There was disappointment for the Dutch as they failed to convert two chances for a title but there was plenty of celebration for the English as they took both their chances to claim two of the three doubles titles.
Pi and Chan Take Singles
Yan Kit Chan took just 31 minutes to end the resistance of Eric Pang in the men’s singles final, taking the title in two games 21-17, 21-19. Pi Hongyan was just as efficient in her victory over Kristina Gavnholt, taking just 35 minutes to claim her 21-13, 21-17 victory and the women’s singles title without the loss of a game this week.
English Take Two
Ivanov and Sozonov took the men’s doubles title in their 27 minute demolition over De Ruiter and Khodabux, winning 21-16, 21-9 to claim their first title of 2012. Agathangelou and Olver claimed the women’s doubles over Lee and Obanana of the USA in two games, with the 2nd seeds claiming the title 21-15, 21-12 for England’s first title of the day. Robertson and Wallwork claimed England’s second title in the mixed doubles with a victory over Pieler Kolding and Houmann in two games, winning 21-17, 21-17 to boost their chances of reaching the Olympics.
Only England and Holland can claim two titles on finals day in Stockholm, whilst the remaining six places in finals day are taken up by 6 different nationalities.
Axelsen and Lang Toppled
Viktor Axelsen fell at the quarter final stage in two games to Ville Lang, but the 5th seed couldn’t continue his form in his semi final. His three game defeat to Eric Pang was the 8th seed second victory over another seeded player on the day, taking out the 2nd seeded Kashyap Parupalli earlier in the day. Yan Kit Chan progressed into the final after a pair of three game victories, first taking out Christian Lind Thomson before defeating Raul Must in the semi final.
Gavnholt Takes On Pi
The unseeded Czech Kristina Gavnholt has been the star of the event this week, taking out Ai Goto in the second round and then continuing her stunning form with a victory over Anastasia Prokopenko to reach the last 4. She ended any chance of an all-French final with her victory over Sashina Vignes Waran in the semi final to set up a final against Pi Hongyan. The 2nd seed has failed to drop a game on route to the final, with Germany’s Karin Schnaase being her toughest opponent to date but still winning comfortably 21-13, 21-12.
English Threat In Doubles
Unseeded Dutch pair of De Ruiter and Khodabux take on the 2nd seeded Russian pairing of Ivanov and Sozonov in the men’s doubles final. The Dutch pair defeated two Danish pairings to reach the final and have also dropped just a single game to date. The Russian have been equally as impressive, dropping a single game this week in their quarter final against the pairing of Magee and Elbjorn on route to the final.
The women’s doubles sees the 2nd seeded English pair of Agathangelou and Olver take on the American pairing of Lee and Obanana. The English pair have not dropped a game to date having spent just over 90 minutes on court. The American pairing ended the run of the 4th seeded Wallwork and White in the 2nd round before defeating another British pairing in the semi final, this time beating the Scottish pair of Cooper and Gilmour in two tight games.
The highly anticipated rematch between Wallwork and Robertson against Bankier and Adcock never materialised, with the 4th seeded Pieler Colding and Houmann ending the top seeds run at the semi final stage. Robertson and Wallwork however did reach the final, defeating their Danish opponents Sorensen and Kjaersfeldt in three games to book their place in tomorrow’s final.
It was a quick final day for the Czech International Grand Prix tournament. No matches went to three games, and no matches lasted longer than fifty minutes.
The finals kicked off with the mixed doubles finals of Alexandr Nikolaenko and Valeri Sorokina of Russia against Gert Kunka and Amanda Hogstrom of Estonia and Sweden respectively. Both the Russians had another final later in the day in their respective Men’s and Women’s doubles, making a double crown for each possible. The entire match lasted only twenty six minutes with the Russians taking the prize, 21-15 and 21-12.
The first final with a Czech player was the women’s singles final, featuring Czech sensation Kristina Gavnholt, who had not dropped a set in the tournament yet, against India’s Arundhati Pantawane. The Indian player had a much tougher road to the final having a three set semi-final the day before. The match was the second longest of the day coming in at forty minutes. The home crowd had a reason to cheer in the end as Kristina came out the victor, 21-10, and 21-18.
The women’s final was the next one to be played, and it was Valeri Sorokina’s second final of the day. The Russian team of Valeri Sorokina and Nina Vislova faced off against Canada’s Nicole Grether and Charmane Reid. The Canadians only lasted a total of thirty-four minutes, with the Russian duo walking away with the title, 21-10, and 21-16. This was Valeri Sorokina’s second title of the day.
Next up we had the Men’s doubles, with Russians Vitalj Durkin and Alexandr Nikolaenko facing off against Poland’s first seeds Adam Cwalina and Michal Logosz. The Polish pair kept their magnificent form, defeating the Russians 21-13, and 21-16 in only thirty minutes.
The men’s singles was the match most came to watch. It featured Czech super star Petr Koukal who had made a brilliant run to the final, defeating second seed Brice Leverdez and therefore ending the Frenchman’s winning streak. Koukal was slotted against top seeded Polish player Przemyslaw Wacha. The match was the longest of the day, lasting a total of forty-one minutes. Unfortunately for Koukal, he could not take his home title this year, with Wacha taking the match 21-19, and 21-16.
Petr Koukal continued his reign today with another successful win on his home turf. He defeated Chinese Taipei’s Jen Hao Hsu in straight games, 21-10, and 21-12. Koukal has had a very successful year so far and is only getting better. This is incredible as no less than a year and a half ago Koukal was being treated for Cancer. But with the Cancer out of the way the Czech National champ is set to win his home title. Also in the men’s singles, top seed Przemyslaw Wacha had a three set epic with Indonesian Andre Kurniawan Tedjono. Andre took the first set 21- 18, but Wacha took control and won the next two sets 21-13, and 21-15. India’s Arvind Bhat had quite the scare in the form of fifth seeded Dmytro Zavadsky of Ukraine. Bhat came out on top, 18-21, 21-16, and 21-15. But Bhat’s success would not go too far as Wacha met him in the semi-final and overtook him 18-21, 21-12, and 21-3. Wacha will play Koukal for the title tomorrow.
In the women’s singles Czech star Kristina Gavnholt continued her run into the final. She won the semi-final match against Estonia’s Karoline Hoim, 21-8, and 21-13. Kristina has had a very successful tournament so far winning all her matches without dropping a set. Tomorrow she will face Arundhati Pantawane of India for the Czech International title. Arundhati paved her way to the final by defeating France’s third seeded Sashina Vignes Waran.
Adam Cwalina and Michal Logosz have kept their form this tournament, winning their semi-final against Chinese Taipei’s duo of Kan Hao Liao and Jui Wei Liang. The match went the distance with the Polish pair coming out in the end, 17-21, 21-18, and 21-9. On the other half of the draw, Russian pair of Vitalj Durkin and Alexandr Nikolaenko took out another Chinese Taipei team to reach the final. The Russian pair defeated Po Yi Huang and Chia Bi Lu in straight sets, 21-14, and 21-18. The final tomorrow will be Poland’s Cwalina/Logosz against Russia’s Durkin/Nikolaenko.
There will be another Russian team in the women’s doubles final tomorrow. Valeri Sorokina and Nina Vislova earned their place in the final, defeating Jillie Cooper and Kirsty Gilmour of Scotland, 16-21, 21-12, and 21-8. Canadians will also have someone to cheer for in the final, as Charmain Reid and Nicole Grether will also be headed to the final tomorrow after defeating Sweden’s Sanne Ekberg and Amanda Hogstrom. It was an impressive performance by the Canadian pair taking the match in straight sets, 21-8, and 21-8.
Russia’s doubles stars Alexandr Nikolaenko and Valeri Sorokina will both be in their second final of the day as they defeated Croatia’s Zvonimir Durkinjak and Stasa Poznanovic, 21-17, and 21-11. Nikolaenko will also be in the Men’s doubles final, as well as Sorokina will also be in the Women’s doubles final. This will give Russia the opportunity to capitalize on a double crown chance for both Nikolaenko and Sorokina. Underdogs Gert Kunka (Estonia) and Amanda Hogstrom (Sweden) made a miracle run to the final after defeating France’s Labar Ronan and Laura Choinet, 21-18, and 24-22.
Czech badminton fans have a good reason to be joyous right now, as the Czech International Grand Prix started off with a bang this week. Poland’s men’s singles number one Przemyslaw Wacha, is also the top seed in the men’s singles event. He slipped by two of India’s top players, both in straight games, in the first and second round of the tournament. Czech fans have even more reasons to rejoice as Czech star Petr Koukal ousted second-seeded Brice Leverdez of France in two sets, 21-14, 21-17.
In the women’s singles, top seed Nicole Grether of Canada (Formerly of Germany) saw an early exit from the tournament as she was defeated by Arundhati Pantawane of India, 21-19, and 21-18. Another hometown hero, Kristina Gavnholt advanced to the next stage of the tournament defeating Italy’s Orsolya Varga, and Norway’s Sara Kverno . Kristina won both matches in straight sets.
Poland, Russia, France, and Chinese Taipei all share an equal presence in the men’s doubles quarter finals, each with two teams remaining in the tournament. The second round in the women’s doubles is far more diverse with teams from at least six nations are still in the tournament. Nicole Grether and Charmaine Reid, Canada’s experienced pair triumphed over Natalia Pocztowiak and Stasa Poznanovic, 21-6, and 21-4.
There few surprises in the mixed doubles. Qualifiers Paul Van Rietvelde (Scotland) and Lim Alyssa (England) defeated English compatriots Chris Coles and Jessica Fletcher, 21-18, and 22-20.