It was a quick final day for the Czech International Grand Prix tournament. No matches went to three games, and no matches lasted longer than fifty minutes.
The finals kicked off with the mixed doubles finals of Alexandr Nikolaenko and Valeri Sorokina of Russia against Gert Kunka and Amanda Hogstrom of Estonia and Sweden respectively. Both the Russians had another final later in the day in their respective Men’s and Women’s doubles, making a double crown for each possible. The entire match lasted only twenty six minutes with the Russians taking the prize, 21-15 and 21-12.
The first final with a Czech player was the women’s singles final, featuring Czech sensation Kristina Gavnholt, who had not dropped a set in the tournament yet, against India’s Arundhati Pantawane. The Indian player had a much tougher road to the final having a three set semi-final the day before. The match was the second longest of the day coming in at forty minutes. The home crowd had a reason to cheer in the end as Kristina came out the victor, 21-10, and 21-18.
The women’s final was the next one to be played, and it was Valeri Sorokina’s second final of the day. The Russian team of Valeri Sorokina and Nina Vislova faced off against Canada’s Nicole Grether and Charmane Reid. The Canadians only lasted a total of thirty-four minutes, with the Russian duo walking away with the title, 21-10, and 21-16. This was Valeri Sorokina’s second title of the day.
Next up we had the Men’s doubles, with Russians Vitalj Durkin and Alexandr Nikolaenko facing off against Poland’s first seeds Adam Cwalina and Michal Logosz. The Polish pair kept their magnificent form, defeating the Russians 21-13, and 21-16 in only thirty minutes.
The men’s singles was the match most came to watch. It featured Czech super star Petr Koukal who had made a brilliant run to the final, defeating second seed Brice Leverdez and therefore ending the Frenchman’s winning streak. Koukal was slotted against top seeded Polish player Przemyslaw Wacha. The match was the longest of the day, lasting a total of forty-one minutes. Unfortunately for Koukal, he could not take his home title this year, with Wacha taking the match 21-19, and 21-16.
Petr Koukal continued his reign today with another successful win on his home turf. He defeated Chinese Taipei’s Jen Hao Hsu in straight games, 21-10, and 21-12. Koukal has had a very successful year so far and is only getting better. This is incredible as no less than a year and a half ago Koukal was being treated for Cancer. But with the Cancer out of the way the Czech National champ is set to win his home title. Also in the men’s singles, top seed Przemyslaw Wacha had a three set epic with Indonesian Andre Kurniawan Tedjono. Andre took the first set 21- 18, but Wacha took control and won the next two sets 21-13, and 21-15. India’s Arvind Bhat had quite the scare in the form of fifth seeded Dmytro Zavadsky of Ukraine. Bhat came out on top, 18-21, 21-16, and 21-15. But Bhat’s success would not go too far as Wacha met him in the semi-final and overtook him 18-21, 21-12, and 21-3. Wacha will play Koukal for the title tomorrow.
In the women’s singles Czech star Kristina Gavnholt continued her run into the final. She won the semi-final match against Estonia’s Karoline Hoim, 21-8, and 21-13. Kristina has had a very successful tournament so far winning all her matches without dropping a set. Tomorrow she will face Arundhati Pantawane of India for the Czech International title. Arundhati paved her way to the final by defeating France’s third seeded Sashina Vignes Waran.
Adam Cwalina and Michal Logosz have kept their form this tournament, winning their semi-final against Chinese Taipei’s duo of Kan Hao Liao and Jui Wei Liang. The match went the distance with the Polish pair coming out in the end, 17-21, 21-18, and 21-9. On the other half of the draw, Russian pair of Vitalj Durkin and Alexandr Nikolaenko took out another Chinese Taipei team to reach the final. The Russian pair defeated Po Yi Huang and Chia Bi Lu in straight sets, 21-14, and 21-18. The final tomorrow will be Poland’s Cwalina/Logosz against Russia’s Durkin/Nikolaenko.
There will be another Russian team in the women’s doubles final tomorrow. Valeri Sorokina and Nina Vislova earned their place in the final, defeating Jillie Cooper and Kirsty Gilmour of Scotland, 16-21, 21-12, and 21-8. Canadians will also have someone to cheer for in the final, as Charmain Reid and Nicole Grether will also be headed to the final tomorrow after defeating Sweden’s Sanne Ekberg and Amanda Hogstrom. It was an impressive performance by the Canadian pair taking the match in straight sets, 21-8, and 21-8.
Russia’s doubles stars Alexandr Nikolaenko and Valeri Sorokina will both be in their second final of the day as they defeated Croatia’s Zvonimir Durkinjak and Stasa Poznanovic, 21-17, and 21-11. Nikolaenko will also be in the Men’s doubles final, as well as Sorokina will also be in the Women’s doubles final. This will give Russia the opportunity to capitalize on a double crown chance for both Nikolaenko and Sorokina. Underdogs Gert Kunka (Estonia) and Amanda Hogstrom (Sweden) made a miracle run to the final after defeating France’s Labar Ronan and Laura Choinet, 21-18, and 24-22.
Czech badminton fans have a good reason to be joyous right now, as the Czech International Grand Prix started off with a bang this week. Poland’s men’s singles number one Przemyslaw Wacha, is also the top seed in the men’s singles event. He slipped by two of India’s top players, both in straight games, in the first and second round of the tournament. Czech fans have even more reasons to rejoice as Czech star Petr Koukal ousted second-seeded Brice Leverdez of France in two sets, 21-14, 21-17.
In the women’s singles, top seed Nicole Grether of Canada (Formerly of Germany) saw an early exit from the tournament as she was defeated by Arundhati Pantawane of India, 21-19, and 21-18. Another hometown hero, Kristina Gavnholt advanced to the next stage of the tournament defeating Italy’s Orsolya Varga, and Norway’s Sara Kverno . Kristina won both matches in straight sets.
Poland, Russia, France, and Chinese Taipei all share an equal presence in the men’s doubles quarter finals, each with two teams remaining in the tournament. The second round in the women’s doubles is far more diverse with teams from at least six nations are still in the tournament. Nicole Grether and Charmaine Reid, Canada’s experienced pair triumphed over Natalia Pocztowiak and Stasa Poznanovic, 21-6, and 21-4.
There few surprises in the mixed doubles. Qualifiers Paul Van Rietvelde (Scotland) and Lim Alyssa (England) defeated English compatriots Chris Coles and Jessica Fletcher, 21-18, and 22-20.
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.
Day 2 provided yet more surprises as more seeds toppled at the last 16 stage. Carl Baxter, Petr Koukal and Scott Evans came through the opening day without losing a game between them but all fell on Day 2. Scott Evans took the opening game against the 4th seeded Hsing Hsieh Tzu 21-6, only to lose the next two matches 21-9, 21-9. 3rd seed Rajiv Ouseph is safely through to the quarter finals and will play Shon Wan Ho of Korea, the 7th seed.
The top three seeds in the women’s draw have all progressed into the last 8, 2nd seeded Pi Hongyan plays last weeks winner in Canada, Zhu Lin of China in the quarter finals. Juliane Schenk lost out to Zhu Lin in last weeks final and will want revenge this week. Her quarter final opponent is Singapore’s Fu Mingtian who defeated 8th Anu Nieminen in the opening round. Judith Meulendijks is also safely through, the 4th seed will play Ma Pai Hsiao of Chinese Taipei in the last 8.
There has been double success in the men’s doubles for the US, with two partnerships making it to the last 8. Chew and Ho are the lesser known of the duo but will get the chance to make a name for themselves as they are last on the main court on Thursday’s order of play against unseeded pair Kim and Shin of Korea. Bach and Gunawan have been in fine form as they have reached the last 8 without the loss of a game. They will play Chou and Lin of Chinese Taipei in the quarter final stage.
The top two seeds in the mixed doubles are safely into the last 8 also, with top seeds Mateusiak and Zieba in impressive form with two dominating wins to reach the quarter final stage. They will take on Ng and Jiang of Canada in their last 8 match. 2nd seeded Wallwork and Robertson have been equally impressive, with the loss of just 30 points in their two matches to date. Their quarter final test will be the biggest one to date, as they play the 6th seeded pair from Chinese Taipei, Chen and Cheng.
The opening day in the US Open was a tough test for the men’s singles with the opening two rounds being played on Day 1. The test was too much for several seeds as many fell at the second hurdle.
The most notable seed to fall is the 2nd seed Dicky Palyama who fell in the second round to Wen Hsu Shao of Chinese Taipei. Derek Wong Zillang defeated Christian Lind Thomsen, the 13th seed in the second round also. Rajiv Ouseph is the top seed remaining, after coming through a tough opening round match against Lai Lee Hock of Malaysia; he then defeated Pao Cheng Fu of Chinese Taipei to book his place in the last 16.
There has been success for the seeds though, with Carl Baxter (Seeded 6), Petr Koukal (Seeded 11) and Scott Evans (Seeded 12) have all came through their matches without dropping a game on the opening day.
There have been seeds falling on the women’s side too, with 5th seeded Jeanine Cocognini losing convincingly to Mayu Sekiya of Japan. 7th seeded Anna Rice is also out, losing out to qualifier Zhu Lin of China in Round 1. 8th seed Anu Nieminen was alos beaten by Singapore’s Fu Mingtian. 2nd seed Pi Hongyan and 3rd seeded Juliane Schenk are safely through to the second round after two game victories in their opening games.
Europe’s finest are in Manchester this week for the European Championships, with Denmark and hosts England being well represented in the seeds this week.
Top seed and All England semi finalist Peter Gade will go for European title number 5 and continue the Danish dominance in the men’s singles. He starts with a first round bye before taking on Scotland’s Kieran Merrilees in the second round. The Scottish 20-year old has never won on the European tour but had an outstanding run in late 2008 and has the ability to defeat any player in Europe on his day.
Denmark’s new star is the 2nd seed, Jan O Jorgensen. The 22-year old starts with a first round bye before taking on Petr Koukal, the Czech national champion and winner of the 2009 Czech International will be an excellent test for Jorgensen in the opening round of his campaign.
England’s main contenders come in the way of 4th seed and 8th seed Rajiv Ouseph and Carl Baxter. Ouseph begins against Austrian Michael Lahnsteiner whilst Carl Baxter takes on Israeli Misha Zilberman, both matches are in the second round.
Denmark will look to break a 10-year wait for a women’s singles title, with Camilla Martin being the last Dane to win the title in 2000. However it is Pi Hongyan of France that is top seed for this year’s European Championships. The French woman begins her campaign against Akvile Stapusaityte of Lithuania in her opening round. The second seed is Denmark’s big hope to end a 10 year drought, Tine Rasmussen begins her campaign against Andrea Zvorc of Croatia on Wednesday night, with her last event seeing her regain her All England title, can she regain the women’s singles for Denmark?
All four of the seeds come from the European powerhouses, Denmark and England. Top seeded Boe and Mogensen and 2nd seeded Paaske and Rasmussen have a first round bye. The surprising news from the draw is that 3rd seeded Clark and Robertson have to play a first round whilst 4th seeded Kristiansen and Henriksen have a bye into Round 2.
Current World Champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl are the top seeds in the mixed doubles and begin their campaign to claim their 2nd European Championship against Dimova and Makarski of Bulgaria. Polish 2nd seeds Mateusiak and Kostiuczyk hope to regain the form that won them the Hong Kong Super Series title in November last year, they start against Swiss pair Dumartheray and Jaquet. England’s big hope come in the 3rd seeds Robertson and Wallwork, they begin their campaign against Welsh duo Morgan and Sheppard.
This week’s event in Poland is one of the last events before the European Championships in Manchester next month and has attracted some of the big names in European badminton to play themselves into form ahead of next month’s European Championships.
The top seed is Joachim Persson who is coming off a poor 2-week run in the Super Series, losing out to Kenichi Tago in Round 2 in the All England and another second round defeat to Chen Jin in Switzerland last week. His campaign this week begins against the Swede Magnus Sahlberg before a potential 2nd round encounter with Ville Lang of Finland.
Christian Lind Thomsen (Seeded 3) and Peter Mikkelsen (Seeded 4) lead a strong Danish squad looking for success in the men’s singles draw. Przemyslaw Wacha is the local hope in the competition, seeded 2 but there is also threats from the Ukranian Dmtyro Zavadsky, seeded 5 and Petr Koukal of the Czech Republic, seeded 7. Vladimir Malkov of Russia is another threat, seeded 8.
Singapore’s top seed Zhang Beiwen starts her campaign against rising Belgian starlet Lianne Tan, hoping to past her semi final defeat to Gu Juan in last week’s event behind her. The other potential winners of the event coming from the Netherlands and Ukraine, with Judith Meulendijks and Rachel Van Cutsen leading the Dutch charge. Larisa Griga and Elena Prus are the big Ukrainan hopes.
Poland’s best chance of success lie with Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Kostiuczyk, however with their withdrawal at the semi final stage last week in Switzerland, questions will be asked if they are 100% fit to attempt to win on their home soil. Should they fail to deliver, two other Polish pairings are seeded. 3rd seeded Cwalina and Kurdieska and 4th seeded Szkudiarczyk and Motjkowska.
The first round of the Austrian International began this afternoon, after a morning of qualification to determine the final players entered into the main draw. The mixed doubles was the first on court, and it didn’t take long to lose one of the seeds, Claes and Descamps of Belgium (seeded 4). The remaining 7 seeds safely progressed into round 2. The Belgians had reason to celebrate soon after, with Lianne Tan taking out the 6th seeded Jeanine Cicognini of Switzerland in the opening round of the women’s singles. The other 7 seeds safely progressing into tomorrow’s second round.
The men’s singles was less than clear-cut, with two seeds falling in the opening round and several other seeds being taken the full distance. Anand Pawar survived a very tight match with Pavel Florian of the Czech Republic, winning the third game 26-24. For other seeds, their chances of progressing didn’t last until a 3rd game, with 4th seeded Christian Lind Thomsen crashing out to Petr Koukal of the Czech Republic 21-19, 21-11. At the same time, 7th seeded Dmytro Zavadsky crashed out to unseeded Scottish player Kieran Merrilees. The Scot winning 21-17, 15-21, 21-13 to progress into round 2.
The men’s doubles saw top seeded local pair of Koch and Zauner fall to unseeded Russian duo of Ashmarin and Ivanov. Tomorrow sees the compeititon topple in size, with an all-Russian affair in the women’s singles as Tatjana Bibik playing Anastasia Prokopenko who both won their singles in the European Team Final over Denmark.
Kieran Merrilees reward for beating 7th seeded Zavadsky is a match against Yuhan Tan of Belgium; as for Petr Koukal he plays Simon Maunoury of France.
We are heading into the quarter-finals of the Bitburger Open, and so far India has suffered the biggest upsets with both Chetan Anand and Arvind Bhat losing out. The top seeded Anand lost to his fellow teammate Anand Pawar in two quick games 21-16, 21-13, while Bhat lost to Dmytro Zavadsky from the Ukraine 21-18, 9-21, 21-17.
Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen is now the highest seeded player remaining in the draw, and with strong results recently this is his opportunity to show the badminton world that he is the next European to hold his ground against the Asians. If he can’t win back in Europe it will be hard for him to show his stuff against the Asians. Jorgensen plays the eighth seed Ville Lang next.
England’s Carl Baxter had the benefit of Petr Koukal falling unexpectedly to Germany’s Sven-Eric Kastens, giving the Englishman a somewhat easier, but still challenging match to book his place in the quarter-finals against Zavadsky.
For more results, and to see the full line up of matches visit the draw link below:
Bitburger Open 2009 Draws