th seeded and Chinese compatriot Chen Long. After losing the first game 21-12, the 3rd seed responded by winning the next two and taking China’s first men’s singles title of 2010. The event was a surprise, as Gade managed to beat Lin Dan for the first time in four years as the Chinese superstar failed to make the semi final of either of his first two events of 2010.
Jiang Yanjiao came into today’s final in a stunning vain of form, dropping just 73 points in four rounds to reach the final and was the massive favourite to overturn her Chinese team-mate and 6th seed Wang Shixian to take the title. The 6th seed however was in excellent form and stunned Jiang Yanjiao by inflicting a two game victory in just 40 minutes, with the 6th seed winning 21-15, 21-19 to take an unlikely victory.
The upsets didn’t stop in the women’s singles, as unseeded Ko and Yoo were a surprise finalist against top seeded Malaysia pair of Koo and Tan. The top seeds had failed to drop a game on route to the final whilst Ko and Yoo has battled past Lee and Jung, the 2nd seeds in an all Korean second round match and defeated last weeks winners Paaske and Rasmussen in the quarter final to knock a second seed on their way to the final. The unseeded Ko and Yoo stunned the Basel crowd as they defeated another seed, this time the top seeds 21-18, 21-16 to take the Swiss title.
This was the only all-seeded match in the three doubles events, as 7th Tian and Yu of China played Maeda and Suetsuna of Japan, the 5th seeds. Maeda and Suetsuna had defeated the top seeds of Chin and Wong in the quarter finals and then defeated Ha and Lee to reach the final, with the 7th seeds beat the 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa in the last 8 and then Chen and Chien in the semi finals to reach the final. The match promised to be of high quality as two on form partnerships played for the title, with Tian and Yu dominating the match from beginning to end to take the title 21-16, 21-13
The all-Korean final was between unseeded pairing of Shin and Yoo and 2nd seeded Lee and Lee. Shin and Yoo defeated the current world champions in the semi final to reach the final whilst Lee and Lee had the luxury of an extra rest day with the withdrawal of Mateusiak and Kostiuczyk from the semi final. The 2nd seeds looked in control for most of the first game, but they had to fight back from 16-9 down in the second to take the second game and to win the match 21-14, 21-18 in just over a half hour.