Four titles were a possibility for China on finals day, but managed just half that tally as the host nation took down higher seeds to ensure two titles for the host nation whilst Lee Chong Wei ensured a title for Malaysia in the men’s singles.
Lee Chong Wei started 2013 perfectly with a two game victory over China’s Du Pengyu, with the Malaysian failing to drop a game after his opening round scare to Wang Zhengming and will go into his home Super Series event on a high. Sung Ji Hyun claimed Korea’s only singles title with a two game victory over the 5th seeded Wang Shixian to avenge her 2010 defeat in this event to the Chinese player.
Lee and Ko defeated Boe and Mogensen in the men’s doubles final, but not before losing the opening game 21-19 but a far dominant display from the Korean’s in the next two games ensured Lee and Ko’s meteoric rise up the rankings continued. Wang and Yu defeated Ma and Tang in the first final of the day in a straightforward two game match for the 2011 World Champions first title of 2013.
Ma Jin fell short in the mixed doubles final also, losing with her partner Xu Chen to the world and Olympic champions Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei. The top seeded pair did take the opening game but failed to capitalise and lost the next two games to ensure a 12th defeat to Zhang and Zhao in their 14 encounters to date.
Finals Day Results:
Even with all the Chinese withdrawals that have marred the week’s play, they still have a chance at four of the five titles in Seoul. Only the men’s doubles will not feature a Chinese pair but instead have Korean and Danish interest in tomorrow’s final. Lee Yong Dae will look to go one better than last year after suffering defeat to Cai and Fu in the 2012 final.
Lee Chong Wei has rarely been troubled on route to the final and Wong Wing Ki did little to challenge the top seed in a one-sided semi final. Du Pengyu will be the Malaysian’s opponent in the first Super Series final of 2013 after his two game victory over Sony Dwi Kuncoro, who returned to the top 10 in the world rankings this week.
Wang Shixian will be the sole Chinese player in a women’s singles final as she looks to defend her title against Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun in a rematch of the 2010 final that the Chinese player won in two games. It is Wang Shixian’s fourth consecutive final in Korea and has won two of her three finals to date.
The world number 1 pairing of Boe and Mogensen takes on the form pair in Lee and Ko in the men’s doubles final. They have met once previously in China at the last Premier event of 2012, which the Danish pair won in two games. Only the Danes have dropped a game this week, in their semi final victory over Hong and Shen whilst Lee and Ko defeated the second seeded Koo and Tan to reach the final.
The women’s and mixed doubles final will be all-Chinese affairs, both featuring Ma Jin. Ma and Tang take on the top seeded Wang and Yu after their three game victory over Pedersen and Rytter Juhl, seeded 2nd this week. It was their second win against a higher seeded pair after their victory over Matsutomo and Takahashi in the quarterfinals. The top seeded Xu and Ma take on Zhang and Zhao as they renew their rivalry that begun at this event two years ago. It will be their 14th meeting, with Xu and Ma failing to any matchups in 2012 and winning just 2 of the previous 13 encounters.
Semi Final Results:
China claimed both the Thomas and Uber Cup on home soil in Wuhan in a perfect build up to the Olympics in two months time.
A perfect record of 19 victories from 19 ensured China’s successful defence of the Thomas Cup, with a 3-0 victory over Korea in the final. Lin Dan defeated Lee Hyun Il, before Cai and Fu doubled the lead against Lee and Kim in a two tight games before Chen Long completed their rout of Korea with a two game victory over Shon Wan Ho. China dropped just 2 games from their 40 games this week.
China’s women reclaimed the Uber Cup against the holders Korea in another one-sided final. Wang Yihan dropped the opening game to Sung Ji Hyun before fighting back to save four match points and take the second game 22-20. The third game was more dominant from the world number 1, taking the decider 21-13. Wang and Yu had little trouble doubling the lead with a 21-15, 21-13 victory over Ha and Kim before Wang Xin clinched the match with a 21-10, 21-16 win over Bae Youn Joo.
From 10am on Wednesday, all the way to Wang Xin’s entrance onto court at 2.15am local time that topped one of the longest and most dramatic days of badminton in recent memory.
Gade Crashes Out
Peter Gade walked onto court at 1.15am local time, 5 hours later than scheduled and after claiming the first, the 4th seed hoped to get off court in double quick time. Rajiv Ouseph took the second game and with it came the realisation that the end of Gade’s history at this event was coming to an end. After going 12-1 down in third, he mounted three minor comebacks before losing the deciding game 21-14.
The likes of Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan were most likely asleep whilst play ended, with both securing a place in the second round tomorrow with routine two game victories. Kenichi Tago defeated Viktor Axelsen in two games in a match that could be repeated countless times in the next decade, with these two players highly regarded as the future of the game. Tago takes on Kazushi Yamada in an all-Japanese second round match. Taufik Hidayat takes on Chen Jin in the second round in one of the matches of the day, with both players progressing in two games today.
5 From 16 For China
Am almost full compliment of Chinese players reached the last 16 in the women’s singles, with Wang Yihan and Wang Shixian booking their places in the second round. Juliane Schenk, Tine Baun and Saina Nehwal leading the non-Chinese charge with Schenk and Nehwal needing three games to progress and the 8th seeded German finishing her game just before 2am local time.
Wang Xin was another big name casualty today, arriving on court at 2.15 local time against Sung Ji Hyun of Korea and failing to produce anything like her best in a 21-8, 21-13 defeat to the world number 12. Li Xuerui is the only Chinese player left in the bottom half of the draw, after battling back from a game down to defeat Bulgaria’s Linda Zechiri.
Bankier and Adcock Strike Again
Ko and Yoo were another big name to crash out on the opening day, with the Korean 4th seeds losing out to Fang and Lee of Chinese Taipei in two games. Lee and Jung had little trouble in reaching the second round, neither did Cai and Fu in their straight forward win over Liu and Ng of Canada. Boe and Mogensen are the main European threat this week and progressed to a second round meeting against Kido and Setiawan tomorrow. Adcock and Ellis kept local interest alive in the competition with a opening round win, but take on the 2nd seeded Lee and Jung in the second round tomorrow.
Wang and Yu made light work of Wallwork and White in their return from a 2-month hiatus, whilst their team mates Ma and Zhong surprised the 4th seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa with a three game victory. The third Chinese pair through is the unseeded pair of Huan and Tang, the German Open winners set up a second round match against Chien and Cheng of Chinese Taipei after their three game victory in the opening round. The fourth Chinese pair are the 2nd seeded Tian and Zhao, who defeated Chin and Wong of Malaysia to reach the second round.
Adcock and Bankier defeated Zhang and Zhao for the second time this year to reverse the result of the 2011 world championship final. A stunning three game victory sees them topple the world number 1 pairing in both Super Series Premier events this year and set up a second round clash with Yoo and Jang of Korea. Lee and Ha were another seeded pair to crash out today, with the 7th seeds losing out to Sato and Matsuo of Japan in two games. Ma and Xu cruised into the second round as one of only two Chinese pairs left in the draw, with He and Yixin defeating Fuchs and Michels of Germany to also reach the last 16. Robertson and Wallwork are also into the last 16, where they will take on the 5th seeded Chen and Cheng of Chinese Taipei as they battle with Adcock and Bankier for the GB spot at the 2012 Olympics.
Korea took every opportunity on finals day and walked away with four titles, with Ko Sung Hyun taking two titles in the doubles.
Tommy Sugiarto was the one that stopped the Korean monopoly on the titles this week, defeating 15th seed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in three games in the longest match of the day, with Sugiarto taking the title in three games 21-15 , 15-21, 21-17. The women’s title was won by Sung Ji Hyun, the 4th seeded also defeated her Thai opponent in the final in the 3rd seeded Inthanon Ratchanok, winning 22-20, 21-14 in 44 minutes.
The doubles was a Korean whitewash, with Ko and Yoo defeating their teammates Lee and Jung in a surprise victory with the 2nd seeds winning in two games, which levels their overall head to head at 3-3. Ha and Kim lost the opening game to Jauhari and Polii, only to fight back and take the 2nd game before the Indonesia pair had to retire at 2-0 in the deciding game to award the title to the Korean pair. Ko and Eom were the story of the mixed doubles, unseeded at the start of the week but defeated two seeds on route to the final before their best performance of the week in their victory over the top seeded Ahmad and Natsir in three games to claim the mixed doubles title.
The hope of a title remaining in Chinese Taipei ended today, with the defeat of Pai Hsiao Ma in the women’s singles and the top seeded Cheng and Chien crashing out of the women’s doubles.
They weren’t the only top seed to crash out, with Tien Minh Nguyen’s defeat to Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in two games and the Thai’s reward is a match with 6th seeded Tommy Sugiarto in the final. Sugiarto won the all-Indonesian semi final against Sony Dwi Kuncoro in 69 minutes and will take on the 15th seed in their first matchup for the title tomorrow.
Sung Ji Hyun ended Pai Hsiao Mai’s run at the semi final stage with a convincing two game victory, many expected an all-Korean final but Thailand’s 3rd seeded Inthanon Ratchanok defeated the 2nd seeded Bae Youn Joo in the other semi final in two games to book her place in the final against Hyun as the world number 12 and 13 do battle for the title.
There is one all-Korean final in the men’s doubles, as Lee and Jung take on Ko and Yoo. The top two seeds have progressed without much resistance this week and have quashed rumours that Lee and Ko were set to team up ahead of the Olympic Games next year. Jauhari and Polii ended the run of the top seeded Chinese Taipei pair of Cheng and Chien in one of the shortest matches of the day to set up a final against the 2nd seeded Kim and Ha who defeated the unseeded pairing of Hoo and Woon of Malaysia.
Lee and Ha’s run in the mixed doubles ended at the hands of Ahmad and Natsir, the top seeded Indonesians. However, one unseeded Korean pair did reach the final as Ko and Eom defeated their third seed of the week, this time it was the 3rd seeded Kurinawan and Bernadeth in their semi final as they continued their exceptional run this week of not losing a game to date.
The Korean squad has a massive interest going into the semi finals on Saturday, with a potential four titles on offer for Korea this week.
The only title that the Korean’s can’t win is the men’s singles, with Tien Minh Nguyen progressing in three games over Shon Wan Ho to end Korean interest in the event. Tommy Sugiarto is Nguyen’s main rival this week and the 6th seed will take on his team mate Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the semi final after the unseeded Indonesian defeated Malaysia’s Muhammed Hafiz Hashim in three games in their quarter final.
Pai Hsiao Ma has been the revelation in the women’s singles, after her defeat of the top seeded Cheng she added another victory over a seeded player in her victory over Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong in three games to reach the semi finals. Sung Ji Hyun is the opponent for the Chinese Taipei woman, with Korea also having interest in the other semi final with the 2nd seeded Bae Youn Joo who takes on Inthanon Ratchnok, seeded 3 this week.
The doubles are dominated by Korea, with three pairs in the last 4 of the men’s doubles including Lee and Jung who are the top seeded as well as the 2nd seeded Ko and Yoo with neither pair losing a game to date this week. Chien and Cheng are sole Chinese Taipei interest in the doubles in the women’s doubles and take on the 3rd seeded Jauhari and Polii of Indonesia. The 2nd seeds of Ha and Kim take on the unseeded Malaysia pair of Hoo and Woon in the other semi final.
The mixed doubles features two unseeded Korean pairs, with Lee and Ha defeating two seeds this week already in their route to the semi final. After defeating the 8th seeded Widianto and Natsir, they went on to beat the 4th seeded Lee and Chien but face their toughest task in the semi final as they take on the top seeded Ahmad and Natsir. The other Korean pair of Ko and Eom have also been in excellent form as they also defeated two seeds to reach the semi final, after their victory over the 2nd seeded Chen and Cheng they beat the 6th seeded Rijal and Susanto in two games to reach the semi finals against Kurniawan ad Bernadeth, seeded 3rd this week.
It was a mixed day for the seeds in Bangkok, with several crashing out early on the opening day of play. One seed came through a tough encounter to prove her credentials at the highest level.
Chen Long’s progression to the last 16 was a shift as could be with a pair of victories setting up a third round match with Brice Leverdez of France who battled through a pair of tough matches to make the last 16. Park Sung Hwan also progressed safely in the top half of the draw and takes on Muhammed Hafiz Hashim, who defeated Joachim Persson to reach the third round. The bottom half is laden with Chinese players, with 3 of the 8 coming from China. Chen Jin and Wang Zhengming are joined by Wen Kai, who was the most impressive of the Chinese players in reaching the last 16. The top seed in this side of the draw is local favourite Boonsak Ponsana, who progressed into the last 16 without the loss of a game but faces the 10th seeded Wang Zhengming in his toughest match to date this week.
It might have taken 59 minutes, but Saina Nehwal remains in the draw after defeating Lu Lan in a titanic three game encounter. The opening round seen all 8 seeds progress with varying difficulty, most notably 8th seeded Sung Ji Hyun defeating China’s Wang Lin as she continues her return to top flight action. Jie Yao and Pi Hongyan also progressed into the last 16 to add more quality to the field, with both taking on seeds in their second round matches.
The mixed doubles seen the top two seeds progress safely into the second round, much to the delight of the home crowd. Both Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam as well as Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul won their matches without the loss of a game to reach the last 16. 3rd seeded Fuchs and Michels of Germany were also impressive in their 21-5, 21-9 victory, as were the 5th seeds of Xu and Ma in their 21-8, 21-14 defeat of Kwon and Kim of Korea.
Day 1 Results:
Korea had the chance to take four of the five titles on finals day in Basle, with only Saina Nehwal standing in the way of a quadruple victory.
Park Sung Hwan defeated Lee Hyun Il in three games to seal the men’s singles title in the longest match of the day, a three-game 68 minute match that the 4th seeded Park fought back from losing the opening game 21-17 to win the title 17-21, 21-9, 21-17. 2nd seeded Ko and Yoo defeated their 3rd seeded team mates Lee and Jung in a tight men’s doubles final, with Ko and Yoo winning 21-17, 21-16. Korea’s third title came in the women’s doubles, with two unseeded Korean pairs Kim and Jung against Ha and Kim, with the latter pair taking the title in the shortest match of the day, winning 21-12, 21-13 in just 27 minutes.
Saina Newhal stopped Korea from winning a 4th title, as the 2nd seed defeated Sung Ji Hyun in the women’s singles final, winning 21-13, 21-14. The only European interest on finals day came in the mixed doubles with the 4th seeded Danes Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen taking on the 2nd seeded Robertson and Wallwork of England. The Danish pair took the opening game at the 4th time of asking, winning 23-21 and the second game was a mere formality with the English pair never taking a lead in the second game with Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen taking the second 21-14.
It was a poor day for Salakjit and Boonsak Ponsana as their campaigns both ended early on Day 3, for the 5th seeded Salakjit Ponsana her loss to Yu Hirayama of Japan in three games added her name to the casualty list of the women’s singles seeds already out, with 8th seeded Susan Egelstaff crashing out on Day 1. Two more seeds were also put out in the second round with Sayaka Sato and Sung Ji Hyun, the 6th and 7th seeds also losing to unseeded players.
The top three seeds in the men’s singles have all progressed safely into the last 8, with top seed Tien Minh Nguyen defeating Yunus Alamsyah in three tight games to book his place in the quarter finals. Sony Kuncoro also came through a three game encounter against Japan’s Sho Sasaki to claim his place in the last 8 whilst 3rd seed Simon Santoso had little trouble in his third round match, winning in two games to progress into the quarter finals. The 4th seeded Boonsak Ponsana lost to Malaysian Kwong Beng Chan, with Ponsana losing in three games, 22-20, 7-21, 21-16.
6 of the 8 seeds in the men’s doubles are into the last 8, with only the 8th seeded Ko and Yoo losing out to the unseeded pair of Hadiyanto and Wijaya who will play the top seeded duo of Koo and Tan from Malaysia, who have failed to drop a game on route to the last 8. There were wins for the 3rd seeds Lee and Jung and 7th seeds Chen and Lin who meet in the second quarter final. The second all-seeded quarter final is between the 5th seeded Choong and Lee of Malaysia and the 4th seeds, Fang and Lee of Chinese Taipei.
The injury scare over Lee Hyo Jung’s retirement last week has not stopped her playing this week, as the 2nd seeded Lee and Lee progressed into the last 8 with a tight three game victory to book their place in the quarter finals against Ahmad and Natsir of Indonesia, the 5th seeds. The top seeded Gunawan and Marissa are into into the last 8, coming through against Fang and Wang of Chinese Taipei. Lee Hyo Jung is also through to the last 8 of the women’s doubles, after defeating the 3rd seeds Amitapai and Munkit of Thailand. The top two seeds in the event are also through, with top seeds Chin and Wong progressing after Chou and Ku had to retired at 8-2 in the first game. The on-form pair in the women’s doubles, Cheng and Chien are also through to the lasy 8 with a two game victory over Ha and Jang.