Axelsen Man Handles the Competition

The talk of qualifying was Viktor Axelsen’s progression into the main draw with three victories in two games on Thursday. He continued his outstanding form with a win over Tomas Kopriva, again in two games and then his fifth two game win over Valeriy Atrashchenkov to set up a quarter final match against the 4th seeded Scott Evans of Ireland.

Vladimir Malkov, the 7th seed was beaten by Atrashchenkov in Round 1 before his defeat to Axelsen. The 6th seeded Stephan Wojcikiewicz lost to Finland’s Eetu Heino, who then defeated Pavel Florian of the Czech Republic to set up a quarter final match with Rune Ulsing of Denmark.

Four seeds remain in the women’s singles draw, with top seeded Judith Meulendijks pulling out pre-event. 5th seed and local hope Kristina Ludikova was beaten in the second round in three games by Mariya Diptan to set up a quarter final match with Tatjana Bibik of Russia. 4th seeded Maja Tvrdy lose in the opening round to another Ukrainian, Mariya Ulitina who then lost to Belarus’ Alesia Zaitsava. The 2nd seeded Larisa Griga is also out, losing in the second round to English qualifier Sarah Walker.

The English final in the men’s doubles is still on, as the top two seeds both from England are safely into the last 8. Eliis and Mills winning in three games over Konoc and Zavadsky whilst Langridge and Middleton defeated Cwalina and Logosz in two games. The French 3rd seeds of Constantin and Vincent are also safely into the last 8, with a two game win over their French compatriots Labar and Quere.

The four seeds in the women’s doubles are all safely through to the last 8 without the loss of a game between the quartet. Whilst in the mixed doubles, only one seed from four remain, with Durkinjak and Pozananovic progressing into the last 8. Atrashchenkov’s poor day continued as he crashed out in the second round with partner Elena Prus, as the top seeds lost to Dutch duo of Arens and Piel.

Day 1 Results

If ever there were a Chinese monopoly in one event, it would be the women’s singles. You have to go back to 1999 and Camilla Martin for a non-Chinese World or Olympic Champion in this event. This year looks no different, with four Chinese seeds in the top 7.

2007 World Championship Winners: Zhu Lin
2008 Olympic Champions: Zhang Ning

Top Seed:
Zhou Mi

Nationality: Hong Kong
Seeds: 1
Last Tournament: Philippine GP (Finalist)
2nd Round Opponents: Michelle Chan Ky (NZL)

The former Chinese woman’s recent form has been up and down, from winning the Singapore Super Series to crashing out in Indonesian in round 1 just a week later. A quarterfinal defeat to Lin Zhu in the Asian Championships has done little to justify her top seeding.

Double world champion Xie Xingfang waits in the quarter final, anything less than her best will see the top seed out of the World Championships.

Other Seeds to Watch:

Wang Lin

Nationality: Chinese
Seeds: 2
Last Tournament: Indonesian Super Series (Finalist)
2nd Round Opponents: Yu Hirayama (JPN) or Maja Tvrdy (SLO

Wang Lin comes in as the highest seeded Chinese player, but without a title in 2009 there is not much for a case for her being a threat in this years World Championship. Defeats to Wang Yihan and Lin Zhu this year means that she is very beatable, as well as defeats by Mi Zhou in Singapore and Salna Nehwal in Indonesia leading up to the event.

A potential rematch of the Indonesian Super Series final waits in the Quarters against Nehwal.

Tine Rasmussen

Nationality: Danish
Seeds: 3
Last Tournament: All-Englands (Finalist)
2nd Round Opponents: NO MATCH

It is difficult on how to gauge Rasmussen’s chances at this year’s World Championships, a heel injury has put her out of action for almost 6 months and her first match will be the round of 16.

It could be good news for a recovering athlete to play no matches until the last 16, an extra day to get used to the environment. However, a lack of match practice could be her downfall with a likely meeting with Yip Pui Yin in the round of 16.

Wang Yihan

Nationality: Chinese
Seeds: 4
Last Tournament: Indonesian Super Series (Quarter Finals)
2nd Round Opponents: Susan Egelstaff (SCO) or Anu Nieminen (FIN)

At the start of the year, she rose to fame with her wins at the All-Englands and the Swiss Super Series. A semi-final loss to Xie Xingfang and another in Indonesia to Lu Lan have brought her back to earth with a bang. At just 21, ignorance of youth could be the best thing she could have on her side.

She is still very much a contender in this event; Pi Hongyan is likely to be her quarterfinal opponent.

The rest of the draw is laden with potential winners; with double world champion Xie Xingfang is seeded fifth for the event. Indonesian Open winner Salna Nehwal seeded 6th.

Yonex Sunrise World Championships 2009 Women’s Singles Draw

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