The fairytale at the start of the week was Kevin Cordon’s unlikely run to last 8 but even his heroics haven’t matched the performances of Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier this week as they are one match away from being world champions.
Lee Chong Wei defeated the current world champion in convincing style in the morning session to book his place in the final by the score of 21-13, 21-9. His opponent in the final will be the 2nd seeded Lin Dan who had to come through Peter Gade in three games, after the Dane took the opening game but Lin Dan responded in the second and reeled off seven straight points at 14-15 down in the third game to book his place against Lee Chong Wei. Their 24th meeting will be for a world title, with the pair splitting their last 4 matches but the Malaysian won their last encounter in the All England Championships in March.
Wang Yihan won the all-Chinese semi final against Wang Xin to take a 5-0 lead in their head to head matches. The 2nd seed will take on the 7th seeded Cheng Shao Chieh, who defeated Juliane Schenk in convincing fashion to continue her excellent run after defeating the top seeded Wang Shixian in the quarter final stage. Wang Yihan holds a 3-0 record against her Chinese Taipei opponent, with their most recent matchup in the Asian Games being won by Wang Yihan in two games.
The Korean pair of Ko and Yoo reached the men’s doubles final with a two game victory over Ahsan and Septano, the 7th seeded pair from Indonesia. Their opponents in tomorrow’s final will be the top seeded Cai and Fu who are looking for their 3rd straight world title after defeating the 3rd seeded pair of Lee and Jung in two games and taking the advantage in their head to head to 8-7 to the Chinese pair. Cai and Fu will go in as undoubted favourites with a 4-0 advantage in their head to head.
The women’s doubles final is an All-Chinese affair, with the top seeded Wang and Yu defeating the 3rd seeded Maeda and Suetsuna in two games to book their place in the final against the 5th seeded Tian and Zhao, who defeated the unseeded Indian pair of Gutta and Ponnappa. Wang and Yu have won every single match they have played in 2011 except one, against the pairing of Tian and Zhao in Malaysia early in the year but since then Wang and Yu have defeated their opponents in the final twice.
The mixed doubles final sees the top seeded Zhao and Zhang take on the story of the championships in the pairing of Adcock and Bankier, who defeated their 4th seeded pair this week to be their place in tomorrow’s final. Adcock and Bankier’s stunning victory over the second seeded Ahmad and Natsir booked their place in the final whilst the Chinese pair had to play just one game against the 6th seeded Xu and Ma before an ankle injury to Ma Jin cut the match short. The Chinese pair have won both their previous matches but one of their victories was a retirement and the other meeting was in 2010 that the Chinese pair won 24-22 in the deciding game.
Another big name fell in the men’s singles as the 4th seeded Taufik Hidayat was defeated in the second round by Singapore’s Zi Liang Derek Wong, but Hidayat was not the only seed to crash out on the 3rd day in London.
Hidayat was joined by 14th seeded Marc Zwiebler, who defeated Hidayat twice in the build up events to the world championships but lost in three games to Spain’s Pablo Abian in 74 minutes. Abian takes on the fairytale story of the event to date, Guatemala’s Kevin Cordon who is through to the last 16 after defeating Sweden’s Henri Hurskainen in two games. The top three seeds remaining in the draw had little trouble reaching the last 16, with Lee Chong Wei defeating Ville Lang in two games to set up a match against Park Sung Hwan in the third round. Lin Dan defeated Ireland’s Scott Evans in two tight games to set up his third round match against Lee Hyun Il of Korea whilst the 3rd seeded Peter Gade was very impressive in his 21-9, 21-5 victory over Pukhov of Russia and takes on the 13th seeded Simon Santoso in the 3rd round tomorrow.
The second round of matches in the women’s singles was completed today, with the first big name casualty coming in the 8th seeded Bae Youn Joo losing out to Pi Hongyan of France whilst the top seeded Chinese players on show today progressed safely into the last 16. Wang Yihan defeated Gu of Singapore in two games, as did 3rd Wang Xin in her victory over Anastasia Prokopenko of Russia. Saina Nehwal’s campaign also started with a win over Chloe Magee of Ireland and will take on Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong in the last 16.
The second round in the men’s doubles was also completed today, with top seeded Boe and Mogensen winning in impressive fashion to reach the last 16 and a match against Hashimoto and Hirata of Japan, seeded 9th.The 4th seeded Koo and Tan were also given a real test by the Chinese pair of Liu and Qiu, taking them to three games before the Malaysian’s eventually progressed to take on Chen and Lin of Chinese Taipei, who defeated the 13th seeded Kindervater and Schoettler to reach the last 16. Ko and Yoo were also taken to three games by the English pairing of Adcock and Ellis, before the 5th seeds claimed victory and a last 16 place to take on Cho and Kwon, in an all-Korean match.
The biggest seed to fall to date came in the women’s doubles as the 2nd seeded Chien and Cheng crashed out to the Indian pair of Gutta and Ponnappa in two games, who will take on the 11th seeded Poon and Tse who ended the English pairing of Langley and Smith’s run at the championships this year. Fujii and Kakiiwa almost crashed out today also, needing 88 minutes and saving a match point in their match over Chin and Wong before progressing 22-20 in the deciding game and setting up a 3rd round match against Vislova and Sorokina of Russia, seeded 10.
Britain’s last hope of success lies with Bankier and Adcock in the mixed doubles, after their victory over the 8th seeded Anugritayawon and Voravichaikul of Thailand in two games. Their reward is a 3rd round match against Shiota and Ikeda of Japan, seeded 15th who defeated the Austrian pairing of Zirnwald and Baldurf in two games. There was little hassle for the top seedings in the bottom half of the draw, as Ahmad and Natsir progressed into the last 16 in two games, as did the 5th seeded Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen in two games also and the 4th seeded Tian and Jiaming are also through to the last 16 to take on Mateusiak and Zieba of Poland.
The unlikely upset against Lee Chong Wei had to be done for Gade to reach the final but it was another unlikely man who reached the All England Final. However, the day has been a successful one for Danish Badminton.
The dream that was Peter Gade’s 2nd All England title ended today as top seed Lee Chong Wei continued his excellent run in the Super Series with his third final of the year and ending Peter Gade’s fabulous run at the semi final stage, the Malaysian winning 21-17, 21-14 in 47 minutes.
In the other semi final, world #20 Kenichi Tago played 6th seeded Bao Chunlai, who defeated Lin Dan in the quarterfinals. The first game was dominated by the Chinese 6th seed, winning 21-18, however the second game was a much tighter affair but Bao Chunlai had a chance at 20-19 to book his place in the final, only for the unseeded Japanese player to win the next three points to take it into a third game. Tago was clearly motivated by his second game victory and dominated the deciding game and won the match on his third match point, winning the 3rd game 21-18 to book his place in the All England Final.
Tine Rasmussen done what Peter Gade could not and reached the final, her third final in succession with a 21-19, 21-17 victory over the 7th seeded Saina Nehwal in her semi final match, The 2010 final will be a rematch of the 2009 final, with top seed Wang Yihan defeating her Chinese compatriot Wang Xin in the second semi final, the 2009 winner coming through 21-17, 26-24.
The Danish success continued in the men’s doubles, with an All-Danish final. 4th seeded Boe and Mogensen booked their place first with a win over Guo and Xu, the 7th seeds from China, winning the match 21-16, 21-16. Unseeded Paaske and Rasmussen continued their love affair with the NIA, the location of their world championship victory in 2003. They defeated the 3rd seeds Kido and Setiawan in three superb games to book their place in tomorrow’s final, winning 14-21, 21-13, 23-21.
An all-Chinese final was assured in the women’s doubles, but it is an unlikely final with the 3rd seeded Zhao and Cheng defeating last weeks German Open winners and 2nd seeded Ma and Wang in the semi final, winning 21-17, 21-18 in 49 minutes. The other semi final pitted the top seeds Du and Yu against Pan and Tian, with the first game being won narrowly by the top seeds 24-22, with Pan and Tian having the opportunity to win the game at 21-20 after saving 4 games points previously. The second game was too much for the unseeded pair and the top seeds progressed 24-22, 21-10.
There was unseeded success for a Chinese pair in the mixed doubles, with Zhao Yunlei reaching her second All England Final after winning her women’s doubles semi final against Ma and Wang, she partnered up with Zhang Nan to defeated the 4th seeds and fellow countrymen He Hanbin and Yu Yang to reach the final, winning 21-14, 23-21. They will meet the 2nd seeded Widianto and Natsir in the final, as they defeated 3rd seeds Lee and Lee in the other semi final 21-16, 18-21, 21-8 to book their place in the final.