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.
With few surprises so far, top seeded Wong Choong Han is on to the quarter-finals at this weeks SCG Thailand Grand Prix Gold. After beating Korea’s Rho Ye Wook, Wong is now set to play Hong Kong’s Hu Yun. Wong Choong Han is still a strong player but in the past few years since his achilles tendon injury he has not been able to reach his way back to where he once was.
Elsewhere in the draw local favourite Boonsak Ponsana struggled a little bit with Korea’s Han Ki Hoon, but won in three games 21-9, 20-22, 21-10. Ponsana is the third seed at this event, and in my opinion has the best chance to take out Wong Choong Han. He will also be playing a Hong Kong player, Chan Yun Lung, in the quarter-finals. Another Hong Kong player, Ng Wei, struggled his way to the quarter-finals by beating Korea’s Park Sung Min in three close games, 21-19, 13-21, 21-18. Finally the last notable left at the quarter-final stage is Vietnam’s Tien Minh Nguyen who had an easy match against Kim Sa Rang winning 21-14, 21-6.
For full results view the draw for the SCG Thailand Grand Prix Gold 2009
Tuesday sees the beginning of the SCG Thailand Grand Prix qualifiers, with the field laden with Asian players as to be expected.
Local stars Boonsak Ponsana and Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk are the big attractions in the men’s singles, ranked 3 and 5 respectively. Choong Hann Wong is the top seed for the event, with Tien Minh Nguyen second seed. Nguyen is coming two excellent performances against Peter Gade and beating Lee Chong Wei in Singapore.
Zhou Mi leads the women’s seeds with countrywomen Wang Chen taking the second seed, with Porntip Buranaprasertsuk seeded 6 being the locals main hope for the ladies title.
Gao Ling makes another appearance in a ladies doubles draw, although her previous entry was in the US Open, which she and her partner Wei Yili pulled out of. Both the Ladies and Mixed doubles are expected to be local success with both top seeds coming from Thailand.
Only one European is in any of the five events, Anu Nieminen of Finland is seeded 5 in the Women’s Singles. Could she take the title out of Asia?
Qualifying begins on Tuesday at 2pm local time.