The chances of Chinese success were great going into finals day with eight of the ten places on finals day coming from the host nation, but a pair of retirements ensures there more controversy with the Chinese squad going into the upcoming Super Series events.
The men’s singles suffered the surprise defeat of Lin Dan to Chen Jin at the semi final stage, with the possibility of the 2009 world champion being allowed to progress to the final to boost his chances of reaching London 2012. His run went no further as the 3rd seeded Chen Long defeated him in two games to boost the 3rd seeds own chances of reaching the Olympics.
The women’s singles and doubles is where the retirements occured in the finals, with 2nd seeded Wang Shixian defeating the 4th seeded Jiang Yanjiao 8-5 in the second game before a retirement ended the match abruptly. It was a similar case to Chen Jin, with the 4th seed defeating the top seeded player unexpectedly before eventually losing in the final. Wang Shixian’s recent form has been poor, with two early exits before a 3rd round departure from the world championships whilst the ranking points from this event will ensure Jiang Yanjiao remains inside the top 5 in the world. There was a bigger surprise in the women’s doubles as unseeded Huan and Tang defeated the all-conquering top seeded pair of Wang and Yu. The pairing of Huan and Tang are a new pairing on the Chinese scene, recently put together after playing against one another in the junior world championships last year and could be considered a possibility of making enough ranking points to reach the Olympics after defeating the top two Japanese pairs on route to the final. The top seeds retired after losing the opening game 19-21.
Xu and Ma also had their own controversy in their semi final, with Zhang and Zhao retiring at 1-1 in the second game of their match. There was little deception in their impressive two game victory over Koo and Jang of Korea, but Korea would have the last laugh as 3rd seeded Lee and Jung defeated the top seeded Cai and Fu on their home ground in stunning fashion, winning 21-17, 21-10 to level the head to head at 8-8 between the best two pairs in the world.
With the obvious Chinese involvement in their home event, it has been Peter Gade who has ensured some European interest going into the weekend.
Gade’s 80 minute match against Du Pengyu got off to the worst stuff when the 5th seeded Chinese player took the opening game, but the experienced Dane battled back to ensure his place in the last 4 by winning the next two games to set up a semi final with Chen Long. The other semi final sees the last two world champions battle it out as Chen Jin takes on Lin Dan, with the top seed look to be back to his best form with a 21-15, 21-6 demolition of the 6th seeded Sho Sasaki.
The women’s singles, as expected will see the top four players in the world battle it out in a Chinese monopoly of the semi finals. Both Baun and Schenk led the European charge going into the quarter finals but both were easily beaten by their Chinese opponents in Wang Xin and Wang Shixian, who now face off against one another. Top seeded Wang Yihan ended Saina Nehwal’s run at the last 8 with a 21-8, 21-12 victory and takes on the 4th seeded Jiang Yanjiao for a place in Sunday’s final.
Only Cai and Fu remain in the men’s doubles for the Chinese, with Korea taking two spots and Boe and Mogensen of Denmark ensuring some European interest going into the weekend. 4th seeded Ko and Yoo go up against the top seeded Cai and Fu with the recent form between the two pairs very much going in the Chinese pairs favour. The other semi final sees Lee and Jung take on Boe and Mogensen for a place in the final on Sunday.
The women’s doubles as expected still sees the top seeded Wang and Yu as overwhelming favourites, their two game victory over Jung and Kim puts them into the last 4. There was a shock with the 8th seeded Cheng and Pan losing out to their unseeded team mates Huan and Tang in three games but the other unseeded pair of Yixin and Zhong has no such luck against the 4th seeded Tian and Zhao who won in two games.
European interest is down to just one in the mixed doubles, with the 3rd seeded Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen defeating Laybourn and Rytter Juhl in an all-Danish quarter final. British interest ended with the defeat of Adcock and Bankier as well as Blair and White with both losing to unseeded pairs in three games. Xu and Ma defeated Zhang and Zhao, but it was a reverse of the semi final with the top seeded Chinese pair having to retire due to injury.
After Jiaming and Tian’s surprise defeat yesterday, there were no Chinese slip-ups on day 2 with the world’s best safely progressing into the quarterfinals.
Lin Dan did survive a scare in his second round match against Muhammed Hafiz Hashim after the Malaysian took the opening game, only for Lin Dan to respond with two stunning games of badminton and a victory in three games. The top seed will take on Sho Sasaki of Japan in the last 8, whose most recent meeting was at the world championships that seen the Chinese top seed progress in two games. All four quarter finals have Chinese interest but the most intriguing match of the four sees Peter Gade take on Du Pengyu, with Gade winning their only match to date in Singapore in July.
China have five of the remaining eight players left in the women’s singles, with Wang Shixian progressing much more safely than her previous match with a two game victory over Fu Mingtian. The 2nd seed will take on one of the two Europeans left in the draw in Juliane Schenk who defeated world championship finalist Cheng Shao Chieh in three games. Saina Nehwal suffered a similar fate to Wang Shixian, needing the full distance and more to defeat Japan’s Ayane Kurihara. The Indian eventually winning 27-25 to set up a quarter final clash with top seed and world champion Wang Yihan.
All three Chinese world champions are safely into the last 8 in the doubles events, with Cai and Fu needing three games to eventually progress and face England’s Adcock and Ellis. Chris Adcock is also through to the quarter finals of the mixed doubles with partner Imogen Bankier whose remarkable form recently continues with a victory over the 4th seeded Chen and Cheng of Chinese Taipei. Five pairs remain in the women’s doubles, headlined by Wang and Yu but the unseeded pairing of Huan and Tang also stole some of the limelight with their victory over the second seeded Maeda and Suetsuna of Japan.
The pick of the all-Chinese encounters tomorrow comes in the mixed doubles, as a rematch of the world championship semi final sees Zhang and Zhao take on Xu and Ma for a place in the last 4. Ma Jin’s ankle injury in London robbed the fans of a superb match that was finely poised going into the second game, but the last two full matches between the pairs have result in six excellent games of badminton and a victory apiece going into tomorrow.
The first post-World Championships Super Series in China was a perfect way for the host nation to bolster it’s place at the top of world badminton and to an extent they did, but one shock defeat leaves a bittersweet taste on a successful day for the host nation.
World Champion Lin Dan progressed safely into round 2 and was followed by Chen Jin, Zhou Wenlong, Chen Long, Du Pengyu and Wang Zhengming. Only Peter Gade and Kazushi Yamada were able to defeat Chinese opponents in the opening round as the European interest in the men’s singles shrunk to just two after the opening round. Hans-Kristian Vittinghus and Peter Gade are Europe’s sole hopes this week with early exits for Rajiv Ouseph, Jan O Jorgensen and Marc Zwiebler.
Wang Shixian needed the full distance to reach the second round against Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, eventually coming through 30-29 in the final game in 71 minutes and saving eleven match points. There is a massive Chinese involvement in round 2 as expected, with Wang Yihan, Wang Xin, Jiang Yanjiao, Liu Xin and Yao Xue making up six of the sixteen remaining players. Tine Baun and Juliane Schenk will be Europe’s main hopes of an unlikely victory on Chinese soil.
The men’s doubles has but just 3 pairs from China, but the top seeded Cai and Fu will be the pair to watch. Hashimoto and Hirata defeated the 8th seeded Chandra and Gunawan to book their place in the last 16 but there were little surprises in the other matches in the opening round. The women’s doubles will be another event to watch for the all-conquering world champions Wang and Yu whilst Europe has it’s entire hope placed solely on Rytter Juhl and Pedersen’s shoulders for success.
The mixed doubles seen the biggest shock of the day as China’s 2nd seeds Jiaming and Ting to unseeded Indian pair Gutta and Valiyaveeti in three games. Their reward is a match against Lee and Ha of Korea, a pair that easily beat them in Switzerland earlier in the year. Last week’s winners Ko and Eom have the toughest task in round 2 as they take on the world champions and top seeded Zhang and Zhao for a place in the quarter final.