European hopes lay solely with Juliane Schenk after Viktor Axelsen lost out to China’s Wang Zhengming at the semi final stages.
Wang Takes on Ponsana
Some people will question the value of this Super Series title with many of the top 10 opting out so close to the Olympics, but Wang Zhengming and Boonsak Ponsana will play in tomorrow’s final for the title. Wang Zhengming defeated Viktor Axelsen comfortably in two games, whilst Boonsak Ponsana needed three games and 70 minutes to end the run of Tien Minh Nguyen.
Juliane Schenk takes on Cheng Shao Chieh in the women’s final, with Schenk needing 82-minutes to defeat Sung Ji Huyn in her semi final. It will be their ninth meeting, with Cheng Shao Chieh winning five of their previous eight encounters but Schenk took the most recent match between the two in Korea at the start of the year.
Cheng Going For Two Titles
Cheng Wen Hsing has two shots at titles in the women’s and mixed doubles finals. She takes on the Chinese pairing of Bao and Zhong in the women’s doubles final with Chien Yu Chin, but their head to head against the Chinese pairing has seen them their only matchup in Japan last September.
Cheng’s mixed doubles opponents are a pair that her and partner Chen Hung Ling have an excellent record against. Chen and Cheng have defeated Ikeda and Shiota in all four of their previous meetings with the most recent victory coming at the Super Series finals at the end of 2011.
Ko and Yoo take on Kido and Setiawan in the men’s doubles final, with the Indonesian’s hoping that a Korean pair doesn’t defeat them for the second week running. The head to head between the two pairs is evenly matched at 2 matches all, with their last meeting in Denmark nine months ago going the way of the Indonesian pairing.
Viktor Axelsen edges ever closer to his first Super Series title, reaching the semi finals at the expense of Sony Dwi Kuncoro.
Axelsen Takes on Wang
The Danish teenager has been making headlines since his world junior title in 2010, but a win this week would surpass any other achievements within the game. A win would validate his credentials as being Denmark next big hope, but standing in his way is the world number 18 Wang Zhengming. Their previous meeting resulted in a victory for the Chinese player in this event last year, but the growth of both players almost rendered that result obsolete when predicting a winner in this match.
The other semi final sees two other players looking for validation of a different kind, that they deserve the respect of a top 20 player. Tien Minh Nguyen and Boonsak Ponsana were both top 10 players until last autumn but both have fallen outside of that elite level. They meet in the second semi final for the fourth time, with the Vietnamese player holding a 2-1 advantage in their head to heads, for one it will be a chance to validate their credentials and for another, it will be another event where they aren’t mentioned on finals day.
Juliane Schenk is the sole European hope in the women’s singles and takes on Sung Ji Hyun as the top two seeds battle out for a place in the final. Singapore as it’s own interests, with Xing Aiying taking on the world silver medalist Cheng Shao Chieh. It will be their first meeting, with 36 places in the world rankings meaning nothing in front of a partizan home crowd.
Seeds Reign Supreme
11 of the 12 pairs in the doubles events are seeded, with Endo and Hayakawa benefitting from the withdrawal of Lee and Jung to book their place in the semi finals. The Japanese pairing takes on Kido and Setiawan of Indonesia, for the 3rd time in their head to head history. Their last encounter came at this event last year with the Japanese pair defeating the seeded Indonesian in two games.
The other semi final sees the highest two seeds in the draw battle it out, Ko and Yoo of Korea take on Ahsan and Septano of Indonesia with the Koreans holding a 4-0 advantage in their head to heads to date. Their most recent meeting was in the Thomas Cup, where the Indonesians came within two points of victory and saved five match points before eventually falling to the Korean pair.
Bao and Zhong are the sole pair from China, who are usually the dominant force in the women’s doubles. The 5th seeds take on Maeda and Suetsuna of Japan after they battled past Sari and Yao in three games, saving no less than seven match points before taking the match on their first match point however the Japanese pair have never won a game against the Chinese pair they take on in the semi finals.
Cheng and Chien take on Jauhari and Polii in the second semi final, in what will be the fifth meeting between the pairs. The Chinese Taipei pairing have won three of the previous four meetings, but lost their last encounter with the Indonesian pair.
The mixed doubles also has the three highest seeded pairs remaining, with the top two facing off in the semi finals as Chen and Cheng take on Chan and Goh. The 2nd and 3rd meets have four times previously, with the Chinese Taipei pairing winning three of those matches but the previous two matches have required extra points in the deciding game. The second semi final is an all-Japanese affair between Sato and Matsuo, taking on Ikeda and Shiota in their first meeting.
Lee Hyun Il became the second seed to crash out early this week as the 2nd seed lost out Daren Liew in three games as well as other seeded casualties throughout the five events.
Axelsen and Kuncoro Meet in Quarters
The two form players this week will meet in the last 8, with Viktor Axelsen defeating Anand Pawar to set up a quarter final against Song Dwi Kuncoro. Only one seed remains in the draw, the 6th seed Tien Minh Nguyen who takes on Daren Liew after the Malaysian defeated the second seeded Lee Hyun Il in three games to reach the last 8.
Four seeds remain in the women’s singles, with the second seeded Juliane Schenk defeating Chen Xiao Jia to set up a quarter final against Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk. The 3rd seeded Sung Ji Hyun safely progressed into the last 8, where she will take on Eriko Hirose who defeated 5th seed Tai Tzu Ying in two games. Two seeds will meet in the quarter final as 4th seeded Cheng Shao Chieh takes on the 7th seeded Sayaka Sato for their 5th meeting, who both players taking 2 matches each in their previous 4 encounters.
Seeds Fall In Doubles
Fang and Lee as well as Kawamae and Sato both crashed out before the quarter finals, with both pairs losing in three games to unseeded partnerships. Ko and Yoo are the highest seeds this week and take on Hong and Shen, with the two pairs meeting for the 5th time and have shared the previous four matches. Ahsan and Septano take on Hashimoto and Hirata in the second quarter final featuring two seeded pairings, with the two pairs meeting for the first time.
Seven of the eight seeds successfully reached the quarter finals, with the 2nd seeded Jung and Kim losing out to the Indonesian pairing of Augustin and Maheswari in three games to set up a quarter final against Jauhari and Polii for an all-Indonesian clash. The top seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa set up a quarter final against the 5th seeded Bao and Zhong with the lower seeded pair winning the previous three meetings.
Chen and Cheng are safely into the last 8 and will take on the Indian 6th seeds for a place in Saturday’s semi final. Yoo and Jang won the all-Korean match against Ko and Eom, with the men’s doubles partners facing off for the second time, with Yoo and Jang winning both encounters. The Korean pair take on the 3rd seeded Chan and Goh in their quarter final, with the Malaysian defeating Hirata and Maeda in three games to reach the last 8.
It was a day of shocks in Singapore with the men’s singles draw losing three seeds in the opening round, most notably the top seeded Sho Sasaki losing to Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen.
Sasaki, Hidayat and Du Pengyu Out
Long before Sasaki’s loss to Axelsen, the 5th seeded Du Pengyu had crashed out to the on-form Sony Dwi Kuncoro in a one-sided match and was followed in the very next match on court by Wei Feng Chong defeating the 7th seeded Taufik Hidayat in a tighter two game loss then the previous match. The big shock was the victory of Viktor Axelsen over Sho Sasaki in three games, the 49-minute match saw Axelsen ease into a one game lead before letting the second game slip but claimed the victory in a 21-10, 15-21, 21-12 victory to set up a second round match against Anand Pawar of India.
Juliane Schenk is the highest seed in the women’s singles this week and started off with a two game victory over Salakjit Ponsana. The next two highest seeds players are the 3rd seeded Sung Ji Hyun whose two game victory set up a second round match against Fu Mingtian of Singapore. Cheng Shao Chieh is the highest seed in the top half of the draw and takes on Chen Jiayuan who defeated Jie Yao to book her place in the second round.
A Near Full Compliment Of Seeds Remain
Apart from the pre-event withdrawals, every seed has safely progressed except 1 is into the last 16. Ko and Yoo are the the highest seeds in the men’s doubles after Lee and Jung pulled out before the event and safely reached the last 16, defeating Smith and Warfe of Australia in two games. Their biggest threat from the top half of the draw will be the Indonesian pairing of Kido and Setiawan, the 4th seeds defeated the Austrian pairing of Koch and Zauner to reach the 2nd round.
All eight seeds are into the last 16 of the women’s doubles, with several pairs receiving opening round byes. Sari and Yao are the big local hope this week, but the 7th seeds needed three games to reach the last 16. The mixed doubles are without the top seeds and 5th seeds this week after both withdraw pre-event. The only doubles seed to fall is the 8th seeded Rijal and Susanto of Indonesia, who were defeated by Yoo and Jang of Korea.