Lee Hoping For Gold

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.

Men’s Doubles Draw

wong_choong_han

Wong Falls To Lee

The unlikely all-Malaysia final in the men’s singles was a reality as 4th seeded Wong Choong Hann defeated Taufik Hidayat in yesterday’s semi final to set up a final against top seed and world #1 Lee Chong Wei in today’s final.

Before the men’s singles, it was an all-Hong Kong women’s singles final between Yip Pui Yin (seeded 3) against Zhou Mi (seeded 2). Both players had came through three-game encounters in the semi final, with Yip Pui Yin defeating top seeded Pi Hongyan to reach the final. The pair shared the opening two games to set up a third game decider, which Zhou Mi lead for the majority of before giving up her lead whilst leading 19-18 in the third and the 3rd seeded brilliantly served out to win the match 21-19 in the final game.

Hendra Setiawan and Markis Kido won the men’s doubles in an all-Indonesian final against Gunawan and Yulianto. After dropping the opening game 21-8, Kido and Setiawan responded by winning the next two games, 21-17, 21-12. There was more Indonesian success in the mixed doubles, with Lahardi and Natsir defeating the 3rd seeded Thai pairing of Sudket and Saralee in three games, winning 13-21, 21-16, 21-17.

Thailand did have one winner, in the women’s doubles as 4th Duanganong and Kunchala defeated the unseeded Malaysian pair of Ng and Ng in three games. Malaysia was guaranteed at least one title, in the men’s singles. Lee Chong Wei was the clear favourite and dominated the opening game, winning it 21-8 before the 4th seed fought back to take the second game 21-14 to set up a deciding game. Wong Choong Hann took a very early lead at 1-0 and would never take the lead again in the deciding game, as Lee Chong Wei had as much as a 10-point lead at one stage, before taking the final game by 21 points to 15.

Final Results

lindan_ae2010

Lin Dan Returns to Winning Form

The hosts last chance of success came in the Thomas Cup Semi Final against the favourites China, Lee Chong Wei would need to begin the charge against Lin Dan in the opening singles.

Japan vs. Indonesia

This afternoon’s matches saw an in form Taufik Hidayat demolish Kenichi Tago in the opening singles 21-9, 21-14 to give Indonesian an early advantage. The lead was doubled when Kido and Setiawan annihilated Hayakawa and Kazuno 21-9, 21-11 in just 22 minutes, putting Indonesia within a game of the Thomas Cup Final. Sho Sasaki halved the lead with a brave three-game victory over Simon Santoso, winning 21-19, 13-21, 21-11 to send the match to it’s 4th rubber. Indonesia completed their victory with 21-14, 22-20 win from Widianto and Chandra against Hirata and Endo to put them through to Sunday’s final.

China vs. Malaysia

The most anticipated match of the week was a Lin Dan – Lee Chong Wei matchup, would we get the Lin Dan who crashed out of the All England and Swiss Opens or the all-conquering Lin Dan who won the 2008 Olympics and 2009 All-England. The match in itself lasted 48 minutes, but from the outset there was only going to be one winner as Lin Dan returned to greatness with a 21-17, 21-8 victory over the world number 1. With Lee Chong Wei only taking one lead in the entire match, at 3-2 in the opening game. Cai and Fu carried on from Lin Dan’s opening victory with a 21-15, 21-10 with over Koo and Tan in 36 minutes to put China within one game of the final. Chen Jin booked China’s place in Sunday’s final after crushing Wong Choong Han 21-16, 21-7.

Day 6 Results

wong_over_wangyihan

Wong Mew Choo

Heading into the quarter-finals the Chinese team has secured all but one of the remaining eight places, and Malaysia’s Wong Mew Choo has managed to spoil the party by defeating the top seed Wang Yihan 21-18, 21-17. Perhaps equally surprising was the defeat of Denmark’s second seeded Tine Rasmussen at the hands of China’s Wang Xin 13-21, 21-12, 21-19 on the other side of the draw.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTJa-WcP9V0[/youtube]

The men’s singles was far less dramatic with no seeded players falling, however Carl Baxter pushed Simon Santoso to the limit but failed to win the match. Santoso won in three games 14-21, 21-12, 21-18 to set up his quarter-final against Lin Dan. Lin Dan had another relatively smooth match, defeating yet another one of his teammates Chen Long 21-12, 21-15. The quarter-finals however should prove to be very exciting as there are a number of tough match ups. Of particular interest will be to see whether or not Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen is capable of going the distance, or if perhaps his big wins are restricted to the earlier rounds.

Chinese Taipei has reason to be happy with two pairings in the quarter-finals after Fang Chieh Min and Lee Sheng Mu upset third seeds Hendra Setiawan and Markis Kido in the second round. The match went the full distance with the Chinese Taipei pair winning 21-19, 11-21, 21-15. Unfortunately the two Chinese Taipei pairs must now face each other in the quarter-finals.

For full results and quarter-final line ups visit the draws below:
China Super Series 2009

With the World Championships just a week away, we take an in-depth look at all five events. First up is the Mens Doubles.

2007 World Championship Winners and 2008 Olympic Champions: Markis Kido
and Hendra Setiawan

Top Seeds:
Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan

Nationality: Indonesian
Seeds: 1
Last Tournament: Malaysian Open (Semi Finals)
2nd Round Opponents: Hu Chung Shien and Tsai Chia Hsin (TPE)

The defending World and Olympic Champions would be the safe bet in the draw if you were looking for a winner, however their last success was in the Asian Championships in April.

Their first main test will come in the last 16 will come against Japanese duo Kenta Kazuno and Kenichi Hayakawa, the 14th seeds.

Other Seeds to Watch:

Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen

Nationality: Danish
Seeds: 3
Last Tournament: Singapore Super Series (Semi Finals)
2nd Round Opponents: Han Sung Hoon and Shin Baek Choei (KOR)

The big European hope in the competition has progressed deep into main draws this year, without picking up a major title. They have lost to most of the high seeds in the tournament in these events and most recently losing to Kido and Setiawan in Singapore in two games.

They will need to be at their very best to progress past the Quarter Final stage and potential mouthwatering tie against Cai and Fu in the last 8.

Jung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dae

Nationality: Korean
Seeds: 4
Last Tournament: Indonesian Super Series (Won)
2nd Round Opponents: Adrian Liu and Derrick Ng (CAN)

Runners-up in this competition in 2007, they are perhaps the form duo in this year’s competition and will come in full of confidence with their win in Indonesia two months ago.

They defeated Cai and Fu as well as Kido and Setiawan to win the title that week and could be the partnership to watch this week.

Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng

Nationality: Chinese
Seeds: 5
Last Tournament: Indonesian Super Series (Finalist)
2nd Round Opponents: Bosch/Ridder (NED) or Wijaya/Saputra (SIN)

Olympic silver medalists and 2009 All-England winners Cai and Fu have played a mere three tournaments this year but still are seeded 5. The three tournaments form gives you an idea on what to expect.

Won, Semi Final, Finalists.

The 2006 Champions are a strong bet for the title, but lack of tournaments might be their downfall.

Anthony Clark and Nathan Robertson

Nationality: English
Seeds: 9
Last Tournament: Indonesian Super Series (2nd Round)
2nd Round Opponents: Kristof Hopp and Johannes Schoettler (GER)

This might seem like a strange pair to draw attention to, but they have been in excellent form over the summer with their win in the final against Kido and Setiawan in the Singapore Open in June.

They also have the knack of beating seeded partnerships; they have an intangible that on their day makes them one of the top partnerships in the world. They will have to be at their very best to progress to the last eight with Jung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dae waiting in the last 16.

Yonex Sunrise World Championships 2009: Mens Doubles

Semi-Final day in Singapore and the last of the seeded players in the Mens Singles falls, Chen Jin lost out to fellow Chinese player Bao Chunlai in two close sets (21-19, 12-18). In the other Semi-Final, Boonsak Ponsana beat Park Sung Hwan in the longest match of the day in three close sets (19-21, 21-18, 21-13).

Top seed Zhou Mi looks in ominous form as she disposed of 3rd seed Wang Lin in their semi-final encounter, She will play Xie Xingfang after their eighth seeded came back to win the last two games after dropping the first game against her unseeded Chinese compatriot Jiang Yanjiao.

In the Mens Doubles, Anthony Clark and Nathan Robertson excellent week in Singapore continued after they defeated Chen Hung Ling and Lin Yu Yang and their semi-final encounter to book their player in the final in two sets (21-19, 21-19). They will face top seeded pair Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan in the final after the duo defeated fourth seeded Danish pairing Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen in less than 30 minutes (21-12, 21-16).

The Mixed Doubles has turned into an all-Chinese affair with sixth seeds Xie Zhongbo and Zhang Yawen beating top seeded player Nova Widianto and Lillyana Natsir in two tight sets to book their place in the final. (22-20, 22-20). They will play Zheng Bo and Ma Jin in the final after their over Olympic Champions Lee Yong Dae and Lee Hyo Jung in two sets. The fifth seeded Chinese pair have failed to drop a set all week.

The Finals:

MS Chunlai Bo (CHN) v Boonsak Ponsana (THA)
LS Zhou Mi (1) (TPE) v Xie Xingfang (8) (CHN)
MD Kido / Setiawan (1) (IND) v Clark / Robertson (ENG)
LD Tingting / Yawen (5) (CHN) v Polii / Maheswari (IND)
XD Ma / Bo (5) (CHN) v Yawen / Zhongbo (6) (CHN)

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