There was disappointment and euphoria in equal measure for the assembled crowd in Kuala Lumpur on finals day as they claimed just one of the two titles possible for Malaysia, but the title they did win was Lee Chong Wei’s sensational victory over Sony Dwi Kuncoro.
The day begun with victory for Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, who defeated the surprise finalist Yao Xue in two games in a match that should see the Chinese Taipei player jump back into the top 10 in the world rankings. The top two seeds met in the mixed doubles final as Malaysia looked for it’s first title of the day, but that wasn’t to be the case as Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen claimed their first and Europe’s first title of 2013 with a two game victory over Goh and Lim, winning 21-13, 21-18.
Bao and Tian ensured at least one Chinese title in the women’s doubles, with victory over the 2nd seeded Matsutomo and Takahashi in two games that will see their world ranking skyrocket from it’s current rank of 141. Lee and Ko were defeated in the men’s doubles final by the new Indonesian pairing of Ahsan and Setiawan in the shortest match of the day with the Indonesian’s looking for their own rise up the rankings similar to the pairing they beat in todays final.
It took 32 minutes for Lee Chong Wei to claim the title, but it was a score that proved his dominance over the week as he defeated Sony Dwi Kuncoro 21-7, 21-8 in the most one-sided of the finals today. It was Malaysia’s only title on the day, but Lee Chong Wei continues his unbeaten run in 2013.
Lee Chong Wei secured his place in his second Super Series final in 2013 as the Kuala Lumpur crowd will hope for two titles on finals day.
Lee Chong Wei booked his place in the final with a three game victory over Jan O Jorgensen claimed his 8th win of 2013 without a loss to date. Sony Dwi Kuncoro will take on the top seeded Malaysia after the longest match of the day resulted in the Indonesian taking the deciding game 23-21 to reach tomorrow’s final. Tomorrow’s final will be their 13th meeting, with Lee Chong Wei winning 7 of the last 12 including their last meeting which was also in Malaysia in the GP Gold last year.
Two surprise results in the women’s singles have resulted in the most unlikely of finals tomorrow as Tai Tzu Ying takes on Yao Xue. The 6th seeded Tai defeated Saina Nehwal in two games and Yao Xue defeated Bae Yeon Ju of Korea in a similar scoreline to set up the first meeting between the two, with Yao Xue liking to break into the top 100 in the world rankings regardless of the result tomorrow.
Lee and Ko continue their unbeaten 2013 on route to their second successive Super Series final, where they will take on the Indonesian pairing of Ahsan and Setiawan. The 6th seeded Korean’s defeated Goh and Lim in two games in the only defeat for Malaysia on the day whilst the unseeded Indonesians ended the run of Chai and Liu of China in two games also. It is their first meeting between the two pairs that only started competing regularly together in late 2012.
Bao and Tian is China’s sole finalist in all three doubles events and take on the second seeded Matustomo and Takahashi in tomorrow’s women’s doubles final. It will be their first meeting as the Chinese pair has only been together since last week at the Korea Open.
The mixed doubles final will see the top two seeds play each other, the only event of the week that will see the number 1 and 2 seeds meet. There is European interest with Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen who take on the Malaysian top seeds of Goh and Lim. Both pairs have been inside the top 10 for most of the last 12 months but this will only be their second meeting, with their first being at the Super Series Finals last month that resulted in a one-sided victory for the Danes.
Semi Final Results:
With three rivalries edging ever closer to writing another chapter in their history, the best players in the world are joined by just two outside of the world’s top 10.
Top 2 Edge Closer To Rematch
Lee Chong Wei’s run to the last 4 has been as simple as it could have been, rarely trouble in his opening three matches and only at the semi final stage does he meet his first seeded opponent. Lee Hyun Il’s recent record against the world number 1 has been far from stellar, with his last victory over the Malaysian dating back to the Indonesian Open of 2005. Lin Dan’s run this week has been similar to his Malaysian rival, with Kenichi Tago being his first seeded opponent also at the semi final stage, Tago defeated Chen Long to reach the last 4 but his most recent encounter with the world number 2 was a two game loss in the Super Series in December.
3 From 4 For China
Tai Tzu Ying is the odd one out in the women’s singles, the only non-Chinese player and one of just two still in the event outside the top 10. The world number 16 takes on Li Xuerui, who has propelled herself to the world number 5 ranking and is a serious contender to make the Olympic squad and was impressive in her two game victory over the world number 4 Saina Nehwal. The other semi final sees Wang Yihan and Wang Shixian play for the first time in over a year, with this match also having a massive bearing on who could potentially make the Olympic squad.
Chinese Hopes Of Claiming 5 Titles
The top three seeds in the men’s doubles all safely progressed without the loss of a game in their quarter final matches. Lee and Jung against Boe and Mogensen is the standout semi final tomorrow, with the Danes claiming just a single victory in their previous six encounters. Cai and Fu take on the 8th seeded Japanese pairing of Hashimoto and Hirata with the Chinese top seeds winning all of their three previous encounters.
The Chinese dominance in the women’s game continues into the doubles, with three pairs into the semi finals. Wang and Yu have needed just 89 minutes on court to reach the last 4, where they will take on the world number 29 pairing of Huan and Yang in an all-Chinese affair. The other semi finals sees the 3rd seeded Ha and Kim take on the 2nd seeds of Tian and Zhao of China, with the Chinese pair claiming victory in all three of their previous matches.
British hopes ended today in the mixed doubles, as Adcock and Bankier lost out to the world number 9 pairing of Chan and Goh in three games. The Malaysian’s reward is a semi final against the 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir who defeated the other British pairing of Robertson and Wallwork to reach the last 4. The second semi final sees the second seeded Xu and Ma taking on 8th seeded Laybourn and Rytter Juhl, who won their all-Danish quarter final over their higher seeded compatriots Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen in two games.
The finals tomorrow have a sense of deja vu about them, with all three doubles finals being a repeat from last week’s Super Series Premier in Odense but there were still surprises today, none more than Lin Dan’s stunning retirement just 3 points from victory.
All England 2011 Rematch
Lee Chong Wei broke his recent run of poor results against Chen Long today, but took all of the world #1′s ability as well as 77 grueling minutes to ensure his place in tomorrow’s final. Few could have predicted the other semi final result, with the crowd already confused to the Chinese tactics going into this week as well as Chen Jin and Lin Dan only truly playing for one game yesterday. Lin Dan took the opening game 23-21 and was 18-15 up before retiring just three points from reaching the final. The question marks over this “retirement” will last long after this event as it seems like Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei are set now to meet until the 2012 Olympics.
All Chinese Final
Despite all the shocks and all the top seeded Chinese players crashing out, there is still an all-Chinese final in the women’s singles between Wang Xin and Li Xuerui. The unseeded Li Xuerui booked her place in a straight forward victory over Porntip Buranaprasertsuk whilst the 3rd seeded Wang Xin needed three games to defeat Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei. The opening game was won by the Chinese Taipei player but Wang Xin faught back in stunning style to take the next two games to the loss of just 11 points and complete the turnaround in double quick time to spent just 35 minutes on court.
The best two pairs in the world go at it again tomorrow as Cai and Fu take on Lee and Jung for the 18th time in their remarkable rivalry, with the world number 1 pair looking to put last week’s defeat to the Korean’s behind them and even up the series at 9-9. Cai and Fu needed three games to defeat the Japanese pairing of Hirata and Hashimoto whilst Lee and Jung defeated the resurgent Boe and Mogensen in two games, with both pairs almost spending the same time on court on route to the final.
The top two pairs also go at it in the women’s doubles final, with Tian and Zhao still the only pair this year to defeat the world number 1 pairing of Wang and Yu, who came through the only semi final played in the event today against the 3rd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa. The two game victory was much closer than the one sided match that took place at the All Englands earlier in the year, with the Chinese pair winning 21-8, 22-20.
Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen completed a famous double over the world number 1 pairing of Zhang and Zhao in a 72 minute match which seen the Danes save a match point at 20-19 in the deciding game before taking the next three points and booking a rematch against Ma and Xu of China. The 2nd seeded Chinese pair battled back from a game down to defeat Ahmad and Natsir and set up a rematch of the final in Odense 7 days previously.
The main topic of conversation going into today’s play was the whether the two all-Chinese quarter finals would take place, by the first hour of play, we had one of the answers.
Lin Dan Defeats Chen Jin
The prospect of Lin Dan taking to the court today was unlikely, what was even more unlikely was a Lin Dan win over his team-mate Chen Jin but that is exactly what happened in their 85-minute encounter that almost seemed counterproductive in the recent walkovers that these two players have dished out in recent encounters. Kenichi Tago is Lin Dan’s opponent in the semi final after his own 77-minute victory over Hu Yun to book his place in the last 4.
The match of the day tomorrow will be the second semi final, as Chen Long looks to claim his third victory over Lee Chong Wei in the past 3 events. Chen Long will be well rested after his walkover against Wang Zhengming, which happened before the Lin Dan – Chen Jin match to further question the motives of the Chinese squad to let one match be decided by walkover and another to be decided in an 85-minute marathon. Lee Chong Wei progressed safely with a two game victory over Shon Wan Ho in just 32 minutes to reach the last 4.
Wang Yihan Out
The poor week for China’s ladies singles players continues with the defeat of Wang Yihan to Ti Tzu Ying in a tame two game loss, taking the number of Chinese players left in the draw down to just two. Li Xuerui will take on Ying in the first of tomorrow’s semi finals whilst Wang Xin is the last seed left in the draw after taking out Juliane Schenk in her quarter final match to set up her semi final against Porntip Buranaprasertsuk who defeated Sung Ji Hyun in her quarter final match.
No Troubles For Top Seeds
The three top seeds in the doubles all progressed without the loss of a game to ensure a relatively successful day for the Chinese squad. Cai and Fu defeated Ahsan and Septano to set up a semi final against the unseeded Japanese pair of Hashimoto and Hirata whilst the other semi final sees the other two remaining seeds fight it out for a place in Sunday’s final as Lee and Jung take on Boe and Mogensen, with the Danish pair narrowly beat their team-mates Conrad-Petersen and Rasmussen in three games.
Wang and Yu provided their best performance of the week to date in reaching the semi finals with a merciless thumping of Melati and Marissa. They take on the 3rd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa in the semi final for the first time since their humiliating defeating in the All England final earlier this year. The other semi final sees the 2nd seeded Tian and Zhao take on the 6th seeded Ha and Kim, with both pairings registering two game victories to reach the last 4.
The top 4 seeds remain in the mixed doubles, with Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen hoping for the same result against Zhang and Zhao as last week as the two meet in the semi finals for the second time in two weeks. Ahmad and Natsir take on the Chinese pair of Ma and Xu after the 2nd seeds came from a game down in their quarter final match against Widianto and Marissa to progress in 57 minutes after taking the next two games.
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.
The unlikely local story came good with Sari and Yao winning the Women’s Doubles, beating Kim and Lee of Korea in two games 21-17, 22-20. There was more unseeded success and Fang and Lee of Chinese Taipei defeated the 8th seeded Bach and Gunawan of the USA in two games, winning 21-14, 21-15.
The top two seeds in the mixed doubles met in the final, in what could be a potential final in August’s World Championships in Paris. It was the 2009 winners Laybourn and Rytter Juhl, seeded 2 that defeated the top seeded pair of Natsir and Widianto in two games to take the title, winning 21-12, 21-15.
The women’s singles final had two players with stark contrasts of expectations, the top seeded Saina Nehwal was expected to get to this point and succeeded with wins over the current world champion whilst her opponent Tai Tsz Ying was happy to make it into the draw after coming through qualifying and an opening match victory over Eriko Hirose. The on-form Indian was too strong for her opponent on this day, winning 21-18, 21-15 and only dropping a single game on route to her title this week.
Two seeds also met in the men’s singles final, as the two players who put out the top two seeds met each other in the final. 7th seeded Sony Kuncoro defeated Lee Chong Wei at the quarter final stage whilst 4th seed Boonsak Ponsana defeated the 2nd seeded Peter Gade yesterday in their semi final. The match turned into the longest of the day at just 46 minutes and it was the 7th seeded Kuncoro who took the match in two games, winning 21-16, 21-16.
Semi Final day in Singapore had local players Sari and Yao in the last 4 of the Women’s Doubles, where they were the underdogs to beat 4th seed Cheng and Chien of Chinese Taipei. After losing the opening game, the unseeded pair took the next two games to book their place in tomorrow’s final. The will play the 5th seeded Korean pair of Lee and Kim who defeated the other unseeded pair in the draw still, Jauhari and Polii of Indonesia.
The mixed doubles had the top three seeds in the last 4, with the top two making in through to tomorrow’s final. Laybourn and Rytter Juhl, the second seeds defeated the 3rd seeded Gunawan and Marissa in two games. Top seeded Widianto and Natsir are also through after defeating the Chinese Taipei pairing of Chen and Cheng. Cheng Wen Hsing’s excellent week in the women’s doubles and mixed doubles both end at the semi final stage.
Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan rolled back the years again to make the final at the expense of Ko and Yoo of Korea. The 8th seeded pair will take on the unseeded pair of Fang and Lee from Chinese Taipei after they defeated the second seeds, Kido and Setiawan. The 2nd seeds lost tamely in the semi final to continue their poor run of form since their win in France last year.
Top seed Saina Nehwal lived up to her seeding with a three game victory over current world champion Lu Lan, after dropping the opening game 8-21. The other semi final was an all unseeded affair between Korea’s Bae Youn Joo and Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying. It was the player from Chinese Taipei who will meet Nehwal in tomorrow’s final after a close two game encounter.
Sony Kuncoro’s excellent week continues as he beat India’s Kashrup Parupalli in two games to book his place in his first final of 2010. Peter Gade, seeded 2 took on the 4th seeded Boonsak Ponsana in the second semi final. Gade took a close opening game before the 4th seed battled back to take the next two tight games to book his place in tomorrows final whilst Gade misses out on his best chance to win a Super Series this year.