The crowd in Jakarta were treated to fifteen games of action, with Simon Santoso taking the men’s singles title to ensure success for the Indonesian’s in their home Premier Series event.
Santoso and Nehwal Take Titles
The stranglehold of the Chinese on these events has been loosened with the results of this week, albeit with Lee Chong Wei injured and the Chinese squad in their Olympic camp ahead of London 2012. There was still a Chinese presence in both singles events, with a Chinese player in both finals. Simon Santoso defeated Du Pengyu in the men’s singles final in three games in the longest final of the day at 79 minutes whilst Sain Nehwal overcame Li Xuerui after saving two match points in the second game, before claiming her second victory in six attempts over the 4th seeded Chinese player.
Ahmad and Natsir Denied
Lee and Jung claimed the men’s doubles title in 76-minutes, after being taken to three games by the Danish pair of Boe and Mogensen who have now lost their last three meetings with the Korean pair. Wang and Yu defeated Tian and Zhao in three games to claim their 8th victory in their last nine meetings between the top two pairs in the world in the shortest match of the day, which still took over an hour.
The last match of the day seen Ahmad and Natsir take on the Thai pairing of Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam, but the expectations of a nation were too much of the Indonesian pair, after dropping the opening game they fought back to ensure a deciding game but they were never in the 3rd game, with the Thai pairing expanding on their lead before claiming the title 21-13 in the deciding game.
It was a poor day for the Chinese in Bangkok as two of their top seeds crashed out at the semi final stage.
Lin Dan and Wang Lin Out
Sony Dwi Kuncoro’s upset over Lin Dan ensured there would be no all-Chinese final in the men’s singles. Yueken Chun will be China’s sole representative in any either of the singles final with his victory over Gao Huan in the other semi final. Wang Lin’s run in the women’s singles was ended by the 2nd seeded Inthanon Ratchanok in two games to book her place in the final against the top seeded Saina Nehwal, with the top seeded Indian dropping just a single set on route to the final.
China With Three Chances At Titles
Liu and Qiu are the only Chinese top seeds left in the draw in the men’s doubles and will take on the 8th seeded Latif and Tazari of Malaysia after both pairs negotiated their semi final opponents in just two games. Cheng and Pan are the sole Chinese pair left in the women’s doubles, after the defeat of the top seeded Huan and Tang to the unseeded pairing of Narissapat and Thongthongkam in two games to set up Sunday’s final.
The sole European hope were the top seeded Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen, but they lost their semi final encounter to Jiaming and Tang to ensure a third Chinese pair into a final this week. Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam are the Chinese pair opponents in the mixed doubles final with the second seeds defeating Singapores Chrisnanta and Neo in two games.
The hope of a local title lay with 6 dutch men and women going into the weekend, come finals day it was down to just the 2nd seeded Yao Jie who delivered on local soil in Almere.
Hsueh Hsuan Yi claimed the men’s singles title in an all-Chinese Taipei final, defeating Chen Chou Tien in a three-game, 66 minute final The all-Thai mixed doubles final went the way of the 2nd seeded Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul as they defeated the top seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in two games. Voravichitchaikul claimed a second title in the women’s doubles, partnering Aroonkesorn as the top seeds defeated the 2nd seeded Yao and Sari of Singapore in two games.
The men’s doubles was won by the 3rd seeded Cwalina and Logosz after they defeated the top seeded German pair of Kindervater and Schoettler in a tight three game match but the story of the day was the victory of Yao Jie in the women’s singles. The 2nd seed defeated the unseeded Sindhu of India in two games, but it was a week that could have been so different after saving a match point in her opening round match against Chiang Pei Hsin of Chinese Taipei.
Lu Lan’s unlikely run to the Asian Championship final was completed with her third victory over a Chinese seed whilst there was a more likely story in the men’s singles with Lin Dan reaching the final with his semi final victory over Du Pengyu.
Lin Dan’s opponent in tomorrow’s final will be Bao Chunlai, who defeated the second seeded Chen Long in two games to book his place in the final. Lin Dan’s victory over Du Pengyu was equally as impressive, winning 21-16, 21-13. Tomorrow’s final will be the 25th meeting between the two players, dating back to the 2001 Singapore Open with Lin Dan winning 19 of the previous 24 meetings between them.
Lu Lan’s run this week has been at the expense of three Chinese seeds, now she takes on a 4th in tomorrow’s final against Wang Yihan. Lu Lan defeated Jiang Yanjiao in two tight games to reach the final whilst Wang Yihan run to the final has been an easier affair without meeting a seed on route to tomorrow’s final. This will be their 8th meeting, with Wang Yihan edging the series 4-3.
Hashimoto and Hirata’s victory over Chai and Guo ensured there wouldn’t be a Chinese monopoly on finals day, their two game victory over the 5th seeds to set up a match with top seeded Cai and Fu in the final. The Chinese pair defeated their team-mates Xu and Zhang in two games to book their place in the final without the loss of game this week and will be the favourites tomorrow in the first meeting between the two pairs.
Wang and Yu were pencilled in for the final from their opening match and their run this week has been truly impressive, they have never looked like dropping a game at any point but were given their toughest challenge in the semi final from the 8th seeded Bao and Zhong before winning 21-17, 21-19. Their opponents in the final will be another Chinese pairing, that of Tian and Zhao seeded 6 this week, who defeated the 5th seeded Korean’s Ha and Kim in a three game match that lasted over an hour. The 6th seeds are one of the few pairs in the world that can claim a victory over the Wang and Yu partnership, defeating them in the final of the Malaysian Super Series but were defeated just a week later by Wang and Yu in Korea.
The mixed doubles sees one of China’s specialist in the discipline, Ma Jin with partner Xu Chen reach the final at the expense of Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam of Thailand with the Chinese pair winning in two games. Their opponents in the final are the top seeded pair of Zhao and Zhang who defeated unseeded team-mates Pan and Hong in two games to reach tomorrow’s final. It will be the third meeting between the pairs, with Xu and Ma winning their previous encounter at the All Englands in March.
Semi Final Results:
Day 3 provided the first big shocks of the Asian Championships, with 2009 world champion Lu Lan defeating the top seeded Wang Shixian in the women’s singles whilst Sho Sasaki defeated the 2010 world champion Chen Jin in their 78 minute matchup to reach the last 8.
Sasaki’s reward for his victory over Chen Jin is a quarter final match against the top seeded Lin Dan, who also had to come through his won three game match against Wen Kai, eventually progressing in 67 minutes. Second seeded Chen Long has had little trouble in his route to the last 8 with three victories without the loss of a game. His biggest challenge awaits in Wang Zhengming in an all-Chinese match. 3rd seeded Boonsak Ponsana has been back in form this week, with an excellent victory over Kazushi Yamada in two tight games to set up a match with Bao Chunlai, who has also been impressive in his route to the last 8. 4th seeded Tien Minh Nguyen takes on 6th seeded Du Pengyu in the 4th quarter final, with the 4th seeded Nguyen in excellent form in reaching this stage.
Even at the last 8 stage, China has assured itself of at least one finalist with a monopoly on the top half of the draw. Lu Lan’s victory over Wang Shixian means she takes on the 6th seeded Li Xuerui with the winner taking on the other quarter final in the top half of the draw, between 4th seeded Liu Xin and 5th seed Jiang Yanjiao. The three seeded players left in the top half have all won their matches without the loss of a game to date this week. The bottom half of the draw as a much more diverse nationality of players, with 2nd seeded Wang Yihan being the sole Chinese player in the bottom half of the draw. Two unseeded Thai players as well as a Chinese Taipei player makes up the last 8. With Wang Yihan taking on the Thai qualifier Sapsiree Taerattanachai for a place in the last 4.
The men’s doubles is another event well represented by Chinese pairings, with 4 of the 8 duos coming from China. Cai and Fu are the top seeds this week and have been flawless on route to the last 8 with a pair of two game victories. Their opponents in the last 8 are the Malaysian pair of Goh and Lim whose run to the quarters was bolstered with the withdrawal of the 7th seeded Lee and Shin who were set to be their first round opponents. The other quarter final in the top half sees the 4th seeded Chandra and Gunawan take on the 6th seeded Xu and Zhang for a place in the last 4. The big news in the bottom half of the draw is the loss of the 3rd seeded Fang and Lee to the unseeded Chinese pair of Liu and Qiu in a tame two game defeat.
The women’s doubles has a full compliment of seeds in the last 8, with only the 8th seeded Bao and Zhong as well as the 7th seeded Naito and Matsuo dropping a game on route to the quarter final. The Japanese 7th seeds will have to be at their very best to challenge the 2nd seeded Yu and Wang who have been the form pair in this event for the last few months. The top seeded Cheng and Chien take on the 5th seeded Tian and Zhao of China, who defeated the dangerous pairing of Ma and Cheng in two games to reach the last 8.
The mixed doubles draw has a few surprises in the last 8, all of which are in the top half of the draw to the delight of the top seeded pair of Zhao and Zhang. 7th seeded He and Yu lasted just two points into their opening round match before they had to withdraw which the Japanese qualifiers Sato and Matsuo have taken full advantage to reach to the last 8 where they will take on the unseeded Chinese pair of Hong and Pan. The bottom half of the draw has all four seeds remaining, including an all-Chinese tie between the 8th seeded Ma and Xu against the 3rd seeded Tao and Tian, with the higher seeded pair surviving a scare in their second round match against Shiota and Ikeda before progressing in three games. The last of the quarter finals sees the 6th seeded Lee and Chein take on the in form 2nd seeded pair of Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam who haven’t dropped a game this week in reaching the last 8.
Day 3 Results:
The question marks over the 2008 Olympic champions Lee and Lee making the World Championships were still unanswered as little as 3 weeks ago as Lee Hyo Jung pulled out of Macau just as Lee Yong Dae returned from his own injury layoff, however they are here in Paris. The Chinese squad come here without a seed in the top 5 and will look for an exceptional performance from one of three seeded pairings.
The top seeds are Widianto and Natsir and after their first round bye, they will play another Indonesia pair of Kurniawan and Bernadet ranked 14th in the world but not seeded for the world championships. The 11th seeded Chen and Chou is the other seeds in the section and play against Germany’s Schottler and Marinello for a place in the second round, the other match in the section is between Australian pair Raj and Renuga Veeran and Yoo and Kim of Korea.
Zheng and Ma are the 8th seeds, even though they are provisionally ranked 35th in the world and have failed to live up to the hype surrounding them for the past few years, could this year be their year? They begin their campaign against Zavadsky and Diptan of Ukraine, ranked 91st in the world. Also in this section is the 14th seeds, Thailand’s Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam who begin their campaign against Croatia’s Durkinjak and Poznanovic, the world number 58. The other match in the section is between Wong and Chau of Hong Kong, the world number 62 against the world number 52 pairing of Sam and Chloe Magee.
Poland’s Mateusiak and Kostiuczyk are seeded 3 for the event and have a tough opening match in the second round against the world number 27 duo of Triyachart and Yao of Singapore. This section will clearly be one of the toughest to progress through as the 9th seeded Diju V and Jwala Gutta take on the world number 21 pairing of Adcock and White of England. The final match of the section sees Chan and Goh of Malaysia take on the Belgian pair of Gillis and Corvillain.
The 5th seeded Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen are another high seeding with a tough opening match, against the 23rd ranked Sorokina and Nikolaenko of Russia in their second round match. The 12th seeded Ko and Ha from Korea have an easier start than the other seeds in the section, taking on Jacquet and Dumartharay of Switzerland. The first of the French pairings are in this section also, Careme and Choinet take on the Japanese pairing of Hashimoto and Fujii, who are both seeded in their level doubles events and could be a pairing to watch this week.
Lee and Lee are seeded 7 for the event, even thought they have a world ranking of 5. Perhaps there are still concerns of Lee Yong Dae’s injury, but the 7th seeds take on Larsen and Schjoett-Kristiansen of Denmark, ranked 32nd in the world and will test the Korean’s credentials in their opening game. The 16th seeded Lee and Chien have a tough match to start out also, against Russia’s Durkin and Vislova, ranked 31 in the world. The final match in the section sees Wiratama and Tse of Hong Kong take on Vietnam’s Duc and Ham, ranked 112 in the world.
The 4th seeds are another Indonesia pair in Gunawan and Marissa who begin their campaign against James and Edwards of South Africa, ranked 97th in the world. The 10th seeds Jiaming and Yawen take on France’s Rasadi and Labar in one of the weaker sections of the draw, with the final match of the section between world number 25 Ng and Gao against Hirata and Miyuki of Japan, ranked 34 in the world being easily the most competitive match in the section.
The big Chinese hope is in the 6th seeded He and Yu, who are ranked below Jiamind and Yawen but received a higher seeding. He and Yu begin their campaign against the Spanish pair of Longo and Ojeda. The 13th seeded Anugrtiayawon and Voravichitchalkul from Thailand take on the German duo of Overzier and Kindervater, ranked 67th in the world. The final match of the section sees Misha and Svetlana Zilberman of Israel take on Zirnwald and Prustch of Austria.
The final section sees the 2nd seeded and current World Champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl take on the Polish pair of Szkudiarczyk and Wojtkowska in the second round after their first round byes. The other seed in the section is the 15th seeds, Wallwork and Robertson of England who begin their campaign with a first round match against Prus and Atrashchenkov of Ukraine. The final match in the section is between the Bulgarian pair of Makarski and Dimova and Dutch pairing of Khoabux and Barning in an excellent matchup between the world number 36 and 39 in the world.
After some strong results and his notable win over Lee Chong Wei recently, Vietnam’s Tien Minh Nguyen has added another achievement to make his country proud by winning the SCG Thailand Grand Prix Gold. Nguyen made his way through the draw with relative ease, winning all of his matches without dropping a single game. In the final he defeated the local favourite Boonsak Ponsana with little resistance 21-16, 21-13. Certainly a result to boost his confidence for the World Championships coming next month where he is set for a rematch against Lee Chong Wei.
In the women’s singles China’s young upstarts did them proud with Liu Jian and Wang Rong both making it to the finals after going through the qualifying rounds. In the end it was Liu Jian who took the top prize after defeating her teammate 21-16, 21-18. I’m sure it’s highly likely that we’ll be hearing a lot more from these girls.
In the men’s doubles there was an all Malaysian final with the top seeded veterans Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah facing off against their younger teammates Chan Peng Soon and Lim Khim Wah. In spite of their experience, the top seeds were not able to take the title this day with the youngsters taking the title in three games 20-22, 21-14, 21-11.
As is usually the case the women’s doubles was an another all China final with Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen defeating their teammates Gao Ling and Wei Lili in three games 22-24, 21-17, 21-15. Finally in the mixed doubles was Thailand’s turn to take the prize with two pairs in the final. In the end it was Songphon Anugritayawon and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul winning over their teammates Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam 11-21, 21-17, 21-14.