Adcock and Bankier Continue to Surprise

Several nations saw their chances of a medal in London disappear today, but for some unlikely partnerships their dreams continue into the semi final stage. The first top seed also fell today in the women’s singles but the other four top seeds are guaranteed a medal at this years world championships.

Lee Chong Wei ended the run of the Guatemala’s Kevin Cordon in ruthless fashion to set up a semi final against the current world champion Chen Jin, who defeated Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus to reach the last 4. The other semi final is a potential classic as Lin Dan avenged his defeat to Sho Sasaki in two games whilst Peter Gade took 82 minutes to defeat the 7th seeded Tien Minh Nguyen to reach the last 4, but the Dane looked clearly exhausted at several points throughout the match, and has spent almost 3 hours on court in the previous two days to reach the semi final.

Wang Shixian crashed out of the world championships in tame fashion to the 7th seeded Cheng Shao Chieh of Chinese Taipei to devoid the top half of the draw of any Chinese involvement. Tine Baun also crashed out to the on-form Juliane Schenk in very poor fashion, losing to the 9th seeded Schenk 21-9, 21-11 in just 30 minutes. The other semi final is an all-Chinese clash with Wang Xin taking on Wang Yihan, with the higher seed Wang Yihan winning their previous 4 encounters. Wang Xin’s victory came against the 6th seeded Saina Nehwal whilst Wang Yihan ended France’s involvement this year with her two game win over Pi Hongyan.

The anticipated semi final clash between Cai and Fu against Lee and Jung will take place tomorrow, with both pairs coming through their matches in two games to set up their 15th meeting for a place in the world championship final. The other semi final also has Korean interest with the 5th seeded Ko and Yoo defeating the Commonwealth champions Koo and Tan in two games in the opening match on the TV court this morning. Their opponents are the 7th seeded Ahsan and Septano who defeated the Danish 2nd seeds of Boe and Mogensen in three games, taking the deciding game 24-22 to progress.

Wang and Yu are safely into the semi final stage with another two game victory over Naito and Matsuo and will take on another Japanese pairing in the semi finals in the shape of Maeda and Suetsuna who defeated Indonesia’s Jauhari and Polii in two games to reach the last 4. The other semi final sees the 5th seeded Tian and Zhao taking on the unseeded pair of Gutta and Ponnappa, with the Indian’s defeating the 12th seeded Marissa and Melati of Indonesia in three games to guarantee India a world championship medal.

Adcock and Bankier’s incredible continues into the weekend after their two game victory over the 4th seeded Tian and Jiaming, with Adcock sprinting off court in celebration after Jiaming served into the net at match point down. They have their toughest test in the semi final in the 2nd seeded Indonesian pair of Ahmad and Natsir, who defeated the 5th seeded Danish pair of Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen in two games. The other semi final sees the top seeded Zhang and Zhao take on the 6th seeded Xu and Ma in an all-Chinese semi final. Zhang and Zhao defeated the 7th seeded Chen and Cheng of Chinese Taipei in two games whilst the 6th seeded Xu and Ma beat the unseeded Singapore pairing of Triyachart and Yao in two games also.

Quarter-Final Results

Can Zweibler Keep The Momentum?

With the pending retirement of Lee Chong Wei looming after the 2012 Olympics, the Malaysian world #1 has focused all of his efforts this year claiming one of the few titles to elude him in his career. His performances this year has propelled him to the undoubted favourite for the title, even with Lin Dan in the draw. The Chinese 2nd seed has also allegedly set his retirement after the 2012 Games in London, with both players not even reaching 30. China’s big hope has hand picked the events he has played since his Olympic triumph in Beijing three years ago.

There is the European threat, with Peter Gade who never considered a retirement before the age of 30 but still looking to claim his first world title. He is seeded 3rd this year to break up the Asian dominance in the top seeds this year. The next generation could break through this year with the likes of Chen Long, Kenichi Tago and Du Pengyu all receiving seeds this year.

There are some players to watch also from the 48 unseeded players, Kazushi Yamada reached the last 8 in Paris last year, Shon Wan Ho was a top 16 this year and Spain’s Pablo Abian is one of the most consistent players on the EBU Circuit.

The Favourites:

Lee Chong Wei

Seeded – 1

2010 Result – Quarter Finals

1st Round Opponent – Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Thailand)

Likely Threats – Park Sung Hwan (Last 16) Chen Long (QF)

His performances in the past 8 months have put him at a level of invincibility that Lin Dan had going into the 2008 Olympics.  His opener against the world #32 Saensomboonsuk is s favourable start as Lee Chong Wei could have hoped for. He hold a 5-0 head to head advantage and has failed to drop a game in any of the five matches.

His 3rd round match if the seeds go according to plan is the world #9 Park Sung Hwan, who he holds an 11-1 head to head advantage against with that single victory for the Korean coming in 2004. Chen Long is a likely quarter final opponent,  but the Chinese player has only claimed a single win over the Malaysian in five matches and that was in 2009.

This event is ultimately Lee Chong Wei’s to lose.  With four Super Series victories in 2011 already to his name as well as winning two of their last three Super Series against Lin Dan.

Lin Dan

Seeded – 2

2010 Result – Quarter Finals

1st Round Opponent – Kestutis Navickas (Lithuania)

Likely Threats – Peter Gade (SF)

The 2009 world champion tamely crashed out last year and controversy had surrounded the Chinese player since.  Withdrawals before matches with Chinese players has been given as various injuries but losses to Sho Sasaki as well as Lee Chong Wei on numerous occasions have seen Lin Dan’s aura of invincibility disappear.

It will be his first meeting with Navickas on his opening round match, with a massive question mark looming over a potential quarterfinal match with Du Pengyu. Peter Gade should be his likely semi final opponent, who defeated him in the Swiss Open in 2010 but his overall record over the Dane is an impressive 14-3 in the Chinese players favour.

Lin Dan is capable of winning this event, if he turns up without the controversy that his plagued him for the past 12 months.

The Contenders

Peter Gade

Seeded – 3

2010 Result – Semi Finals

1st Round Opponent – Rajiv Ouseph (England)

Likely Threats – Simon Santoso (Last 16) Lin Dan (SF)

The 34-year old goes into the event knowing that he is capable of reaching the final of the world championships, a feat he accomplished ten years ago in Seville. His record against the top two seeds is poor, to say the least but his sole victory of Lee Chong Wei resulted in his last Super Series victory (Korean Open, 2009).

His opening match against England’s Rajiv Ouseph is a favourable one, with the Dane holding a 6-0 head to head advantage and the Englishman failing to claim a single game in any of the six defeats. His 3rd round match against Simon Santoso will be his first main test, with the Indonesian claiming a victory this year against Gade in Korea.

Chen Jin

Seeded – 6

2010 Result – Winner

1st Round Opponent – Raul Must (Estonia)

Likely Threats – Taufik Hidayat (QF) Lee Chong Wei (SF)

To say that Chen Jin was a surprise winner last year would be an understatement. It was so improbable that few could have believed that a Taufik Hidayat – Chen Jin final was possible. The two could potentially meet once again at the last 8 stage, with Chen Jin leading the head to head 3-1.

Raul Must is Chen Jin’s first opponent this week and their first meeting ever. Chen Jin’s recent form has been average, after inheriting the Singapore Open title with a Lin Dan withdrawal and three defeats to Sho Sasaki this year has seriously dented his credentials of retaining his world title.

Taufik Hidayat

Seeded – 4

2010 – Runner-Up

1st Round Opponent – Rodrigo Pacheco Carrillo (Peru)

Likely Threats – Chen Jin (QF) Lee Chong Wei (SF)

Taufik Hidayat took the decision to play the US Open and Canada Open in the build up to the World Championships and suffered a double dose of defeat from Marc Zwiebler, who defeated him in both tournaments.

His opening match against Peruvian Rodrigo Pacheco is one of the easiest matches the Indonesian could have faced and has already defeated the world #61 previously in the world championships, albeit eight years previously.

Hidayat has to prove he is capable of competing with the top 10 players once again and put the double disappointment of the US and Canada Open behind him.

The Outsiders

Marc Zweibler

Seeded – 14

2010 Result – 3rd Round

1st Round Opponent – Valeriy Atrashchenkov (Ukraine)

Likely Threats – Chen Long (Last 16) Lee Chong Wei (QF)

No player is coming into the event on a better run of form than the German, two victories in the US Open and Canada Open has put him well inside the top 20 in the world and with a very favourable opening two rounds before his biggest test against Chen Long.

Kazushi Yamada

Unseeded

2010 Result – Quarter Finals

1st Round Opponent – Daniel Paiola (Brazil)

Likely Threats – Du Pengyu (Last 32)

He appeared from almost nowhere in 2010 before losing out to Peter Gade in the quarterfinals, his run last year was a warning to all of the top players that the world championships is the premier event of the year and anyone can beat anyone on their day, can Yamada repeat the feat in 2011?

Sho Sasaki

Seeded – 11

2010 Result – Did Not Play

1st Round Opponent – Brice Leverdez (France)

Likely Threats – Du Pengyu (Last 16) Lin Dan (QF)

His impressive 2011 has made him into a player that nobody wants to face, Lin Dan, Chen Jin, Boonsak Ponsana , Park Sung Hwan and Tien Minh Nguyen have all lost to Sasaki in 2011. His second round match could be easier than his opener against Leverdez, who Sasaki was ranked lower than 12 month previously.

Kenichi Tago

Seeded – 15

2010 Result – 2nd Round

1st Round Opponent – Ajay Jayaram (India)

Likely Threats – Chen Jin (Last 16) Taufik Hidayat (QF)

His heroics in the 2010 All England proved he could play with the best in the world, his impressive wins over Zweibler and Santoso in the Sudirman was a reminder just a few months ago that he is a player not to be taken likely. His most recent match against his potential 3rd round opponent was a victory over Chen Jin in his run the 2010 All England final.

Play begins on August 8, with two days of first round matches.

Men’s Singles Draw:

Korea had the chance of three titles thanks to Lee Yong Dae and Ha Jung Eun, the two players promptly won all three finals that either one or both of them contested.

Sasaki Claims Only Japanese Title

There was a massive Japanese entry this week and a considerable attendance in the later stages, but Sho Sasaki’s two game victory over Tien Minh Nguyen would be Japan’s only title this week. Sayaka Sato’s chance of winning the women’s singles took her all the way to the final, only to be defeated in three games by the unseeded Chinese Taipei player, Tai Tzu Ying in three games in an impressive week for the world number 24.

Korea Claim All Three Doubles Titles

Lee Yong Dae’s surprise break from partner Jung Jae Sung resulted in a new partnership with Ko Sung Hyun, with immediate success as the pair defeated the US pairing of Bach and Gunawan to take the men’s doubles title in two games. Ha Jung Eun took the women’s doubles with partner Kim Min Jung, defeated another Korean pair in Jung and Kim in three games to claim Korea’s second title of the week. Ha and Lee teamed up in the mixed doubles final, where they took on Chen and Cheng of Chinese Taipei. Just like Lee Yong Dae’s men’s doubles final, the match was won in just two games, with the Korean pair winning 21-19, 21-13 in 43 minutes to claim Korea’s third title as well as Lee and Ha’s second title this week.

Finals Results:

It was the final that few people expected with Lin Dan returning, but few people will begrudge Gade a place in the final.

Unstoppable Lee

The world number 1 has been relentless in his route through to the final, his two game victory over Chen Long was his longest match of the week but was never in threat of dropping even a single game in his 21-17, 21-18 victory. Gade defeated the on-form Sho Sasaki who has beaten Lin Dan and Chen Jin on route to the semi final, but Dane has been been in excellent form this week and won with his biggest margin of victory of the week, winning 21-11, 21-14 to reach the final.

Saina Pushed To The Brink

Saina Nehwal’s recent events have been littered with tough openers, but this week she was given the chance to play her way into form and has delivered with a place in the final. Her toughest match was her semi final against Cheng Shao Chieh, who herself put out a pair of Chinese seeds to reach the semi final, but the Indian 4th seed was too strong, winning 21-14, 14-21, 21-17. Her opponent in tomorrow’s final is the 3rd seeded Wang Yihan of China, who has been very impressive this week in her route to the final. The Chinese player hasn’t dropped a game this week and defeated her team-mate Jiang Yanjiao in outstanding fashion in her semi final, winning 21-13, 21-12.

Indonesia’s Pair Of Chances

The men’s doubles will be an all-Chinese affair between Cai and Fu, seeded 3 against Chai and Guo, seeded 8. Both pairs came through their Indonesian opponents, with Cai and Fu defeating Kido and Setiawan in two games whilst the pair of Chai and Guo were pushed to the limit by Ahsan and Septano before winning in three games.

The unseeded Marissa and Melati booked their place in the women’s doubles final with a two game victory over Fujii and Kakiiwa in an impressive 21-12, 21-12 victory. They take on the top seeded Wang and Yu in the final, who were equally impressive in their 21-10, 21-12 victory over Pedersen and Rytter Juhl in the over semi final.

Ahmad and Natsir are also through to the mixed doubles final after beating the 2009 world champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl in two games but also face the top seeded Chinese pair in the final. Zhang and Zhao defeated Chen and Cheng 21-17, 21-17 to book their place in the final, without the loss of a game this week.

Saturday’s Results:

Almost half of the matches played today had Indonesian interest but less than half had the desired success of the capacity crowd.

Gade Topples Taufik

The big match of the day seen two of the world’s best go head to head for a 17th time, Gade won the previous encounter but Hidayat held the overall lead in the head to heads. Gade was at his imperious best through the match, defeating Taufik in two games for the first time in four years to claim victory 21-17, 21-15. His opponent in the semi final will be Sho Sasaki, who stunned another Chinese player today in Chen Jin. The 71-minute match was widely expected to be a one-sided matchup, with the current world champion cruising into the last 4, but the unseeded Japanese player claimed his third consecutive victory over Chen Jin in three games to book his place in the semi finals. The other semi final sees the top two seeds remaining in the draw, as world #1 Lee Chong Wei takes on the 4th seeded Chen Long. Both players have played well to this point, with neither player dropping a game on route to the last 4 but their last three meetings have been one-sided victories for the top seeded Malaysian.

Cheng’s Unlikely Run Continues

Few expected a repeat performance from Cheng Shao Chieh against Liu Xin, but that is exactly what the Chinese Taipei provided in another stunning two game victory to book her place in the semi finals, winning 21-17, 21-15. Her opponent in the last 4 will be Saina Nehwal, who defeated the 6th seeded Tine Baun in two tight games to reach the semi final. The other semi final is an all-Chinese affair as Wang Yihan takes on Jiang Yanjiao in their 9th meeting, with the 3rd seeded Wang Yihan holding a slight advantage in the head to head, winning 5 of their previous 8 meetings.

Kido And Setiawan Stun Danes

The success story of the day was the 7th seeded Kido and Setiawan’s victory over the top seeded Danish pair of Boe and Mogensen in two games, winning 21-13, 22-20 to reach the semi final stage. Their opponents will be the 3rd seeded Cai and Fu of China, the current world champions defeated the 5th seeded Korean pair of Ko and Yoo to reach the last 4. There was yet more success as Ahmad and Septano defeated the current Commonwealth champions and 4th seeds this week Koo and Tan in two games to set up a semi final against the 8th seeded Chai and Guo of China, a pair that the Indonesian pair have never beaten in two attempts.

Wang and Yu Survive Scare

The all-conquering top seeded Chinese pair of Wang and Yu were under pressure in their quarter final match against the 5th seeded Ha and Kim after losing the opening game to the Korean pair. They fought back with the same qualities that have made them so unbeatable in their time as a partnership and erased the deficit before going on to clinch the match 13-21, 21-10, 21-11. They will face the Danish pair of Pedersen and Rytter Juhl who defeated the Indonesian 6th seeds of Jauhari and Polii in two games to book their place in the last 4. There is some Indonesian presence however in the second semi final as Natsir and Melati take on the 4th seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa in the last 4, with both pairs coming through three game matches to set up their first ever meeting.

Zhang and Zhao The Pair To Beat

The top seeded Zhang and Zhao have been outstanding this week in reaching the last 4 and have not dropped a game to date this week. Their opponents in the semi final are the Chinese Taipei pair of Chen and Cheng, but the current world #12 pair have failed to defeat the Chinese pair in two attempts, but did take them to three games in their previous meeting. The other semi final features the 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir of Indonesia taking on the 8th seeded Danish pair of Laybourn and Rytter Juhl, with the Danish pair defeating the 2nd seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in the quarter finals in the tightest of matches, eventually winning 22-20 in the deciding game.

Friday’s Results:

The first major shock of the tournament took place in the men’s singles as Lin Dan was defeated by Sho Sasaki in a tame two game defeat.

 

Lin Dan Out

Lin Dan’s defeat to Sho Sasaki was the only blip in a good day for the Chinese in the men’s singles. Sho Sasaki’s victory over Lin Dan set up a quarter final match against Chen Jin, which will stop the question about Lin Dan potentially pulling out of a second Chen Jin encounter within a week. Lee Chong Wei is safely into the last 8 where he will take on Tien Minh Nguyen, who narrow beat Wang Zhengming in the tightest of matches, winning 22-20 in the deciding game.

 

Chen Long and Du Pengyu face off in the quarter finals, to ensure at least one Chinese player in the last 4 but the match of the day for tomorrow will be 3rd on the main court on Friday as local favourite Taufik Hidayat takes on Peter Gade for a place in the last 4. Gade has been impressive in his two victories and Taufik has bounced back well from his three game opening round matchup. It will be their 17th meeting, with Taufik holding a 9-7 advantage on the head to head, but Gade took their last matchup in three tight games at the 2010 All England Championships.

 

Wang Shixian Out

There was further disappointment for the Chinese camp as top seeded Wang Shixian joined Wang Xin in an early round defeat today, after the world #1 lost out to Cheng Shao Chieh of Chinese Taipei in two games. Her prize for defeating the top seed is a quarter final match against another Chinese player, 7th seeded Liu Xin who defeated her team mate Li Xuerui in three games to book her place in the last 8. The other match in the top half of the draw sees Saina Nehwal take on Tine Baun in a match that both players will feel they can win as well as being their best chance at a Superseries Premier title with the early exits of the top two Chinese seeds. Juliane Schenk’s recent form since the Sudirman Cup has continued in her two game victory of Sayaka Sato to set up a quarter final match against Wang Yihan.

 

Qualifiers Stun Lee And Jung

Home field advantage was never more evident than in the shock 21-17, 21-17 victory for the Indonesian qualifiers Pratama and Saputra over the 2nd seeded Lee and Jung. Their reward is a quarter final match over Chai and Guo of China, seeded 8 this week. Top seeded Boe and Mogensen have returned to somewhere near the form that took them to the world number 1 spot and take on the 7th seeded Kido an Setiawan in the last 8 after both pairs recording two game victories.

 

Wang And Yu Storm Into Last 8

The top seeded Chinese pairing of Wang and Yu have been unstoppable through the opening two rounds, dropping just 33 points on route the last 8 and they take on the 5th seeded Ha and Kim in the quarter finals. There was another unlikely victory, with Marissa and Melati defeating the second seeded Cheng and Chien in two tight games to reach the last 8 where they will take on the unseeded Chin and Wong of Malaysia.

 

Asians Supreme In Mixed

Just the 2009 world champions remain for European interest in the mixed doubles. 8th seeded Laybourn and Rytter Juhl take on the 2nd seeded Thai pairing of Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in their toughest match of the week so far. There were victories for the top seeded Zhao and Zhang as well as 5th seeded Jiaming and Tian, who face off against one another in an all-Chinese quarter final. There is more Chinese interest in the draw as He and Yu take on the 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir in the quarter finals.

 

Friday’s Results:

Bao Chunlai Set To Face Lee Chong Wei

Lee Chong Wei as well as Koo and Tan were widely expected to reach the final on Sunday, few people expected there to be a third Malaysian interest on finals day from the 6th seeded Chan and Goh in the mixed doubles.

Lee Chong Wei’s stunning recent run of form continued as he defeated the 11th seeded Sho Sasaki 21-13, 21-14 to book his place in the final against 7th seeded Bao Chunlai. The Chinese player beat the 3rd seeded Tien Minh Nguyen in a three game match that lasted just under a hour to set up the final against the world #1.

Saina Nehwal has put her shock defeat in her home Super Series event last week behind her as she progresses into the final after defeating the 7th seeded Sung Ji Hyun in two games to back up her excellent win over Wang Lin in the quarter final. Her opponent in the final is perhaps the toughest test possible in the 2nd seeded Wang Xin, who will be keen to avenge the defeat of Wang Lin in tomorrow’s final. The 2nd seeded has been in excellent form this week, winning all four of her matches to date in two games.

Koo and Tan were practically pencilled in for the final before the week started, but as seen last week with Saina Newhal shocks can happen. After coming through the quarter finals in three games, they needed another three game match against Bosch and Ridder of Holland to reach the final but have avoided the pitfalls that amounted to Nehwal’s shock loss in her home event. Their opponents in the final are the 4th seeded Chandra and Gunawan, who defeated 8th seeded Cho and Kwon in a tight three game, 62 minute match to book their place in tomorrow’s final.

Japan have a monopoly in the women’s doubles final, with top seeded Maeda and Suetsuna looking for their second title in two weeks against the 5th seeded Naito and Matsuo who have been equally as impressive as the top seeds with both pairs not dropping a game between them in reaching the final.

The mixed doubles final has a third chance of local success with the 6th seeded Chan and Goh defeating a second higher seeded pair to reach the final. After defeating the top seeds in the quarters, they continued their outstanding week with a two game victory over the 3rd seeded Kurniawan and Bernadeth in just 26 minutes to book their place in the final. Their opponents are the 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir, who defeated the 2nd seeded Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul of Thailand in their semi final match. Ahmad and Natsir lost the Indian Super Series final to Kurniawan and Bernadeth last week, which makes the final this week all the more intriguing.

Semi Final Results:

Chong Wei Through Smoothly In Malaysia

There was a double surprise in the quarter finals as Wang Lin and Jiang Yanjiao both crashed out of the women’s singles, whilst the Malaysian superstars progressed safely into the semi finals.

Lee Chong Wei is into the last 4 with a two game victory over Brice Leverdez and takes on the 11th seeded Sho Sasaki in the semi finals tomorrow after the Japanese player defeated Park Sung Hwan in is quarter final matchup. The other semi final is between the 7th seeded Bao Chunlai and Tien Minh Nguyen, seeded 3 who had mixed routes on route to the semi final. Tien Minh Nguyen won by walkover with Sony Dwi Kuncoro’s retiring early into the second game whilst Bao Chunlai defeated Lee Hyun Il in three games to reach the last 4.

Top seeded Saina Nehwal defeated Wang Lin in a tight three game match to reclaim her credentials as one of the best players in the world and her reward for her victory is a match against Sung Ji Hyun who defeated the 3rd seeded Jiang Yanjiao in the second surprise result in the top half of the draw. There is Chinese involvement in the bottom half of the draw in the 2nd seeded Wang Xin after her victory over Ai Goto in the quarter final. Wang Xin’s opponent in the semi final is the 4th seeded Bae Youn Joo who has been in excellent form this week and not dropping a game to date this week.

Bosch and Ridder have been the story of the men’s doubles but faces their toughest challenge against the top seeded Koo and Tan in the semi final. The Dutch pair defeated the 3rd seeded Ahsan and Septano to reach the semis whilst Koo and Tan defeated the 6th seeded Endo and Hayakawa in three games to reach the last 4. The other semi final is an all-seeded encounter between the 4th seeded Chandra and Gunawan who play the 8th seeded Cho and Kwon. The 4th seeds have made a difficult task of reaching the last 4, with a couple of three game matches to reach this stage.

Maeda and Suetsuna have been the class act in the women’s doubles this week and take on the the 4th seeded Jauhari and Polii and there is Japanese interest in the second semi final with 5th seeded Matsuo and Naito against the unseeded Chinese pairing of Ying and Yu who fought through another three game match to reach the last 4.

There was another local success as 6th seed Chan and Goh defeated the top seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam to reach the semi finals this week, where they will take on the 3rd seeded Kurniawan and Bernadeth in their semi final match. The other semi final is between the 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir who take on the 2nd seed Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul of Thailand who have been in excellent form since being taken to three games in their opening round match.

Quarter Final Results:

China Dominating

Sixteen of the 20 competitors hail from the home nation of China in the Asian Championships as they reach the semi final stage, with a few forgotten names in the mix. Lu Lan has returned to her 2009 form and has shocked another seed on her route to the last 4.

The men’s singles has turned into an all-Chinese competition, with 3rd seeded Boonsak Ponsana losing out to Bao Chunlai in two tight games followed soon after by Tien Minh Nguyen who was defeated by another higher seeded player in Du Pengyu. Lin Dan defeated the last of the non-Chinese players in his three game victory over Sho Sasaki to set up his semi final with the 6th seeded Du Pengyu. 2nd seeded Chen Long defeated Wang Zhengming to reach the last 4 where he will take on Bao Chunlai for a place in Sunday’s final.

Cheng Shao Chieh is the remaining hope to defeat the Chinese stranglehold on the singles titles with her victory over Porntip Buranaprasertsuk. Her task to reach the final is a victory over the 2nd seeded Wang Yihan who has been impressive this week, without dropping a game to date. The other semi final is an all-Chinese matchup between the 5th seeded Jiang Yanjiao, who defeated Lin Xiu 23-21 in their deciding game in the quarter final and the unseeded Lu Lan who has returned to the form that seen her become world champion less than two years ago. Her closely fought two game victory over Li Xuerui was her second victory over a Chinese seeded player this week.

Cai and Fu have been highly impressive in the men’s doubles without losing a game to date this week, however they face their toughest task in their all-Chinese semi final against Xu and Zhang, seeded 6 who defeated the 4th seeded Chandra and Gunawan to book their place in the last 4. Chai and Guo, seeded 5 are the third of the Chinese pairs in the last 4 and take on the Japanese pairing of Hashimoto and Hirata, seeded 8 this week and also defeated the 2nd seeded Kido and Setiawan to reach the semi final stage.

Cheng and Chien’s run ended today in the women’s doubles, as the top seeds lost out to the 6th seeded Tian and Zhao in front of a partizan home crowd which ensured a third pair in the last 4 for China. Tian and Zhao’s opponents in the last 4 are the sole non-Chinese pairing of Kim and Ha, seeded 5th who defeated the 3rd seeded Maeda and Suetsuna to reach the semi final. 8th seeded Bao and Zhong have the tough task of taking on the 2nd seeded Wang and Yu who again were impressive in their 21-6, 21-18 victory over the 7th seeded Matsuo and Naito of Japan.

Zhang and Zhao’s run to date has not seen them take on a seed, with tomorrow’s match being no different as they take on the unseeded pair of Hong and Pan, who defeated the Japanese qualifiers of Sato and Matsuo to set up the all-Chinese semi final. The 8th seeded Ma and Xu defeated the lower ranked Tao and Tian to reach the semi finals, with a three game victory over the 3rd seeds. Their reward is a semi final match against the 2nd seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam of Thailand, who have failed to drop a game to date this week but were taken to a 29-27 game against the 6th seeded Lee and Chien in their quarter final match.

Quarter Final Results:

Chen Jin Falls To Sho Sasaki

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:

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