Wang Yihan’s dream to be world champion ended today, as she became the first top seed to be toppled in this year’s championship. Other top seeds had to fight to remain their event and to reach the last 8 tomorrow.
Widianto and Natsir, the top seeds in the mixed doubles were given a real scare by unseeded Kim and Yoo of Korea as they trailed 18-15 in the final game, only to fight back brilliantly and win the deciding game 21-19 to progress into the last 8 where they will play Zheng and Ma of China. The Chinese 8th seeds have had little trouble in progressing to the last 8 with two game victories in both their matches to date, spending just 70 minutes on court to reach the quarter finals.
The current world champions and second seeds Laybourn and Rytter Juhl were also take to three games by the 15th seeded Robertson and Wallwork, with the English pair getting as close as 19-18 in the decider before the Danes took the final game 21-18. They will play the 6th seeded He and Yu have been impressive in their opening two matches, very similarly to Zheng and Ma but have spent just 51 minutes on court to reach the last 8.
Olympic champions Lee and Lee crashed out at the last 16 stage, with question marks still over their overall fitness and whether one or both were carrying an injury into the champions. They were defeated in two games by the 16th seeded Lee and Chien of Chinese Taipei, who will play Gunawan and Marissa of Indonesia OR Jiaming and Yawen of China.
Eriko Hirose stunned the draw with her three game victory over top seed Wang Yihan of China, after coming back from a game down to secure victory 20-22, 21-16, 21-18 and will play another Chinese player in the last 8, 7th seeded Wang Lin who defeated 12th seed Yip Pui Yin in two games to book her place in tomorrow’s quarter finals.
Second seed Saina Nehwal had less trouble progressing than her match yesterday, defeating Ella Diehl seeded 13 from Russia in two games to set up her quarterfinal match against 6th seeded Wang Shixian after she defeated 11th seed Yao Jie 21-13, 21-5. The French still have one player the draw, Pi Hongyan coming through in three games against Kim Moon Hi of Korea, the 16th seed.
There were also wins for the 3rd seeded Wang Xin over Ai Goto in two games as well as 4th seeded Tine Baun in two close games over Petya Nedelcheva, winning 21-19, 23-21 to become the highest seed left in the top half of the draw. She rakes on Cheng Shao Chieh of Chinese Taipei who defeated the 8th seeded Juliane Schenk in three tight games, winning 21-19 in the deciding game.
Lin Dan’s credentials were finally tested thoroughly by his teammate and 10th seed Bao Chunlai who beat him in the All Englands in March. However there was to be no repeat of that match as the 3rd seed won in comfortable style 21-16, 21-13 to book him place in the last 8. Peter Gade is also through to the last 8 after a two game victory over Germany’s Marc Zwiebler, winning 21-14, 21-15 to set up a quarter final match with Kazushi Yamada of Japan who defeated Dicky Palyama in three games to book his place in tomorrow’s quarter final.
Chen Jin is also through to the last 8, seeing off the challenge of Chen Yong Zhao Ashton of Singapore who was one of the stories of the earlier rounds but lost to the 4th seed 21-17, 21-10. The match of the day tomorrow will be against the top seeded Lee Chong Wei, who defeated Rajiv Ouseph 21-9, 21-9 to set up a quarter final clash with Taufik Hidayat. The 5th seed coming through his third round match with Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand in two games to set up tomorrow’s quarterfinal.
The men’s and women’s doubles are the only events with the top 8 seeds still in the competition, however in the women’s doubles the 8th seeded Hyun and Jung were taken all the way by 12th seeded Sorokina and Vislova, coming through 26-24 in the third game to set up their quarterfinal against Cheng and Chien, the 3rd seeds. The other 7 seeds safely progressed into the last 8 in two games.
The 4th seeds in the men’s doubles Guo and Xu were the only seed in the draw that were taken to three games. Chen and Lin taking the opening game before the Chinese pair took the next two to set up a match against the 8th seeds and All England champions, Paaske and Rasmussen. The second China – Denmark match in the men’s doubles sees Boe and Mogensen, seeded 3 take on the current world champions, Cai and Fu who put in the performance of the day in their 21-6, 21-9 victory over Robertson and Clark of England.
The 2009 final was perhaps the greatest final in recent memory between Cai/Fu and Lee/Jung, China’s national coach Li Yongbo called the match “”a classic that will be often recalled as one of the best men’s doubles matches in the recent history of the sport”. Can the 2010 final live up to last years final? The potential rematch is on.
Koo and Tan of Malaysia are this years top seeds, and after their first round bye they take on the Kopriva brothers of the Czech Republic, ranked 65th in the world. Chai and Zhang are the other seeds in the section, with the 14th seeds from China taking on Issara and Jongjit of Thailand, the world number 101. The other match in the section is between Ivanov and Sozonov of Russia and Bosch and Ridder of Holland, with the winners likely to play Chai and Zhang in Round 2.
Despite a world ranking of 4, last years finalists Lee and Jung are ranked 7th for the 2010 Championships which could be down to Lee Yong Dae’s injury over the past few months. Despite their high ranking, they still receive an opening round bye before playing Fogarty and Neumann of the USA, ranked 59 in the world. The 9th seeded Chandra and Gunawan are the other seeds in the section and take on Welsh dup Morgan and Philips in Round 1, the world number 56. The other match is between Saputra and Wijaya of Singapore take on Fuchs and Kindervater of Germany for a place in Round 2.
Guo and Xu are the big Chinese hope for 2010, the 4th seeds have an opening round bye before taking on the young English pairing of Langridge and Middleton of England, the world number 33. The 12th seeded Chen and Lin of Chinese Taipei taking on Sato and Kawamae of Japan in Round 1, ranked 29th in the world and the match that will be one of the best of the opening round. There is local interest with Constantin and Vincent of France taking on the Australian pair of Gunaratne and Whitehead for a place in Round 2.
The 2010 All England winners Paaske and Rasmussen are the 8th seeds and after their opening round bye take on the Austria’s Grassmuck and Zimwald, the world number 68 pairing. The 15th seeded Kumar and Thomas of India begin their campaign with a match against Africa’s #2 Fagbemi and Ifraimu of Nigeria, ranked 93rd in the world. Africa’s #1 James and Viljoen, ranked 92 in the world take on the French pair of Corvee and Grosjean.
The 2009 winners Cai and Fu have played just 5 tournaments since their triumph last year and have slipped to 13 in the world rankings, but received the 5th seed for this years championship and begin their campaign against Croatia’s Durkinjak and Hoelbling, ranked 60th in the world. The match of the opening round is between 10th seeded Bach and Gunawan of the USA and Robertson and Clark of England, ranked 20th in the world. The English pairing pulled out of the 2009 Championships due to security concerns and will not want to be put out in the opening round in 2010. The winners of that match take on the winners of the final match in the section between Magee and Stephenson of Ireland and Konov and Zavadsky of the Ukraine.
The big European hope in 2010 is Boe and Mogensen, the world number 3 and seeded 3rd for the championships. They start their campaign in Round 2 with an all-Danish match against Kristiansen and Henriksen. The Korean pair of Ko and Yoo are the 13th seeds and the other seed in the section and take on Thailand’s Anugritayawon and Prapakamol, ranked 32nd in the world. Austria takes on Guatemala in the other match, with Koch and Zauner taking on Cordon and Ramirez.
6th seeded Fang and Lee begin their campaign against Dutch duo Khodabux and De Ruiter, ranked 48th in the world. The Japanese 11th seeds Hashimoto and Hirata are the other seeds in the section and take on Wiratama and Wong of Hong Kong in their opening match; the 23rd ranked pair should be a tough start for the 11th seeds. Gan and Tan of Malaysia take on Durkin and Nikolaenko of Russia in the final match in the section, the world number 21 duo taking on the world number 31 pair in arguably the hardest section in the draw to pick a pair to come out of with the 6th, 11th, 21st, 23rd and 31st ranked pairings in it.
The final section sees 2nd seeded Kido and Setiawan start after an opening round bye against Poles Cwalina and Logosz, ranked 61 in the world. Choong and Lee are the final seeds at 16 and take on German pair of Hopp and Schottler of Germany in their opening match. The final match in the section sees the world number 19 of Dasuki and Sukmawan take on French duo of Careme and Grosjean, ranked 45th in the world.
The three-month absence of Super Series badminton ends this week when the worlds best converge in Singapore for the 5th Super Series event of 2010. With the World Championships just three months away, the top players will be looking to play their way into winning form before Paris in late August.
The draw however is without a large Chinese attendance, with the squad likely in a 3-month training camp ahead of the World Championships. The draw is still laden with world-class players such as #1 seed Lee Chong Wei in the men’s singles. The 2010 All England Champion plays Brice Leverdez of France in his opening match. The European threat will come from #2 seed, Peter Gade. The current European champions starts with a tough match against Andre Tedjono of Indonesia. Kenichi Tago’s fantastic 2010 has been rewarded with the Japanese player earning the #8 this week; he begins with a first round match against Hsieh Yu Hsing of Chinese Taipei.
Saina Nehwal is the #1 seed in the women’s singles, with the Indian beginning his campaign against Wong Mew Choo of Malaysia. Tine Rasmussen is the #2 seed, as she returns to a full schedule after missing most of the 2009 with injury. She begins her campaign against Aditl Mutatkar of India. The sole “big name” Chinese representative is the 2009 World Champion, Lu Lan. The Chinese #4 seed begins her campaign against one of the stars of the Thomas Cup for Japan, Ai Goto.
The men’s doubles is without the Chinese powerhouses of Cai and Fu as well as Lee Yong Dae but the draw is still packed with excellent players. The #1 seeds are Koo and Tan who begin their week against Kim and Shin of Korea. Kido and Setiawan are seeded 2 and begin against the talented Japanese duo of Hayakawa and Kazuno, but in their previous meeting in the Thomas Cup, Kido and Setiawan demolished the duo 21-11, 21-9. The #3 and #4 seeds are battling for their own personal reasons, to be Denmark’s #1 partnership. Boe and Mogensen are the #3 seeds this week and begin against Ellis and Mills of England; whilst the #4 seeded Paaske and Rasmussen take on the new Chinese pair of Liu and Qiu. Qiu reached the Asian Championship Semi Final in the mixed with partner Tian Qing.
The mixed doubles is littered with potential winners, from the top seeded Widianto and Natsir to the new Korean pair of Shin and Lee seeded 7. The current world champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl are also in the draw seeded #2. Widianto and Natsir begin against Delbo Larsen and Schjott-Kristiensen of Denmark in round 1. The #8 seeded Wallwork and Robertson could have an all-English match in Round 2 against White and Blair if both come through their opening matches.
Day One was meant to see the host nation in action as well as seven other matches, but Nigeria’s failure to turn up on time in Kuala Lumpur forced them into a forfeit of their opening game over the host nation Malaysia.
Pre-Tournament favourites China defeated Peru in the opening match of Group A with a convincing 5-0 win, with Lin Dan impressing with a 21-4, 21-6 victory over Antonio De Vinatea in 20 minutes. Chen Jin and Chen Long also won their singles easily to give China a 3-0 lead in the match. Two simple wins for the doubles pairings completed the 5-0 win.
Denmark also completed an impressive 5-0 victory over Poland in the first of the all-European ties in Group C, with Peter Gade winning the opening match over Przemyslaw Wacha 21-9, 21-9 to lay down a marker for the match that the other Danes responded to. Boe and Mogensen defeated Cwalina and Logosz in the second match, followed by wins for Jorgensen, Paaske and Rasmussen and finally Joachim Persson to defeat the Poles by 5-0, all in two games.
Indonesia took on Australia in Group D, with Taufik Hidiyat leading the charge against Jeff Tho. 26 minutes was all Hidayat needed to give Indonesia a 1-0 lead, winning 21-12, 21-12. There was little resistance from the Australians in the other four matches, except for Smith and Warfe’s brave second game performance that they had 3 game points against Kido and Setiawan, only to lost out to the Indonesians 24-22.
China opened up their Uber Cup campaign with a 5-0 demolition of the USA in their opening group game. Wang Yihan started the rout with a stunning 21-2, 21-9 victory over Rena Wang in 21 minutes, before Ma and Wang won the opening doubles match 21-7, 21-12. China conceded just 37 points in the final three matches of the rubber, with Wang Xin, Wang Shixian and the pairing of Pan and Tian completing an impressive first victory for the Uber Cup favourites.
Indonesia’s men secured a 5-0 victory over Australia; the women matched the task with a 5-0 win over Australia’s women. All five matches won in two games, with little resistance from the Australians, only Australia’s doubles partnerships were able to secure double digit scores in both of their two games.
Japan against Germany had the makings of a tight match, the opening match seen Eriko Hirose take on Juliane Schenk. The Germans took an early 1-0 lead in the match with Schenk’s 21-15, 21-12 victory, the lead however was short lived as Fujii and Kakiiwa levelled the rubber at 1-1 with a two game victory. Ai Goto defeated Karin Schnaase to give the Japanese a 2-1 advantage. The first doubles match was the only 3-game match of the day as Suetsuna and Maeda took on Schenk and Overzier. The Japanese duo coming through in 3 games, 21-17, 18-21, 21-11 to give Japan an unassailable 3-1 lead. Yu Hirayama completed the comeback with a 21-16, 21-3 victory over Fabienne Deprez to give Japan a 4-1 victory.
Korea played South Africa in one of the evening games, with a 5-0 win expected by the majority. Sung Ji Hyun started with a 21-9, 21-9 victory and the Korean’s never looked back, taking the next 4 matches without the loss of a game. Only Stacey Doubell was able to take double digits in any of the ten games that the South Africans played, losing the second game in her match against Bae Youn Joo 21-10.
Denmark dominance of European badminton was proved yet again with finalists in 4 of the 5 final in Manchester today, only the women’s doubles finalist was certain to have a non-Danish winner.
The top 2 seeds met in the men’s singles final in an All-Danish affair between Peter Gade and Jan O Jorgensen. The opening game started off evenly, with neither player about to create a gap of any merit. Towards the middle of the opening game, Peter Gade begun to string runs of 3 and 4 points together to create a sizable gap that Jorgensen was unable to pull back, Gade served out the opening game from 19-14 to win the opener.
The second game started well for Jorgensen, taking an early 6-2 advantage before the 4-time European champion strung 8 consecutive points together to take a 10-6 lead in the game. Jorgensen fought back to 10-12 but Gade reeled off another 7 point run to take a 19-10 lead which he was never going to give up and served out from 19-11 to take his fifth European title.
2nd seeded Tine Rasmussen was hoping to continue her excellent run of form in 2010 with a victory over 3rd seeded Juliane Schenk of Germany. However, the opening game was very much dominated by the German. Schenk led at 17-12 before Rasmussen brought it back level at 17-17 and the momentum was with the Dane for the remainder of the game, with Rasmussen taking the opening game 21-19.
Schenk response in the second game was fantastic however, domination the game much like the first but this time continued to score points late on in the game and the German levelled the match, winning the second game 21-14. The first part of the third game was very nervy and tight, with neither player being able to pull out a gap. At 13-12, Rasmussen managed to pull out a 4 point gap to 16-12, a gap that Schenk was never able to pull back after saving 2 match points previously, Rasmussen finished the job with her third match point, winning the final game 21-19.
There was another all-Danish final in the men’s doubles as the rematch from the All-England final between Paaske and Rasmussen playing Boe and Mogensen. The top seeded Boe and Mogensen were keen to avenge their All-England defeat but the second seeded Paaske and Rasmussen led throughout the opening game, but squandered three game points at 20-17 to allow the top seeds back into the opening game. They received two more opportunities to win the opening game before converting on their sixth attempt to take the game 24-22.
The second game was a complete role reversal, with Boe and Mogensen dominating the game before failing to convert on two game points at 20-18. Paaske and Rasmussen put together a run of 4 points from 20-18 to win the second game 22-20 and take the European crown to add to their All-England title.
The top two seeds met in the final, with three of the four players coming from Russia. The second seeded Russian duo of Nina Vislova and Valeria Sorokina had failed to drop a game on route to the final and that record remained unchanged with a fabulous display against the top seeded Nedelcheva and Russkikh, winning 21-18, 21-14 in just under three quarters of an hour.
Another clash of the top two seeds took place in the mixed doubles final between World Champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl of Denmark and the 2009 Hong Kong Super Series winners, Mateusiak and Kostiuczyk of Poland. The match was three games of dominating badminton, with few lead changes throughout the games. The Danish pair dominated the opening game, with the second seeded Poles never leading in the opening game that they lost 21-19. The second game was a complete reverse, with the Polish pair dominating the second game, allowing the Danes to lead only twice in the entire second game at 1-0 and 6-5. Mateusiak and Kostiuczyk took the second game 21-18 to set up a third game.
The final game was a mirror of the first game, with the Danish pair leading from the start and not letting the Polish pair have a chance to take any kind of lead in the game. The 2nd seeds pulled it back to 13-12 before the world champions strung together 8 consecutive points to add the European title to their world crown, winning the match 21-19, 18-21, 21-12 in exactly one hour.
The chances of a home triumph lasted until the semi final stages, but the top seeds in the competition proved too much for an unlikely English title.
Peter Gade is through to the final, after another hard fought win. This time 3rd seed Marc Zwiebler pushed him all the way in a 78-minute thriller. Gade dropped the first game but dominated play in the next two games, never giving Zwiebler an opportunity to lead and took the next two to book his place in the final, winning 18-21, 21-12, 21-17.
Jan Jorgensen survived an early scare against Petr Koukal in round, since then he has not dropped a game on route to the final. His semi final opponent was 4th seed Rajiv Ouseph, who had the local support behind him, however it wasn’t to be for the current English national champion, losing out to Jorgensen 21-14, 22-20.
Pi Hongyan is the only top seed to fall at this years Championships, losing out to 3rd seeded Juliane Schenk of Germany at the semi final stage. The top seed was never really in match that seed Schenk hit 14 smash winners over the two games, winning 21-13, 21-14 to book her place in the final.
The second semi final seen 2nd seed Tine Rasmussen play against 6th seed Ella Diehl, a tight first game ensued as the lower seed took the lead in the middle of the opening game, only to drop 8 points in a row at 13-14 to gift the opening game to Rasmussen. The second game was a much more dominating performance by Rasmussen as she pulled out an early lead and continues to stretch it out before claiming the second game 21-16 to book her place against Juliane Schenk tomorrow.
All three doubles will be contested by the top 2 seeds in the competition, with a second all-Danish final in the men’s doubles between Paaske and Rasmussen (seeded 2) and Boe and Mogensen (seeded 1). Their last match was in the All-England final, which Paaske and Rasmussen won in the third game 26-24.
The women’s final will have three Russians and one Bulgarian on court, as top seeded Nedelcheva and Russkikh take on the 2nd seeded Russian pair Vislova and Sorokina. The top seeds ended the English challenge of Gabby White and Mariana Agathangelou 21-18, 21-13 to book their place in Sunday’s final. The second seeded Russians have failed to drop a game on route to the final.
The mixed doubles final sees the current world champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl go for European success against Poland’s Mateusiak and Kostiuczyk, the 2nd seeds who ended the run of Jenny Wallwork and Nathan Robertson today with a three game victory. The top seeds have failed to drop a game on their way to the final in a run that has seen them play no seeded pair to reach Sunday’s final.
Europe’s finest are in Manchester this week for the European Championships, with Denmark and hosts England being well represented in the seeds this week.
Top seed and All England semi finalist Peter Gade will go for European title number 5 and continue the Danish dominance in the men’s singles. He starts with a first round bye before taking on Scotland’s Kieran Merrilees in the second round. The Scottish 20-year old has never won on the European tour but had an outstanding run in late 2008 and has the ability to defeat any player in Europe on his day.
Denmark’s new star is the 2nd seed, Jan O Jorgensen. The 22-year old starts with a first round bye before taking on Petr Koukal, the Czech national champion and winner of the 2009 Czech International will be an excellent test for Jorgensen in the opening round of his campaign.
England’s main contenders come in the way of 4th seed and 8th seed Rajiv Ouseph and Carl Baxter. Ouseph begins against Austrian Michael Lahnsteiner whilst Carl Baxter takes on Israeli Misha Zilberman, both matches are in the second round.
Denmark will look to break a 10-year wait for a women’s singles title, with Camilla Martin being the last Dane to win the title in 2000. However it is Pi Hongyan of France that is top seed for this year’s European Championships. The French woman begins her campaign against Akvile Stapusaityte of Lithuania in her opening round. The second seed is Denmark’s big hope to end a 10 year drought, Tine Rasmussen begins her campaign against Andrea Zvorc of Croatia on Wednesday night, with her last event seeing her regain her All England title, can she regain the women’s singles for Denmark?
All four of the seeds come from the European powerhouses, Denmark and England. Top seeded Boe and Mogensen and 2nd seeded Paaske and Rasmussen have a first round bye. The surprising news from the draw is that 3rd seeded Clark and Robertson have to play a first round whilst 4th seeded Kristiansen and Henriksen have a bye into Round 2.
Current World Champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl are the top seeds in the mixed doubles and begin their campaign to claim their 2nd European Championship against Dimova and Makarski of Bulgaria. Polish 2nd seeds Mateusiak and Kostiuczyk hope to regain the form that won them the Hong Kong Super Series title in November last year, they start against Swiss pair Dumartheray and Jaquet. England’s big hope come in the 3rd seeds Robertson and Wallwork, they begin their campaign against Welsh duo Morgan and Sheppard.
The fourth Super Series of the year will have a new winner in the men’s singles, with Lee Chong Wei pulling out after his All England success at the weekend. Tine Rasmussen has also pulled out after winning the women’s singles at the All Englands. For some players, it will be a chance to continue on from their excellent run from last week, Kenichi Tago was set to meet Lee Chong Wei in Round 2, but will have a much better chance to progress to a potential quarter final against Jan O Jorgensen.
Lin Dan is the top seed left in the draw and will hope to have a better run than at the All Englands last week, his first round match is against Polish #1 Przemyslaw Wacha and has a potential matchup with Peter Gade in the last 8. 3rd seed Chen Jin begins his campaign against Marc Zweibler of Germany and 4th seed Taufik Hidayat will start against a qualifier.
Top seed Wang Yihan will attempt to put her finals defeat to Tine Rasmussen behind her with a first round win over Jie Yao of the Netherlands. Susan Egelstaff will play the 2nd seeded Jiang Yanjiao in the first round, the Scottish #1 narrowly losing to 2009 world champion Lu Lan in Round 2 last week. Pi Hongyan is the big European hope, the 3rd seed plays Sayaka Sato of Japan in Round 1.
Top seeded Koo and Tan will want to put their first round defeat behind them also, but they play another Danish pair in the first round this week also in Kristiansen and Henriksen. The 2nd seeds Lee and Jung have Danish opponents also in Conrads-Petersen and Pieler Kolding, with a potential matchup against last week’s winners Paaske and Rasmussen in the quarter finals. The 8th seeded Paaske and Rasmussen play a qualifier in their first round match.
The Chinese are not well represented this week in the event, with top seeds being Chin and Wong of Malaysia. Korean Open runners-up Fujii and Kakiiwa are the second seeds and play the German/Canadian pair of Nicole Grether and Charmine Reid in round 1. The Chinese highest seed is the 6th seeded Du and Pan, they will play Jung and Kim of Korean in Round 1.
The top seeded Zheng and Ma will start against a qualifier in Round 1, with the big challenges coming from Ko and Ha, the 8th seeds from Korea who they could meet in the quarter final and their potential semi final opponents, the 3rd seeded Laybourn and Rytter Juhl of Denmark. The other side of the draw sees 2nd seeded Lee and Lee of Korea start against the English pair of Middleton and Agathangelou,