The day begun with Cai and Fu reaching the men’s doubles Olympic final and ended with a pair of gold medals for China with the injury of Wang Xin the only low point in a day riddled with success for the Chinese.
Gold For Li Xuerui
The form player in 2012 justified her selection for the Olympics ahead of Wang Shixian and won China’s second gold in two days. It was talent over willpower in the women’s singles match, with Wang Yihan’s talent failing to defeat Li Xuerui’s will to win in a three-game classic. Saina Nehwal claimed the bronze medal, but not in the way the Indian would have hoped as Wang Xin retired at the beginning of the second game after claiming the opening game. A knee-injury hindered Wang Xin’s movement before she crumbled on court after the opening point in the second game that forced her into retirement and gave Nehwal the bronze medal.
Tian and Zhao Claims Women’s Doubles Gold
There was a Chinese winner in the women’s doubles, but not the pair that many expected. With the group stage farce decimating the draw, it was the 2nd seeded Tian and Zhao who claimed gold – with Zhao Yunlei winning her second gold of the Olympics after her mixed doubles success. An easy first game victory for the Chinese required a response from the Japanese pairing of Fujii and Kakiiwa to ensure there wasn’t a Chinese rout. A tighter second game ensued, but the Chinese eventually took the second game 25-23 to ensure China’s third gold. Sorokina and Vislova took the bronze medal, after a one-sided victory over the Canadian pair of Bruce and Li.
Boe and Mogensen stun Lee and Chung
The “dream final” in the men’s doubles was put on hold for at least four years by the Danish pair of Boe and Mogensen who defeated Lee and Chung in a sensation men’s doubles semi final which will be a contender for match of the tournament. The Korean pair took an early lead, claiming the first game only for the Danes to respond and take the second game. After squandering a match point, Boe and Mogensen earned a second match point and a Mogensen lift was left by Lee Yong Dae, only for the shuttle to hit the lead and send the Danes into tomorrow’s final. Cai and Fu will be their opponents tomorrow, after the Chinese pair defeated Koo and Tan in a one-sided semi final that the Chinese pair took with their third match point to ensure their second successive Olympic final.
Day 8 Results:
Another big name fell in the men’s singles as the 4th seeded Taufik Hidayat was defeated in the second round by Singapore’s Zi Liang Derek Wong, but Hidayat was not the only seed to crash out on the 3rd day in London.
Hidayat was joined by 14th seeded Marc Zwiebler, who defeated Hidayat twice in the build up events to the world championships but lost in three games to Spain’s Pablo Abian in 74 minutes. Abian takes on the fairytale story of the event to date, Guatemala’s Kevin Cordon who is through to the last 16 after defeating Sweden’s Henri Hurskainen in two games. The top three seeds remaining in the draw had little trouble reaching the last 16, with Lee Chong Wei defeating Ville Lang in two games to set up a match against Park Sung Hwan in the third round. Lin Dan defeated Ireland’s Scott Evans in two tight games to set up his third round match against Lee Hyun Il of Korea whilst the 3rd seeded Peter Gade was very impressive in his 21-9, 21-5 victory over Pukhov of Russia and takes on the 13th seeded Simon Santoso in the 3rd round tomorrow.
The second round of matches in the women’s singles was completed today, with the first big name casualty coming in the 8th seeded Bae Youn Joo losing out to Pi Hongyan of France whilst the top seeded Chinese players on show today progressed safely into the last 16. Wang Yihan defeated Gu of Singapore in two games, as did 3rd Wang Xin in her victory over Anastasia Prokopenko of Russia. Saina Nehwal’s campaign also started with a win over Chloe Magee of Ireland and will take on Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong in the last 16.
The second round in the men’s doubles was also completed today, with top seeded Boe and Mogensen winning in impressive fashion to reach the last 16 and a match against Hashimoto and Hirata of Japan, seeded 9th.The 4th seeded Koo and Tan were also given a real test by the Chinese pair of Liu and Qiu, taking them to three games before the Malaysian’s eventually progressed to take on Chen and Lin of Chinese Taipei, who defeated the 13th seeded Kindervater and Schoettler to reach the last 16. Ko and Yoo were also taken to three games by the English pairing of Adcock and Ellis, before the 5th seeds claimed victory and a last 16 place to take on Cho and Kwon, in an all-Korean match.
The biggest seed to fall to date came in the women’s doubles as the 2nd seeded Chien and Cheng crashed out to the Indian pair of Gutta and Ponnappa in two games, who will take on the 11th seeded Poon and Tse who ended the English pairing of Langley and Smith’s run at the championships this year. Fujii and Kakiiwa almost crashed out today also, needing 88 minutes and saving a match point in their match over Chin and Wong before progressing 22-20 in the deciding game and setting up a 3rd round match against Vislova and Sorokina of Russia, seeded 10.
Britain’s last hope of success lies with Bankier and Adcock in the mixed doubles, after their victory over the 8th seeded Anugritayawon and Voravichaikul of Thailand in two games. Their reward is a 3rd round match against Shiota and Ikeda of Japan, seeded 15th who defeated the Austrian pairing of Zirnwald and Baldurf in two games. There was little hassle for the top seedings in the bottom half of the draw, as Ahmad and Natsir progressed into the last 16 in two games, as did the 5th seeded Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen in two games also and the 4th seeded Tian and Jiaming are also through to the last 16 to take on Mateusiak and Zieba of Poland.
Whilst Japan have interest in all five events, China’s involvement this week had ended at the quarter final stage.
Taufik Crashes Out
The big news for Europe is that there is another player capable of defeating the world’s elite in Marc Zwiebler. After his run to the semi final at the All-England, big things were expected and his two game victory over the top seeded Taufik Hidayat only confirms his credentials at the highest level. Tien Minh Nguyen is Zwiebler’s opponent in the semi final, after the 3rd seed defeated Bao Chunlai in two games to reach the last 4.
Lower Seeds Surprise
Few expected the defeat of both Lu Lan and Li Xuerui at the quarter final stage, but that is exactly what took place as both Japanese players reached the last 4. Lu Lan lost out to Tai Tzu Ying by the narrowest of margins, with the Chinese Taipei player winning the deciding game 22-20 to set up a semi final against Eriko Hirose. The Japanese 5th seeded defeated Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in two tight games to reach the last 4. Sayaka Sato’s upset over Cheng Shao Chieh hung on a knife edge as both players had match points, before the 8th seeded Sato won the match on her 5th match point to progress 27-25 in the decider.
Japanese and Korean Interest In Doubles
With 2 pairs in the men’s and mixed doubles, as well as 1 in the women’s doubles for the Japanese, they narrowly have the most pairings remaining in the doubles disciplines. Korea are also well represented, mostly down to Lee Yong Dae and Ha Jung Eun who are in 3 of the 5 Korean matches in the doubles tomorrow. Lee and Ko take on their third Japanese pairing in the men’s doubles in the semi finals, with the 6th seeded Kawamae and Sato standing in their way to the final. The second Japanese pairing in the men’s doubles is the 2nd seeded Hashimoto and Hirata, who take on the American pair of Bach and Gunawan who received a walkover to the last 4.
Korea have interest in both the women’s doubles semi finals, with Ha and Kim taking on the Japanese 2nd seeds Maeda and Suetsuna whilst the 8th seeded Jung and Kim take on the top seeded Cheng and Chien of Chinese Taipei. Lee and Ha combine in the mixed doubles to take on another Japanese pairing, this time the 6th seeded Ikeda and Shiota. The other semi final sees the unseeded Japanese pair of Sato and Matsuo take on the 5th seeded pairing of Chen and Cheng of Chinese Taipei.
The big Japanese contingent that travelled to the US Open have impressed and have defeated several seeds on route to the quarter final stages whilst some of the biggest names in Japanese badminton struggled on day 3.
Top Seeds Safely Into Last 8
There was little trouble for the top seeds in their 3rd round matches, with top seeded Taufik Hidayat booking his quarter final place against Marc Zwiebler of Germany, seeded 6th this week. The other quarter final in the top half of the draw sees the 3rd seeded Tien Minh Nguyen take on the 5th seeded Bao Chunlai, with all four players progressing without the loss of a game in their 3rd round matches. Boonsak Ponsana’s reward for defeating Takuma Ueda is another Japanese opponent in the 7th seeded Sho Sasaki.
Four Nations Remain
The women’s singles has a symmetry at the quarter final stage, with two competitors from four nations remaining. Two from China, Japan, Thailand and Chinese Taipei with one player from each nation in either half of the draw. Eriko Hirose and Porntip Buranaprasertsuk fight it out at the last 8 stage to see who is the last seed remaining in the top half of the draw, whilst all four seeds remain in the bottom half, with 2nd seeded Cheng Shao Chieh coming through in three games against Ayane Kurihana to set up her quarter final against Sayaka Sato of Japan.
Aussie Delight in Men’s Doubles
The big shock of the day was the defeat of Cheng and Fang in the men’s doubles to Australia pair of Smith and Warfe in just two games to book their place in the last 8. The remaining 7 seeds progressed into the last 8 and the pick of tomorrow’s match sees Lee and Ko take on the Japanese pair of Endo and Hayakawa, whilst the American pairing of Bach and Gunawan take on the German 3rd seeds in Kindervater and Schoettler.
Fujii and Kakiiwa Out
The biggest casualty in the women’s doubles was the loss of the 3rd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa to China’s pairing of Ying and Yu in two games, but there is still two Japanese pairs through to the last 8 with Suetsuna and Maeda progressing in two games as well as Matsuo and Naito having better luck against their Chinese opponents, defeating them in three games to reach the last 8 to take on the 5th seeded Ha and Kim of Korea.
Matuso and Sato Stun Robertson and Wallwork
Japan’s excellent day in the doubles was completed with Matsuo and Sato’s two game victory over the 4th seeded Robertson and Wallwork. Lee and Ha continued their run in the event with a two game victory and take on the Chinese pairing of Qiu and Yixin who defeated England’s Olver and Ellis to compound a poor day for the English.
Day 3 Results:
The 17th meeting between Peter Gade and Lin Dan went the way of the Chinese 2nd seed, for the 14th time in their long standing rivalry. Peter Gade will take positives from the match after taking the opening game 22-20.
Lin Dan’s response to losing the opening game to Peter Gade was everything you’d expect from the current Olympic champion as he levelled the match at 1-1 before completing his comeback in a 75-minute match, winning 20-22, 21-17, 21-15. His opponent in tomorrow’s final is the current world champion Chen Jin, who came into this week unseeded but has been in excellent form especially in his 21-17, 21-11 victory over his Chinese team mate Wang Zhengming.
Baun Stuns Wang
The week of shocks in the women’s singles continued as 6th seeded Tine Baun knocked out the top seeded Wang Shixian in convincing fashion to book her place in the final, winning 21-15, 21-16. The chance of an all-European final however, was not to be as Yao Jie lost out to the 3rd seeded Wang Xin in a one sided match that the Chinese woman won 21-13, 21-11.
Cai and Fu Progress
The last match of the day seen Cai and Fu even their head-to-head with Lee and Jung at 7-7 with their two game victory over the Korean pair, winning 21-16, 23-21.However another all-Chinese final was not on the cards as the unseeded Chandra and Gunawan stunned the 7th seeded Chai and Guo in the second semi final to progress to the final after their three-game, 72-minute victory that the Indonesian’s took 21-19, 24-26, 21-19.
Japanese Crash Out
The possibility of the top two Japanese seeds meeting in the final loomed large, but it was a nightmare scenario that took place for the duos. Fujii and Kakiiwa lost to the 6th seeded Ha and Kim in two games whilst later in the day Naito and Matsuo lost out to the 5th seeded Tian and Zhao in the second semi final in two games also to ensure a China – Korea final.
Zhao and Zhang Fall
The top seeded Zhao and Zhang were widely expected to win this week with the poor performances of the other seeds, but they lost out to the last remaining seed in the draw in Ahmad and Natsir in just two games, losing 21-23, 16-21. There was a guaranteed unseeded pair in the final from the second semi final, with Robertson and Wallwork taking on Chen and Cheng. It was the Chinese Taipei pairing that progressed into the final, defeating the English pair 21-12, 21-15.
Semi Final Results:
The Chinese domination of recent years continued in Singapore this week, with chance to take all five titles this week looming large.
Lin Dan and Gade meet for 17th time
The top two seeds safely progressed into the last 4, with Lin Dan progressing by the narrowest of margins against Simon Santoso of Indonesia. The match latest one hour with the 2nd seed winning the deciding game 22-20, with Santoso saving five match points to reach 20-20. Peter Gade had less of a problem reaching the last 4, his 21-15, 21-15 victory over Du Pengyu is his third victory in two games this week as the Dane rolls back the years once again. The other semi final is an all-Chinese affair, with world champion Chen Jin defeating Lee Hyun Il in convincing fashion and takes on Wang Zhengming who defeated the second Danish player left in the event, 17-year old Viktor Axelsen in two games.
Dutch Delight For Yao Jie
The big surprise in the women’s singles is Yao Jie’s victory over the 2nd seeded Wang Yihan. The three game match took exactly an hour with the Dutch world number 18 taking the match 21-17, 16-21, 21-15. Her victory sets up another Chinese clash, this time with 3rd seeded Wang Xin who came through her quarter final with Gu Juan in straight forward fashion. The other semi final features the top seeded Wang Shixian, who needed 83 minutes to take her revenge on Juliane Schenk after the German defeated her in the Sudirman last month. Schenk had three chances to win the match in the deciding game at 20-17 only for the top seeded Chinese woman to string five points together to complete her unlikely and unbelievable victory. Her opponent in the semi final is Denmark’s Tine Baun, seeded 6 this week and had her own marathon match today against Cheng Shao Chieh before winning the match 22-24, 21-17, 21-13 to reach the semi final.
Top Two Meet In Semis
The long standing rivalry between Lee and Jung of Korea and Cai and Fu of China renews itself for a 14th time tomorrow, with both pairs progressing to the last 4 without dropping a game in either quarter final match or any match this week. The 2nd seeded Korean’s hold a 7-6 head to head advantage of the Chinese pair and have won their previous three encounters. The other semi final sees the unseeded Indonesian’s of Chandra and Gunawan take on the 7th seeded Chai and Guo of China, who ended the run of German’s Kindervater and Schoettler in their 21-15, 21-10 victory.
Top Seeds Tumble
Maeda and Suetsuna crashed out at the quarter final stage after being defeated by the 5th seeded Tian and Zhao of China in two games, there was success for Japan even with the top seeds loss as 4th seeded Naito and Matsuo cruised into the last 4 to face the Chinese pair who defeated their team mates. The other semi final has Japanese interest too in the 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa, who take on the 6th seeded Ha and Kim of Korea, who defeated 3rd seeded Jauhari and Polii in three games to progress into the semi finals.
Third Time Lucky
The 2nd seeded Thai pair finally came undone against a British pair in the mixed doubles, with Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam defeating two British pairs to reach the last 8 but were defeated in two games by Robertson and Wallwork, who set up a semi final clash with the unseeded Chinese Taipei pairing of Chen and Cheng. The other semi final sees the top seeded Zhang and Zhao through by the narrowest of margins in an all-Chinese quarter final against He and Yu after saving six match points at 20-14 down to go on a run of eight points to clinch the deciding game 22-20. They take on 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir who ended the run of Lee and Ha in the quarter final stage in two games to reach the semi final.
Quarter Final Results:
Axelsen Playing Wang
Denmark’s best chance of a title ended before play even started today, with Boe and Mogensen’s withdrawal and it went from bad to worse in the doubles for the Danes.
Peter Gade was one Danish highlight, with a two game victory against Tommy Sugiarto and he has been joined in the last 16 by another two Danes. Jan O Jorgensen defeated Kenichi Tago in two games to set up a second round match against Lin Dan, who also progressed comfortably into round 2. Viktor Axelsen reversed the result from last week’s Thailand Open and defeated Wong Choong Hann in two tight games to reach the second round, where he takes on the 7th seeded Bao Chunlai. Taufik Hidayat survived an early scare to reach the second round where he takes on Wang Zhengming of China, whilst world champion Chen Jin also survived a scare in the opening round before progressing to take on the 8th seed Park Sung Hwan.
The women’s singles continues to entertain in the early rounds, with Saina Nehwal against coming through against the 2009 world champion Lu Lan in three games to reach round 2. The second round sees an intriguing all-Chinese match between top seeded Wang Shixian and Wang Lin, the current world champion. The other two Chinese seeds progressed safely into the second round from their half of the draw, whilst Tine Baun is the main European threat in the draw and faces Sayaka Sato of Japan in her second round match.
The big shock in the mens doubles is the defeat of 3rd seeded Ko and Yoo to unseeded German pairing Kindervater and Schoettler in three games, further opening up the top half of the draw. There were more surprises as the 5th seeded Lee and Fang lost out to Indonesia’s Chandra and Gunawan, to leave the 7th seeded Chai and Guo as the lone seeds remaining in the top half of the draw. The bottom half was more straightforward for the seeds, with all 4 coming through their match in two games to reach the last 16.
The new Chinese pairing of Ma and Pan lasted just 76 minutes this week, before falling to the top seeded Maeda and Suetsuna. All England semi finalists Ropke and Damkjaer Kruse progressed in the tightest of matches, winning 23-21 in the deciding game to reach the last 16 and a match with the Chinese pairing of Tian and Zhao. There are 4 Japanese pairs into the last 16, with one all-Japanese match set for the second round as 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa take on the unseeded Misaki and Takahashi for a place in the last 8.
Denmark’s strength in the mixed doubles discipline was dealt a huge blow with all three pairings crashing out in the opening round. 5th seeded and 2009 world champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl lost out to Sato and Matsuo of Japan in two games, whilst the 3rd seeded Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen lost tamely to Chen and Cheng of Chinese Taipei 21-15, 21-15 and the third pairing of Pieler Colding and Houmann faired the best of the three, but still lost out to Japanese pairing of Ikeda and Shiota. Top seeded Zhao and Zhang survived a three game match to progress into the last 16 and are joined in the top half of the draw by two other Chinese pairs of Xu and Ma as well as He and Yu.
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:
A major badminton event returns to India for the 3rd year running after the 2009 World Championships and 2010 Commonwealth Games with it’s first Super Series event, after taking the Super Series tag from the Swiss Open for 2011. The draw is far from the strongest with the all-conquering Chinese squad not taking part this week, but still has some of the world’s best in New Delhi this week.
Lee Chong Wei, Taufik Hidayat and Peter Gade are the main attractions of the men’s singles draw with no Lin Dan, Chen Jin, Bao Chunlai or Chen Long in the draw which has allowed some lower ranked players like Yuhan Tan of Belgium and a host of India players to reach the main draw. One of those Indian’s in the main draw is Ajay Jayaram, who takes on the top seeded Lee Chong Wei whilst Taufik Hidayat takes on Anup Sridhar. The match of the opening round is a repeat of the 2010 World Championship quarter final between Peter Gade, seeded 3 this week and Kazushi Yamada with the winner likely to be involved in the match of the second round also, with Anand Pawar or Sho Sasaki playing in the other match in this part of the draw.
Top seeded Saina Nehwal has the weight of a nation on her shoulders for the second year running, after her Commonwealth success. She plays Ai Goto in her first round match whilst her main rival in the draw comes in the way of Tine Baun, the second seed who takes on Xing Aiying in her opening round match. Eriko Hirose will be Nehwal’s main rival in the top half of the draw, with the duo expected to meet in the quarter final stage.
Koo and Tan return to India just 6 months after their Commonwealth success as top seeds this week. Their main rivals in the top half of the draw will come in the way of the Asian Championships runners-up in Hashimoto and Hirata who are seeded 4th this week. The bottom half of the draw is very much a Indonesia/Japan rivalry, with both nations claiming two seeds in this half of the draw. 2nd seeded Ahsan and Septano will be the duo to pair, with team-mates Chandra and Gunawan being the main threat in the bottom half of the draw. The Japanese pair of Endo and Hayakawa, seeded 7 and the 6th seeded Kawamae and Sato hoping to cause an upset to reach Sunday’s final.
Japan claim four seeds in the women’s doubles, including the 1st and 2nd seed. Maeda and Suetsuna are the top seeds this week, with Fujii and Kakiiwa taking the second seed, Matsuo and Niato are seeded 6 and 7th seeded Takahashi and Misaki. The 5th seeded Sari and Yao of Singapore have pulled out before the event to boost the 2nd seeded pairs chances of reaching the final on Sunday with only 3 seeds in the bottom half of the draw.
Thailand claim the top two seeds in the mixed doubles this week, but the main news from the week is the pre-event withdrawal of India’s main hope in this event with Gutta and Valiyaveetil who were seeded 6 this week. The top seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam have a first round bye before potentially taking on the dangerous Japanese pairing of Sato and Matsuo in the second round.