Two matches on the first day is always tough but is almost a mainstay of the EBU circuit, it is often a day that determines the winner with the players who come through the opening two rounds in the quickest possible time on court. Only three of the 8 remaining players in the men’s singles won in two straight games for both matches and just two in the women’s singles.
Irish hopes ended in the men’s singles at the second round, with 2nd seeded Scott Evans losing out to Gabriel Ulldahl in a tame two game defeat that was on court just 30 minutes. Top seeded Hans-Kristian Vittinghus has struggled through his opening two matches with both matches going to three games, he takes on Peter Mikkelsen in an all-Danish quarter final who has been impressive in his opening two rounds, winning both in two games. 7th seeded Spainard Pablo Abian is another player who impressed on the opening day, winning both his matches in two games and will take on the 4th seeded Dane, Rune Ulsing for place in the last 4. Scottish Open runner-up Ville Lang has also breezed through into the last 8 and takes on the Swede Ulldahl in his quarter final match.
7 seeds remain of the 8 in the women’s singles, with European junior champion Carolina Marin making up the quarter final lineup. Marin defeated the 7th seed Prutsch in her opening round and another victory against French qualifier Marie Maunoury sees her into the last 8 against Karin Schnaase of Germany. The top 2 seeds also battled through to the last 8, Elizabeth Cann struggled in her opening round match before finding form in her two game win over Nanna Brosolat Jensen in her second round match whilst 2nd seeded Susan Egelstaff defeated last weeks winner Anita Raj Kaur in three games in her opening round before beating Perrine Lebuhanic to set up her quarter final with Ragna Ingolfsdottir of Iceland. Chloe Magee of Ireland is also through to the last 8 after two victories and takes on the top seeded Cann in the quarter finals.
Top seeded French pair Constantin and Vincent crashed out at the second round in the men’s doubles, losing to Denmark’s Bue and Rasmussen who will play the unseeded Adcock and Ellis of England in the last 8. The 2nd seeded French pair of Careme and Grosjean did come through the opening day and face their own Danish opponents in the quarter finals in Mork and Winther. The pair to look out for in the event though is the English pair of Landridge and Clark who have breezed into the last 8. Clark is not in Hong Kong playing with usual partner Nathan Robertson and this new pairing has the potential to go all the way this week.
The women’s doubles has been marred with a mass of withdrawals but the top seeded Agathangelou and Olver are safely into the last 8 with second seeds Heisbol and Skelbaek also through. The 3rd seeded Belgian pair of Annys and Corvilain crashed out in the second round to the French pair of Lefel and Luttman. The 4th seeded St Jacques and Lavoie are also into the last 8 after a win over Latvian pair of Pope and Sefere.
Scottish Open winners Adcock and Bankier’s excellent run continued as they defeated the top seeded Gao and Ng in their second round match to progress to the last 8. There has been little problems for the other 3 seeds to date, but the two Magee’s from Ireland face a tough task in their quarterfinal taking on Olver and Middleton for a place in the last 4. Croatian 4th seeded Durkinjak and Poznanovic have also been impressed as they have reached the last 8 with dropping a game.
The draws for the 2010 World Championships were made in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, there were little doubts about the top seed in the men’s singles draw with Lee Chong Wei taking the #1 seed but there will be no rematch of the 2009 final in Paris on August 29.
Lee Chong Wei begins his campaign against Kevin Cordon, the world number 46 from Guatemala and could face a tricky second round match against world #22 Muhammad Hafiz Hashim in an all-Malaysian second round encounter. The other seed in Lee Chong Wei’s section is Jan O Jorgensen, seeded 11. The Dane has had a disappointing 2010 after bursting onto the world scene with victory over Peter Gade in Denmark and reaching the Chinese Super Series final in 2009. He begins his campaign against the Austrian Michael Lahnsteiner, ranked 86 in the world. His second round encounter will be a much tougher match with one of the best matches of the opening round with Eric Pang taking on Rajiv Ouseph for the chance to play Jorgensen or Lahnsteiner in Round 2.
Taufik Hidiyat received the 5th seed and with that, he plays Ola Fagbemi of Nigeria who is the lowest ranked player in the draw, ranked #122 in the world. His likely second round opponent is ranked almost 100 places higher in the world rankings, world #23 Yu Shin Hsieh of Chinese Taipei who takes on Portugal’s Pedro Martins in Round 1. The other seed is Kenichi Tago, one of the breakout stories of 2010 who is the #12 seed and faces the Czech national champion Petr Koukal, the world #48 in the opening round.
Lin Dan has barely played in 2010, but is still the Chinese #1 and seeded 3 for the Worlds and begins his campaign against Ali Shahhossieni of Iran, ranked 110 in the world before potentially playing the winner of the all-European match between Henrik Toth and Henri Hurskainen in the second round. The conspiracy theorists will claim that Lin Dan’s opening two matches could be the easiest run to the last 16 of any of the seeds, with only Hurskainen inside the top 50 in the world (ranked 50th). His first big test will be against Bao Chunlai, seeded 10 and the player who defeated him in the 2010 All England. The 10th seed begins against Yan Kit Chan who is current ranked 20th in the world in one of the hardest opening round match for any seed. If anything, the winner of this match will have an easier second round match, playing the winner of David Snider of Canada (ranked 89) and Scotland’s Alistair Casey (ranked 78).
Tien Minh Nguyen may not have won in Chinese Taipei to gain him more ranking points but is still seeded 7 and plays the world number 62 Ukrainian Valeriy Atrashchenkov in his opening round match. The winner of Raul Must and Dieter Domke is likely to play the Vietnamese player in round 2. Park Sung Hwan is the other seed in this section, the 13th seeded Korean takes on Derek Wong Zi Liang of Singapore, ranked 79 in the world with Park likely to play the winner of another all-European clash between Matthieu Lo Ying Ping and Vladimir Ivanov in the opening round.
The opening section from the bottom half of the draw is arguably the hardest one to come out of, with England’s Carl Baxter, ranked 27 in the world taking on Slovakia’s Michal Matejka for the chance to play the 9th seeded Boonsak Ponsana, should he defeat world number 52 Vladimir Malkov of Russia. The other seed is Simon Santoso, winner in Chinese Taipei and seeded 8. He takes on Poland’s Przemyslaw Wacha, ranked 37 in the world with the winner of that match taking on the winner of Scott Evans, ranked 45 in the world and Hsuan Yi Hsueh of Chinese Taipei, ranked 41 in the world.
The 14th seed Chetan Anand begins his campaign against Ashton Chen Ong Zhao, ranked 112th in the world in one of the bigger mismatches of the opening round and likely to play the winner of Dmytro Zavadsky and Stephan Wojcikiewicz, ranked 47 and 56 respectively. The other seed in the section is the 4th seeded Chen Jin who begins his campaign against Finland’s #1 and world #53 Ville Lang in his opening round. The other match and potentially Chen Jin’s second round opponent is between Kestutis Navickas of Lithuania, the world number 59 and Scotland’s #1 Kieran Merrilees, ranked 72 in the world.
Wong Choong Hann received the 16th seed and will take on France’s own Simon Maunoury in his opening round match in the French capital, but the world number 81 will need to play the match of his life to reach round 2. The other match to determine the winner of the Wong/Maunoury match is between Iran’s Kaveh Mehrabi, ranked 92nd in the world and Kazushi Yamada of Japan, ranked 30 in the world. Sony Kuncoro won in Macau two weeks ago and the 6th seed comes into the championships in excellent form and begins his campaign against Misha Zilberman of Israel, ranked 84th in the world in round 1. Another all-European clash is the last match in the section with world #25 Dicky Palyama of Holland taking on the 3rd Frenchman in the draw, US Open runner-up Brice Leverdez for a place in round 2.
The final section is the only one with two European seeds, with 15th seed Marc Zwiebler taking on the Czech Jan Vondra in his opening round match and a second all-European match guarantees at least one European in the last 16, with Sweden’s Magnus Sahlberg taking on Pablo Abian of Spain. Peter Gade comes into the competition as the number 2 seed and starts his campaign against Brazilian Daniel Paiola, ranked 74 in the world. The big news from this section of the draw is world number 15 Yun Hu not receiving a seeding for the event despite Chen Long not being able to play as China’s #4 and world #10 and plays Shon Wan Ho of Korea, the world number 35 in his opening match and a likely second round match against Peter Gade, which would likely be the match of the second round.
Hiroyuki Saeki and Kana Ito had the opportunity for an unlikely Japanese double in the singles today at the Polish International, however only one of the two succeeded in their quest.
Hiroyuki Saeki’s 11th match of the week seemed to be a bridge too far against Pablo Abian of Spain, with the Spaniard in excellent form after defeating Peter Mikkelsen and Joachim Persson to reach the final. After a close opening to the first game, Abian pulled out a lead and stretched out his advantage and won the opening game 21-12, with 13 smash winners.
The momentum was still with the Spaniard and took a commanding lead in the second game after stringing a streak of 7 points to take an 11-2 lead at the interval, Saeki remained competitive in the second half of the game, but Abian took the second game 21-10 and the title.
Kana Ito played her 7th match in 4 days, winning the previous 6. Her opponent in the final was 4th seeded Chan Tsz Ka of Hong Kong, who was also in the women’s doubles final too. However, Ito was unfazed by the stage she was on and dominated the opening game, winning it 21-14. The Japanese women continued her excellent form in the second game, before a spirited comeback from Chan levelled the score at 18-18, only for Ito to serve out for the match and take the match 21-14, 21-18.
Chan Tsz Ka’s second final was the same result as her singles, losing 21-18, 16-21, 10-21 to the top seeds Sari and Yao of Singapore. It was a bad day for another Hong Kong pairing, the top seeds in the men’s doubles, Wiratama and Wong lost to 2nd seeds Ivanov and Sozonov 17-21, 21-14, 14-21. Russia took a second title in the mixed doubles as Ashmarin and Prokopenko defeated the Singapore pairing of Triyachart and Yao 21-12, 21-17 in Sunday’s last match.
Two unlikely names have reached the final on Sunday, one in the men’s and the other in the women’s singles as the seeds continued to crash out on Day 2 in Poland.
Pablo Abian defeated his Spanish compatriot to set up a semi final clash with top seed Joachim Persson, with the Danish player not dropping a game to this point in the tournament. After a stunning opening game went 21-10 the way of the Spanish player, another shock was on in a week filled with them. The second game was tight in the opening part then Abian pulled out a lead and never released it, winning the second game 21-16 to book his place in the final.
Abian’s opponent in the final is Hiroyuki Saeki, an unseeded qualifier from Japan who had to play 3 matches just to make it into the main draw. Sunday’s final will be his 8th singles match in just 4 days. He defeated Christian Lind Thomsen in the second round and has never looked back, defeating another Japanese player Shuhei Hayasaki to book his place in the final.
There is a second qualifer from Japan in a final tomorrow, Kana Ito battled through two rounds of qualifying and defeated 3rd seed Rachel Van Cutsen in the second round, then another two victories today means that her 7th match of the week will be in tomorrow’s final.
Ito will play Chan Tsz Ka of Hong Kong in tomorrow’s final, the 4th seed’s route has been an easier affair that Ito’s but had to survive a 66 minute battle with Russia’s Olga Golovanova in the quarterfinal to progress, winning the match 21-23, 24-22, 21-19. The 4th seed will also take part in tomorrow’s women’s doubles final too.
Poland’s chances of a finalist lay in the hands of three potential partnerships, Wojtkowska and Szkudiarcyzk in the mixed doubles, seeded 4. They lost out in the quarterfinals after tamely losing to Triyachart and Yao of Singapore 21-9, 21-16. Cwalina and Moren had better luck in the men’s doubles, beating 4th seeded Chrisnanta and Triyachart in the quarterfinals, setting up a match against 2nd seeded Russian pair, Ivanoc and Sozonov. After taking the first game 21-9, expectations were high, only for the Russians to fight back and take the next two games and secure a place in the tomorrow’s final.
Wojtkowska paired up with her women’s doubles partner, Natalia Poczotowiak and defeated Choo and Wilson-Smith of New Zealand to book their place in the semi finals, they came up against the Hong Kong pairing of Chan and Chau, the 4th seeds and after leading most of the first game, let a 17-15 lead slip and lost the opening game 21-19. They never recovered from that and lost the second game 21-10 and ending Poland’s local interest in the event for another year.
The fields have been shortened to just 8, but countless seeds have fallen before the weekend’s play has even begun. 5 seeds have fallen in the men’s singles and the women’s singles, as well as the top seeds in the mixed.
One seed that is safely through to the last 8 is top seeded Joachim Persson, who defeated Magnus Sahlberg in Round 1 and Alex Pang of Canada in Round 2, both in two games to book his place against Petr Koukal, the 7th seed from the Czech Republic. Koukal is through to the last 8 without the loss of a game either.
The next quarterfinal is an all-Spanish matchup, as Pablo Abian overcame 4th seed Peter Mikkelsen, who pulled out in the 3rd game with injury. Indra Bagus Ade Chandra of Spain is also through; defeating 6th seeded Wong Wing Ki 21-19, 23-21 to book his place in tomorrow’s quarterfinal.
Singapore’s Robin Gonansa is through to the last 8, after Stephan Wojcikiewicz pulled out before the match after the Canadian beat 5th seed Dmytro Zavadsky in the opening round. Gonansa will play Hiroyuki Saeki of Japan, who defeated the 3rd seeded Christian Lind Thomsen 22-20, 21-17 to book his place in the last 8. Another Japanese player, Shuhei Hayasaki defeated Vladimir Malkov, the 8th seed from Russian to set up a quarterfinal match against Poland’s 2nd seed Przemyslaw Wacha.
Beiwin Zhang, the top seed from Singapore is through to the last 8 with two convincing victories to this stage, she will play Wang Lin Lang of Indonesia in the last 8 after the Indonesian defeated 7th seed Tatjana Bibik of Russia 23-21, 21-8 to progress.
Unseeded Japanese player, Kana Ito defeated 3rd seeded Rachel Van Cutsen to book her place in tomorrow’s quarterfinal against Austria’s Simone Prutsch, she defeated Rachel Howard who beat the 8th seed Elena Prus in the opening round. Olga Golovanova is through to the last 8 after a 21-17, 21-17 victory over Maja Tvrdy, the 6th seed from Slovenia. She will play the 4th seed Chan Tsz Ka of Hong Kong for a place in the semi final.
Anastasia Prokopenko is the 5th unseeded player in the last 8, after beating Larisa Griga 21-11, 21-14 in the second round. She will play the 2nd seed Judith Meulendijks in the quarters, with the Dutch seed coming through both her matches easily in 2 games.
In an event that promised so much for the Polish crowd, they have seen their chances in this event shortened to just one pair. Top seeded Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Kostiuczyk crashed out in the opening match to Hong Kong suo Wong and Chau in three games. Polish qualifiers Ociepa and Rudolf crashed out in the second round to Pang and Li of Canada.
The 4th seeds, Szkudiarczyk and Wotjtkowsa are Poland’s last hope in the competition; they will play Singapore pairing of Triyachart and Yao for a place in the last 4. Another Polish couple Moren and Pocztowiak crashed out in round 2 to Neo and Chrisnanta of Singapore.
The only other seed left in the draw is the 2nd seeds, Atrashchenkov and Prus of Ukraine, who came through a tight 3 game match with Wilson-Smith and Warfe of New Zealand 13-21, 21-13, 21-19.
Denmark was expected to have little problems on the opening day, but few could have expected the one-sided nature of the 2 ties.
Men’s Team Event
Groups A – C
Denmark were expecting little resistance from Iceland, the favourites delivered with an excellent 5-0 win over the Icelanders. Peter Gade did not play in the match, but with Denmark having two matches on Thursday they will need as many fresh players after a hectic two days previously. Croatia lead Group A after playing two matches today and winning both against Iceland (3-2) and Hungary (5-0). Finland also defeated Hungary 5-0, with the Thursday night match with Denmark potentially determining the Group A winner.
England and Austria both managed 5-0 wins in Group B, Poland also won their match, but only 4-1 against Spain with Wacha being defeated by Pablo Abian. Austria then lost 3-2 to Spain, meaning every team but Lithuania have managed a win in Group B, a group that England tops with their 5-0 win. The Netherlands sit at the top of Group C with a 5-0 win over Greece, failing to drop a game in their victory. Ireland narrowly edged out Estonia 3-2, taking the final doubles match to ensure a win on the opening day.
Groups D – F
Germany started their campaign with a 5-0 win over Bulgaria, with only the second doubles pairing giving up a game to the Bulgarians. Czech Republic defeated Scotland 4-1, with Briggs and Bowman defeating the Kopriva brothers in the final rubber to avoid a 5-0 scoreline.
Sweden and Russia begin Group E with victories; Sweden defeated Slovakia 5-0 to top the group, with Russia winning only 4-1 with Ivan Sozonov retiring in the second game of his match to forfeit his match. France top Group F with a 5-0 win over Portugal, with Ukraine defeating Wales 3-2 after winning the final rubber of their match.
Women’s Team Event
Groups A – C
Denmark destroyed Greece 5-0, conceding just 66 points in 10 games. Tine Rasmussen giving the most points away out of the five rubbers, winning 21-10, 21-8 that was the smallest margin of victory. Czech Republic defeated Estonia 4-1 to take 2nd place in the group, with the top 2 to play tomorrow.
The Netherlands, without Jie Yao still managed a 5-0 victory over Latvia, then the Latvians then lost to Finland 4-1 later in the day. Belgium secured a 3-2 victory over Belarus, with their #1 and #3 singles players teaming up to win the final rubber in the doubles. Belarus bounced back to win their second match of the day, defeating Finland 3-2.
Russia and England both secured 5-0 wins in Group C, but Russia tops the group as they won all 5 matches in two games, whilst England’s final rubber match went to 3 games. The top two play tomorrow evening to settle top spot.
Group D – F
Germany defeated Iceland 5-0, without dropping a game in the process much like the Danish ladies. Sweden bounced back from losing the opening 2 rubbers to win the match 3-2 in a stunning turnaround and will play Germany tomorrow morning to determine who goes top of Group D.
France defeated Poland 4-1 to top Group E after the 4th placed Scotland from 2008 suffered a 3-2 to Ukraine, with the Ukrainians coming back from 2-1 down to win the match. Ukraine play France tomorrow. Bulgaria defeated Hungary 5-0 in an all Eastern European affair, with Wales defeating Slovakia 4-1 to take 2nd place in group F.