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.
For a few minutes, Peter Gade rolled back the years and looked to have the beating of Lee Chong Wei. 6-2 up in the deciding game and playing some of his best badminton in recent times, only for it to end in a stunning 15 rally series as a 6-2 lead became a 14-9 deficit. One run of six points and another of five all but ended Gade’s chances of winning in India, with Lee Chong Wei eventually winning the deciding game 21-15 and claiming the men’s singles title.
The women’s singles was a different matter, as unseeded Porntip Buranaprasertsuk claimed her third victory over a seeded player in defeating Bae Youn Joo 21-13, 21-16 to win the women’s singles title in a stunning turnaround from saving three match points in her second round match against Eriko Hirose.
The two doubles finals went the way of the higher seeded players, with Hashimoto and Hirata defeating the unseeded Indonesian pair of Saputra and Pratama in a one-sided final. The Japanese 4th seeds winning 21-17, 21-9. The longest match of the day came in the women’s doubles final as Maeda and Suetsuna defeated their Japanese team-mates Fujii and Kakiiwa 26-24, 21-15 in a match that took 70 minutes to complete, begging the question how long the match would have lasted had the match gone to three games.
The mixed doubles was won by the 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir over their 3rd seeded team-mates Kurniawan and Bernadeth in two tight games, winning the match 21-18, 23-21 in 44 minutes to claim Indonesia’s only title this week.
Day 5 Results:
The devoid of talent this week has been the subplot of a week of surprises, but there has been one outstanding constant within the week and that has been the play of Lee Chong Wei. His semi final today was another match that he was a class apart from his opponent, this time being Hu Yun of Hong Kong. Even the 8th seed had no answer for the Malaysian’s form this week as Lee Chong Wei won 21-11, 21-15 in just 28 minutes.
His opponent in tomorrow’s final will be Peter Gade, after he came through his semi final with Park Sung Hwan in two games, albeit a tighter match than the top seeds. His 21-15, 21-19 victory came in 45 minutes but Gade himself has been in excellent form this week in the loss of just one game to Kazushi Yamada in the first round.
The women’s singles featured another seed crashing out, with Yip Pui Yin tamely losing to Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 21-13, 21-8. Bae Youn Joo however had better success than her seeded counterpart in her semi final victory over Sayaka Sato in three games. The 63 minute match was the longest of the tournament for the Korean but has spent less time on court than her opponent tomorrow who survived two early round scares to reach the final.
It was a double shock in the men’s doubles, with Hashimoto and Hirata defeating the top seeded pair of Koo and Tan in their semi final and also the unseeded Saputra and Pratama’s win over the 3rd seeded Chandra and Gunawan to set up the most unlikeliest of finals at the start of the day. The women’s doubles final however, is an all more expected story with the top two seeds both from Japan reaching the final with only the 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa being tested by Poon and Tse of Hong Kong in their semi final matchups, eventually winning in three games.
An all-Indonesian final was all but assured in the mixed doubles, with Chan and Goh failing to regain the form that got them to this stage. The 5th seeded Malaysian lost out to Kurniawan and Bernadeth in two games, with the 3rd seeds winning 21-12, 21-16. The other all-Indonesian semi final was slightly anti-climatical with the 7th seeded Rijal and Susanto having to retire deep into the second game, however the pair were already a game and 15-9 down to the 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir, who go through to the final.
Day 4 Results:
Japan had four chances to claim titles in Melbourne and dominate the week but had to settle for just three from the four. The anticipated return of Wang Lin ended at the semi final stage as another Chinese woman stole the show in the women’s singles, which Japan had interest in the other four events.
The day started with title number one for Japan, as 4th seeded Matsuo and Naito defeated the unseeded Malaysian pair of Chin and Wong in a 21-18, 21-11 victory in 43 minutes.The chance for title number two was immediate with 5th seeded Hashimoto and Fujii taking on the 2nd seeded Thai pairing of Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul. However the Japanese domination took a massive blow with the 2nd seeded Thai’s winning in impressive fashion, defeating Hashimoto and Fujii 21-15, 21-9 in just 31 minutes.
It was China’s turn next to win in impressive fashion as Liu Xin finished her excellent week with a highly impressive win over the 6th seeded Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in a one-sided 21-14, 21-9 to ensure that Thailand’s title tally for the week was just one. The 4th final of the day ensured a second Japanese title as 5th seeded Endo and Hayakawa defeated their 4th seeded team-mates Kawamae and Sato in a tight two game match which seen the lower seeded pair take the title in 39 minutes.
The final match of the day seen 6th seeded Sho Sasaki against the 8th seeded Wong Choong Hann of Malaysia, after both player exchanged a game apiece, the final game was perfectly poised at 17-17, with Sho Sasaki stringing together an invaluable two point streak to take it to 19-17 and the 8th seeded Wong could never get back on level terms, with Sasaki taking the 3rd game 21-19 to claim the title and Japan’s third of the week.
All five of the top seeds reached the last 8 without much concern, but the quarter final was a hurdle that two top seeds stumbled at and opened the draw up for fellow team-mates and other seeded players to take advantage of.
Boonsak Ponsana was the first top seed to crash out today, losing in three games to the 9th seeded Tommy Sugiarto which opened the door for Tien Minh Nguyen to potentially take the title. That prospect lasted a mere hour as the 2nd seeded Nguyen lost to 6th seeded Sho Sasaki in another lengthy three game encounter to further open up the men’s singles draw.
An all-Chinese final is a real possibility in the women’s singles, with top seeded Liu Xin defeating 8th seeded Sayaka Sato to reach the last 4 where she will take on Inthanon Ratchanok of Thailand in the first of the semi finals. The other semi final is another Thailand v China clash, with 6th seeded Porntip Buranaprasertsuk taking on the unseeded Wang Lin with both secure two game victories in their quarter finals to reach the last 4.
The men’s doubles is loaded with Japanese pairs and of the four remaining duos, the highest seed still in the draw is the 5th seeded Endo and Hayakawa who defeated the 3rd seeded Gan and Tan to reach the last 4. Their opponents in the semi final are the top seeded Japanese pair of Hashimoto and Hirata who have failed to drop a game to date. The second semi final sees the 4th seeded Kawamae and Sato, also of Japan take on the 2nd seeded Chandra and Gunawan. Both duos have been on top form this week and have failed to drop a game to date.
The top seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa crashed out in the women’s doubles to the Malaysian pair of Chin and Wong in a tight three game match. They set up a semi final match against another unseeded pair in the Hong Kong duo of Poon and Tse, who defeated the 3rd seeded Singapore pairing of Yao and Sari. The other semi final features another unseeded pair in the Chinese partnership of Xiong and Ou, who take on the only seed left in the draw in Matsuo and Naito of Japan, the 4th seeds who have failed to drop a game to date this week.
The mixed doubles is another event with 4 of the top 5 seeds left in the draw, with top seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam defeating Widianto and Natsir to reach the last 4 against the 5th seeded pair of Hashimoto and Fujii, who defeated the 4th seeded Wong and Chau to reach the semi final. The other semi final is another Thailand – Japan match up with the 3rd seeded Ikeda and Shiota taking on the Thai 2nd seeds of Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul, who defeated the unseeded Malaysia pair of Ng and Tan in a three game match late on Friday evening.
Day 4 Results: