The day threatened to be a precession of English victories, that turned out not to be the case in Lisburn as a double defeat ensured just two titles for England on finals day.
Mills and Olver first final was the mixed doubles, which turned out to be one of the most one-sided of the completed matches. Their 21-19, 21-17 victory over Khodabux and Piek ensured at least one title for the English pair as they took on their level doubles finals later in the day. There was a shock brewing in the women’s singles, as teenager Carolina Marin took the opening game against Pai Hsiao Ma before the Chinese Taipei player found her form and completed a comeback in 58 minutes, winning 12-21, 21-19, 21-7.
Rajiv Ouseph claimed his second title in three weeks, albeit through a retirement from Przemyslaw Wacha at the second game interval. The match was never close as the Englishman took the title 21-15 and was leading 11-5 in the second game. The Malaysian’s Ng and Ng claimed their second title in two games with a victory over Olver and Agathangelou after dropping in the opening game, however faught back to take the title 14-21, 21-16, 21-11. Peter Mills also failed in his quest for two titles this week as he partnered Marcus Ellis, but the Polish top seeds of Cwalina and Logosz were too strong on the day, winning 21-15, 21-15 to take the men’s doubles title.
The three week stretch of the European Tour of Scotland, Wales and Ireland has featured a lot of the same names throughout, with the English squad dominating in Ireland this week.
Rajiv Ouseph has already won the Scottish International recently and will hope for title number 2 against the Pole Przemyslaw Wacha in tomorrow’s final. It will be their fourth meeting, with Wacha claiming victory in all of their previous meetings. Ouseph defeated Ville Lang and Mathieu Lo Ying Ping to ensure his place in the final whilst Wacha beat two seeds in Dicky Palyama and Dmytro Zavadsky to reach the final. Spanish teenager Carolina Marin is through the women’s singles final against Pai Hsiao Ma of Chinese Taipei, with Marin defeating the 3rd seeded Linda Zechiri to reach the final. The 4th seeded Pai defeated the top seeded Pi Hongyan in her semi final match in two games to book her place against Marin tomorrow.
The Malaysian pair of Ng and Ng have had a successful run of recently with a victory in Wales last week and beaten finalists in Scotland the week before. Their opponents in tomorrow’s final is the 3rd seeded Agathangelou and Olver, who defeated the top seeded Damkjaer Kruse and Roepke in the semi finals. Ellis and Mills will also hope to go one better than in Glasgow two weeks previously in the men’s doubles final as the unseeded pair take on the top seeded Logosz and Cwalina, who have been on court just 63 minutes on route to tomorrow’s final. The mixed doubles final sees two unseeded pairs with Ellis and Olver reaching their seconds finals of the week, where they will take on the Dutch pair of Khodabux and Piek tomorrow.
Four events still hold Dutch interest going into the weekend whilst several seeded players crashed out to boost the belief of at least one Dutch title this week.
Eric Pang’s victory in three games over 2nd seeded Ajay Jayaram was the story of the men’s singles today , but just as significant was Hsueh Hsuan Yi’s victory over Przemyslaw Wacha in the other half of the draw means that two unseeded players remain going into the semi finals tomorrow, with Pang taking on Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei for a place in Sunday’s final.
Yao Jie disposed of Ireland’s Chloe Magee in two games to set up her semi final match against Denmark’s Karina Jorgensen, who defeated Kristina Gavnholt in her quarter final match. Top seeded Porntip Buranaprasertsuk is also safely into the last 4 after defeating Pai Hsiao Ma of Chinese Taipei in her quarter final.
Bosch and Ridder set up their semi final clash with German’s Kindervater and Schoettler with both pairs winning in two games to reach the last 4. 2nd seeds Ivanov and Sozonov crashed out to the Danish pair of Skovgaard and Pieler Kolding to set up the other semi final against Poland’s Cwalina and Logosz. The women’s doubles sees the top four seeds in the semi finals, with the Dutch pairing of Jonathans and Van Dooremalen taking on the top seeded Thai pairing of Aroonkesorn and Voravitcitchaikul, after both claim two game victories in the quarter finals. The other Dutch pair in the last 8 of Severien and Verheul were defeated in two games by the second seeded Sari and Yao of Singapore.
The top two pairs from Thailand both successfully reached the last 4, joined by two German pairs. The 3rd seeded Fuchs and Michels received a walkover in the quarter finals whilst the unseeded pair of Kaesbauer and Goliszewski beat the Chinese Taipei pairing of Lu and Wu in three games to book their place in the last 4.
Even though some big-name withdrawals have weakened some of the draws, there is an excellent field in Almere, headlined by the 2nd seeded Yao Jie.
Boonsak Ponsana was set to be the top seed to play himself into form ahead of the Danish and French Super Series but pulled out pre-event to allow the unseeded Rasmus Fladberg to reach the last 8 from Ponsana’s part of the draw. 2nd seeded Ajay Jayaram has progressed into the quarter finals without the loss of a game and takes on the 5th seeded Dutchman Eric Pang for a place in the semi finals. Przemyslaw Wacha is the highest seed left in the top half of the draw and takes on the 7th seeded Hsueh Hsuan Yi of Chinese Taipei for place in the last 4.
Yao Jie is the big hope of a title this week for the Dutch and after surviving a nervy three game match in her opening round eventually winning 22-20 in the deciding game, there were little problems reaching the last 8 today with a routine two game victory over Sabrina Jacquet to set up a quarter final with Ireland’s Chloe Magee, who won the all-British match in the second round against Elizabeth Cann. The only other seed remain in the entire draw is the top seeded Thai Porntip Buranaprasertsuk who has progressed safely into the last 8 without the loss of a game to date and takes on Chinese Taipei’s Pai Hsiao Ma in the quarter finals.
All three doubles events have been hit with walkovers and withdrawals but there is still an excellent field in the last 8 of all the events. The top 4 seeds remain in the men’s doubles, with 4th seeded Bosch and Ridder looking to keep the title on Dutch soil but will face a tough task with a likely semi final encounter with German top seeds Kindervater and Schoettler. Jonathans and Van Dooremalen are seeded 4 in the women’s doubles whilst unseeded Dutch pair of Severien and Verheul are also through to the last 8, taking on the 2nd seeded Sari and Yao of Singapore in their quarter final.
The two Thai pairs are the main contenders this week, with both pairs coming through their second round matches without much resistance. The top seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam take on the Danish pair of Delbo Larsen and Grebak in their quarter final whilst 2nd seeded Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul take on the Singapore pairing of Chrisnanta and Neo for a place in the last 4.
The hope of a title remaining in Chinese Taipei ended today, with the defeat of Pai Hsiao Ma in the women’s singles and the top seeded Cheng and Chien crashing out of the women’s doubles.
They weren’t the only top seed to crash out, with Tien Minh Nguyen’s defeat to Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in two games and the Thai’s reward is a match with 6th seeded Tommy Sugiarto in the final. Sugiarto won the all-Indonesian semi final against Sony Dwi Kuncoro in 69 minutes and will take on the 15th seed in their first matchup for the title tomorrow.
Sung Ji Hyun ended Pai Hsiao Mai’s run at the semi final stage with a convincing two game victory, many expected an all-Korean final but Thailand’s 3rd seeded Inthanon Ratchanok defeated the 2nd seeded Bae Youn Joo in the other semi final in two games to book her place in the final against Hyun as the world number 12 and 13 do battle for the title.
There is one all-Korean final in the men’s doubles, as Lee and Jung take on Ko and Yoo. The top two seeds have progressed without much resistance this week and have quashed rumours that Lee and Ko were set to team up ahead of the Olympic Games next year. Jauhari and Polii ended the run of the top seeded Chinese Taipei pair of Cheng and Chien in one of the shortest matches of the day to set up a final against the 2nd seeded Kim and Ha who defeated the unseeded pairing of Hoo and Woon of Malaysia.
Lee and Ha’s run in the mixed doubles ended at the hands of Ahmad and Natsir, the top seeded Indonesians. However, one unseeded Korean pair did reach the final as Ko and Eom defeated their third seed of the week, this time it was the 3rd seeded Kurinawan and Bernadeth in their semi final as they continued their exceptional run this week of not losing a game to date.
The Korean squad has a massive interest going into the semi finals on Saturday, with a potential four titles on offer for Korea this week.
The only title that the Korean’s can’t win is the men’s singles, with Tien Minh Nguyen progressing in three games over Shon Wan Ho to end Korean interest in the event. Tommy Sugiarto is Nguyen’s main rival this week and the 6th seed will take on his team mate Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the semi final after the unseeded Indonesian defeated Malaysia’s Muhammed Hafiz Hashim in three games in their quarter final.
Pai Hsiao Ma has been the revelation in the women’s singles, after her defeat of the top seeded Cheng she added another victory over a seeded player in her victory over Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong in three games to reach the semi finals. Sung Ji Hyun is the opponent for the Chinese Taipei woman, with Korea also having interest in the other semi final with the 2nd seeded Bae Youn Joo who takes on Inthanon Ratchnok, seeded 3 this week.
The doubles are dominated by Korea, with three pairs in the last 4 of the men’s doubles including Lee and Jung who are the top seeded as well as the 2nd seeded Ko and Yoo with neither pair losing a game to date this week. Chien and Cheng are sole Chinese Taipei interest in the doubles in the women’s doubles and take on the 3rd seeded Jauhari and Polii of Indonesia. The 2nd seeds of Ha and Kim take on the unseeded Malaysia pair of Hoo and Woon in the other semi final.
The mixed doubles features two unseeded Korean pairs, with Lee and Ha defeating two seeds this week already in their route to the semi final. After defeating the 8th seeded Widianto and Natsir, they went on to beat the 4th seeded Lee and Chien but face their toughest task in the semi final as they take on the top seeded Ahmad and Natsir. The other Korean pair of Ko and Eom have also been in excellent form as they also defeated two seeds to reach the semi final, after their victory over the 2nd seeded Chen and Cheng they beat the 6th seeded Rijal and Susanto in two games to reach the semi finals against Kurniawan ad Bernadeth, seeded 3rd this week.