Destination two for the Super Series takes the players to Kuala Lumpur and to world number 1 Lee Chong Wei’s homeland as he looks to successfully defend his title from 2012. A distinct lack of Chinese seeds throughout the draw has opened the opportunity for some of the lesser-known players to reach the latter stages this week.
Lee Chong Wei opened his campaign in spectacular style, demolishing Viktor Axelsen 21-8, 21-10 to set a marker for the rest of draw that he is in excellent form this week after his victory in Seoul on Sunday. Second seeded Kenichi Tago similarly had little problems in progressing to the second round but losses for Wang Zhengming and Tien Minh Nguyen in the first round has opened the draw out further with the 3rd seeded Nguyen losing in three games to Taufik Hidayat who could be a potential semi finalist against Lee Chong Wei.
Ratchanok and Schenk’s withdrawal ensured an even weaker draw in the women’s singles without any of the top Chinese players present this week. Top seed Saina Nehwal will not complain as she progressed into the second safely after a comfortable two-game victory. Tine Baun needed three games to defeat P.V. Sindhu in her second to last Super Series and will take on Sun Yu of China in the second round. The match of the second round will be the all-Korean clash between Sung Ji Hyun and Bae Yeon Ju after both recorded victories in their opening round matches. The lower ranking Bae holds a 2-1 advantage but Sung took their most recent matchup in the Korea Open two years ago.
Top seeded Koo and Tan set up an all-Malaysia second round match against Goh and Lim with a potential Malaysian opponent waiting in the next round in Hoon and Tan, seeded 5th this week. Lee and Ko are a potential semi final opponent, with the 6th seeded Korean’s defeating Fuchs and Roth of Germany in two games to reach the last 16. The only two Chinese pairs in the draw will meet in the second round with Qiu and Zhang taking on Chai and Liu in their first meeting.
The only top seeded Europeans, Pedersen and Rytter Juhl progressed in three games to set up a rare all-European match in the second round against Goliszewski and Michels of Germany. The second seeded Matsutomo and Takahashi dropped just 14 points on route to a second round match against England’s Olver and Robertshaw who benefitted from a retirement in their opening round match. Giving blood in the cause of reaching the second round is not common within badminton, but Jillie Cooper managed to do just that playing with Kirsty Gilmour on route to a two game victory over Ho and Yap of Malaysia. They take on the Korean pairing of Ko and Yoo in their second round match, who defeated the 7th seeded Jauhari and Polii of Indonesia. Two Chinese pairs remain massive threats for the title with Ma and Tang winning in three games and Bao and Tian needing three games also to reach the second round.
Chan and Goh survived a massive scare in their opening round match, needing to save three match points to remain in the competition against the Thai pairing of Prapakamol and Aroonkesorn. Their opponents in the second round are even more fortunate to be in the last 16, Pieler Kolding and Rytter Juhl saved seven match points over the course of two games to win 19-21, 24-22, 24-22 and ensure their place in the second round. The second seeded Danish pair of Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen take on a new Chinese pairing feature one half of the Olympic gold pairing of Zhao Yunlei and partner Qiu Zihan, who needed three games to progress past qualifers Lee and Chau of Hong Kong.
Day 1 Results:
The day begun with Cai and Fu reaching the men’s doubles Olympic final and ended with a pair of gold medals for China with the injury of Wang Xin the only low point in a day riddled with success for the Chinese.
Gold For Li Xuerui
The form player in 2012 justified her selection for the Olympics ahead of Wang Shixian and won China’s second gold in two days. It was talent over willpower in the women’s singles match, with Wang Yihan’s talent failing to defeat Li Xuerui’s will to win in a three-game classic. Saina Nehwal claimed the bronze medal, but not in the way the Indian would have hoped as Wang Xin retired at the beginning of the second game after claiming the opening game. A knee-injury hindered Wang Xin’s movement before she crumbled on court after the opening point in the second game that forced her into retirement and gave Nehwal the bronze medal.
Tian and Zhao Claims Women’s Doubles Gold
There was a Chinese winner in the women’s doubles, but not the pair that many expected. With the group stage farce decimating the draw, it was the 2nd seeded Tian and Zhao who claimed gold – with Zhao Yunlei winning her second gold of the Olympics after her mixed doubles success. An easy first game victory for the Chinese required a response from the Japanese pairing of Fujii and Kakiiwa to ensure there wasn’t a Chinese rout. A tighter second game ensued, but the Chinese eventually took the second game 25-23 to ensure China’s third gold. Sorokina and Vislova took the bronze medal, after a one-sided victory over the Canadian pair of Bruce and Li.
Boe and Mogensen stun Lee and Chung
The “dream final” in the men’s doubles was put on hold for at least four years by the Danish pair of Boe and Mogensen who defeated Lee and Chung in a sensation men’s doubles semi final which will be a contender for match of the tournament. The Korean pair took an early lead, claiming the first game only for the Danes to respond and take the second game. After squandering a match point, Boe and Mogensen earned a second match point and a Mogensen lift was left by Lee Yong Dae, only for the shuttle to hit the lead and send the Danes into tomorrow’s final. Cai and Fu will be their opponents tomorrow, after the Chinese pair defeated Koo and Tan in a one-sided semi final that the Chinese pair took with their third match point to ensure their second successive Olympic final.
Day 8 Results:
The group stages have provided countless intriguing matches, from the opening session of play all the way to the final session of the group phase.
All Start Times Are Local Times
Saturday, July 28 – 8.30am
Lee / Ha (Korea) – Laybourn / Rytter Juhl (Denmark)
The toughest mixed doubles group of the four opens up play inside Wembley Arena, with the world number 8 and 9 pairs clashing to take one step closer to the quarter finals. They sole meeting came at the German GP in April and resulted in a one-sided victory for the Danes which they will hope for this weekend. There is also the question of endurance for Lee Yong Dae, as he will be back on court that night in the men’s doubles with Chung Jae Sung over 12 hours after playing his opening mixed doubles match. Saturday will be a long day for Lee Yong Dae.
Sunday, July 29 – 8.30am
Zhang / Zhao (China, Seeded 1) – Adcock / Bankier (Great Britain)
Wembley Arena has brought them together once more, with the playing field evened ever so slightly from little under a year ago. The Brits have claimed two famous victories since their defeat at the World Championships against this Chinese pair, both coming at Super Series Premier events. Zhang and Zhao claimed their most recent match in Indonesia last month, but the British pair have something they didn’t have a year ago, belief that they could beat the Chinese. There was hope last year that their run the final would continue on for one more day, but on Sunday morning there is a belief and a track record to support them – as well as a capacity crowd.
Sunday, July 29 – 1.40pm
Chen Long (China, Seeded 3) – Boonsak Ponsana (Thailand)
On paper, this should be a routine victory on route to the last 16 for the 3rd seed but their head to head suggests differently. The world number 22 has a 2-1 advantage over Chen Long from Ponsana’s time inside the world’s top ten. Their last match was over 18 months ago but this is far from an easy match for Chen Long.
Monday, July 30 – 9.05am
Wang Yihan (China, Seeded 1) – Michelle Li (Canada)
The Canadian has struggled with food poisoning in the build up this week, but there will be no excuses available to Wang Yihan should she fail to reach the last 16. It will be their first match against one another, with the world number 1 a massive favourite to go through. Michelle Li’s draw in the women’s doubles is just as tough as she will take on the world number 1 pairing of Wang and Yu the day before her opening singles match.
Monday, July 30 – 2.15pm
Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia, Seeded 1) – Ville Lang (Finland)
The national secret over the rehabilitation of Lee Chong Wei’s ankle will be revealed and tested on Monday afternoon, by the Finnish workhouse of Ville Lang. His 104-minute marathon against Christian Lind Thomsen in April has proven that is physically capable of withstanding a demanding match, he will lengthen rallies to tire opponents and he will test out Lee Chong Wei’s right ankle. Few are expecting a Lee Chong Wei defeat if he is anywhere near his best, but his rivals will watch this match intently for signs of discomfort and weakness.
Monday, July 30 – 7.44pm
Peter Gade (Denmark, Seeded 5) – Pedro Martins (Portugal)
And so the legend ends. Peter Gade’s final Olympics will begin on Monday night against Portugal’s Pedro Martins with the knowledge that a win will take him through to the last 16. It has been over two months since Gade’s last competitive victory, with a pair of losses to Lee Hyun Il and Sony Dwi Kuncoro adding more doubt to the legendary Gade’s chances of medalling in London. A strong performance will cast those doubts aside for at least a few days.
Monday, July 30 – 8.15pm
Lin Dan (China, Seeded 2) – Scott Evans (Ireland)
Lin Dan’s title defence starts against Scott Evans, a reserve for the event who know has the unthinkable task of ending the run of the defending champion. The pair have played three times previously with their most recent match taking place inside Wembley Arena at the 2011 Worlds, with Lin Dan winning comfortably. Scott Evans has never taken a game against Lin Dan, he’ll need two for the biggest shock of the Olympics.
Tuesday, July 31 – 2.19pm
Sayaka Sato (Japan, Seeded 12) – Susan Egelstaff (Great Britain)
Susan Egelstaff’s draw was considered favourable as she avoided the top 10 players in the world, but on further observation this could be the biggest shock of the group stages as well as one of the best moments inside Wembley Arena for the GB team. Egelstaff holds a 1-0 advantage in the head to heads, with a victory at the 2010 All England Championships but Sato also comes into the Olympics in a poor run of form – winning just 8 of her 22 matches this year.
Tuesday, July 31 – 3.20pm
Lee / Chung (Korea, Seeded 2) – Koo / Tan (Malaysia)
There will be something riding on this match in all likelihood for at least one of these pairs, whether it is for the group win or simply to qualify. Koo and Tan have failed to record a victory over the Korean pair since the 2010 Worlds in Paris and will probably need a victory to ensure their place in the last 8 with Boe and Mogensen or Chai and Guo waiting in the quarter finals for one if not both of the pairs.
Lee Chong Wei against Lin Dan was the perfect final for the final match of the Asian Games, with the Malaysian’s last hope for gold lying with the world #1. China had secured the first two golds in the women’s singles and women’s doubles and looked for gold number 3 and 4 on the last day of the Badminton.
Tian and Zhao won China’s first gold on Friday evening, defeating Wang and Yu in three games to ensure a gold and silver for China in the opening final. Wang Shixian defeated Wang Xin in the women’s singles final in two games after an a couple of impressive wins over Ai Goto and Yip Pui Yin before defeating her Chinese team mate. Wang Xin was also in excellent form over the week, especially in her 21-7, 21-15 win over Eriko Hirose in the semi final.
Malaysia’s first chance at gold came in the men’s doubles final with Koo and Tan taking on Indonesia’s Kido and Setiawan. The Indonesian pair had scrapped their way into the final, with every one of their games going to three games to reach the final. Koo and Tan had survived their own three game matchup against Hirata and Hashimoto in the quarter finals. The final, unsurprisingly went to three games and the experts of three game victories, Kido and Setiawan took gold in three tight games, winning 16-21, 26-24, 21-19.
Lee Hyo Jung won another major title, this time without Lee Yong Dae as her mixed doubles partner. This time, it was Shin Baek Cheol in the mixed doubles who defeated Zhang and Zhao in an excellent two game victory as China failed to win gold number 3 at the games.
However, Lin Dan would secure gold number 3 for China. After an impressive run to the final, he would meet world #1 Lee Chong Wei who had to battle through two matches that went the full distance, including a semi final against Chen Jin. Lin Dan secured the opening game 21-13 before Lee Chong Wei fought back to win the second game, 21-15. However, it was the Lin Dan of old that showed up in the deciding game to secure his first Asian Games gold medal, taking the final game 21-10 to win China’s 3rd individual gold of the games.
Lee Chong Wei has successfully negotiated the early rounds and defeated the two seeds in his half of the draw in the quarters, then defeating Chetan Anand in the semi finals to set up the gold medal match against England’s Rajiv Ouseph who defeated another Indian in the 5th seeded Parupalli to set up Thursday’s final.
India’s big hope for gold comes from Saina Nehwal, as she successfully progressed into Thursday’s final after beating Scotland’s Susan Egelstaff in the semi final in two games to set up a gold medal match against Mew Choo Wong of Malaysia. The 2nd seed defeated England’s Elizabeth Cann in three games to book her place in Thursday’s final. Cann will take on Egelstaff tomorrow in a rematch of their 2006 bronze medal match for a chance of a medal in 2010.
Top seeds Koo and Tan of Malaysia are through to Thursday’s final against the 2nd seeded English pair of Nathan Robertson and Anthony Clark. The top seeded Malaysians have failed to drop a game on route to the final whilst the English pair had to come through a tight three game match over Triyacha and Wong of Singapore.
India has a second chance of gold in the women’s doubles, with 2nd seeds Gutta and Machiman progressing to Thursday’s final against Singapore’s top seed Sari and Yao, who defeated the 3rd seeded English pair of Wallwork and White in two games to book their place in the gold medal match on Thursday.
Nathan Robertson’s second chance at gold is also Koo Kien Keat’s second chance also as the pair match up in the mixed doubles final also. Top seeded Robertson partners Jenny Wallwork against the unseeded Malaysian pair of Koo and Chin, who have partnered up just for the Commonwealth Games. They defeated the 2nd seeded Gutta and Valiya in the quarter finals and then 3rd seeded Triyacha and Yao of Singapore in the semi finals.
Lee Chong Wei proved his credentials as the world number 1 with a three-game victory over his archrival Lin Dan. The 80-minute match was the longest match of the day by some distance, with Lee Chong Wei taking the match 22-20, 16-21, 21-17 to put him in excellent form ahead of next months Commonwealth Games, where he is likely to be the undoubted favourite.
The women’s singles also sprung a surprise as unseeded Jiang Yanjiao defeated the new world number 1 Wang Xin in two tight games, winning 23-21, 21-18. News also emerged that new world Champion Wang Lin will be sidelined after knee surgery in Germany this week, which could propel Jiang Yanjiao higher up in the rankings over the coming weeks.
Cai and Fu repeated their World Championship success over Koo and Tan, again in three games with an 18-21, 21-14, 21-12 win in 46 minutes. The lower seeded Chinese pair have won their last three tournaments together, as well as defeating Koo and Tan for the fifth consecutive time, dating back to the 2009 Sudirman Cup.
The new partnership of Wang and Yu has been a successful one for the Chinese pair, winning last week China and again this week in Japan. They defeated another Chinese pair, Cheng and Zhao in very impressive fashion in just 31 minutes, winning 21-17, 21-6 to take their second title in as many weeks.
Zhao however did win one title on the day, taking the mixed doubles title with partner Zhang Nan in another all-Chinese final. They defeated the 8th seeded Tian and Tao in two tight games, winning 21-19, 22-20 in 49 minutes. It was the unseeded pairs second Super Series title of 2010, winning the All England Championships earlier in the year.
The Chinese cleaned up in the singles events, as well as taking the women’s doubles crown but the Koreans took the remaining two events.
Chen Jin claimed his first Super Series event of 2010 after a hard fought three game victory over 8th seeded and Chinese compatriot Chen Long. After losing the first game 21-12, the 3rd seed responded by winning the next two and taking China’s first men’s singles title of 2010. The event was a surprise, as Gade managed to beat Lin Dan for the first time in four years as the Chinese superstar failed to make the semi final of either of his first two events of 2010.
Jiang Yanjiao came into today’s final in a stunning vain of form, dropping just 73 points in four rounds to reach the final and was the massive favourite to overturn her Chinese team-mate and 6th seed Wang Shixian to take the title. The 6th seed however was in excellent form and stunned Jiang Yanjiao by inflicting a two game victory in just 40 minutes, with the 6th seed winning 21-15, 21-19 to take an unlikely victory.
The upsets didn’t stop in the women’s singles, as unseeded Ko and Yoo were a surprise finalist against top seeded Malaysia pair of Koo and Tan. The top seeds had failed to drop a game on route to the final whilst Ko and Yoo has battled past Lee and Jung, the 2nd seeds in an all Korean second round match and defeated last weeks winners Paaske and Rasmussen in the quarter final to knock a second seed on their way to the final. The unseeded Ko and Yoo stunned the Basel crowd as they defeated another seed, this time the top seeds 21-18, 21-16 to take the Swiss title.
This was the only all-seeded match in the three doubles events, as 7th Tian and Yu of China played Maeda and Suetsuna of Japan, the 5th seeds. Maeda and Suetsuna had defeated the top seeds of Chin and Wong in the quarter finals and then defeated Ha and Lee to reach the final, with the 7th seeds beat the 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa in the last 8 and then Chen and Chien in the semi finals to reach the final. The match promised to be of high quality as two on form partnerships played for the title, with Tian and Yu dominating the match from beginning to end to take the title 21-16, 21-13
The all-Korean final was between unseeded pairing of Shin and Yoo and 2nd seeded Lee and Lee. Shin and Yoo defeated the current world champions in the semi final to reach the final whilst Lee and Lee had the luxury of an extra rest day with the withdrawal of Mateusiak and Kostiuczyk from the semi final. The 2nd seeds looked in control for most of the first game, but they had to fight back from 16-9 down in the second to take the second game and to win the match 21-14, 21-18 in just over a half hour.
In another demonstration of his superior abilities Lee Chong Wei has won back to back super series titles today as he disposed of Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana in two straight games 21-13, 21-7. While Lin Dan may take the big titles out of Lee Chong Wei’s hands, even the Chinese star cannot match Lee’s consistency and prolific winning.
Lee wasn’t the only hometown hero on the day however. Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong did well to take the men’s doubles title after defeating not one, not two, but three Chinese pairs. In the final they defeated Guo Zhendong and Xu Chen in three games 21-15, 17-21, 21-16.
The women’s singles final provided some drama and speculation after Bae Youn Joo withdrew during the final against Wang Xin. There appeared to be some confusion between Bae and the chair umpire as Bae requested to place a strap on her ankle, but was refused because she did not indicate to the umpire what was wrong and did not request the tournament doctor. Later there was speculation that it was either an ankle injury, or even potentially more serious issues like a heart problem. We have no verification on either report at this time.
Throughout the tournament Du Jing and Yu Yang managed to go relatively untested, and won the women’s doubles title without dropping a single game. The second seeded pair defeated their compatriots Ma Jin and Wang Xiaoli 21-16, 21-12 in only 34 minutes.
While it was a good comeback tournament for the Danish World Champions Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl they didn’t have what it took to go all the way in Malaysia this week. After a great run they fell in the final to China’s Tao Jiaming and Zhang Yawen 19-21, 21-18, 21-15. Nonetheless Laybourn has to be happy with his first super series event after injuring himself at the end of 2009.
Visit the draws below for full results
Malaysia Super Series 2010 Draws
While more than half of the players in the finals were from China, it was Korea’s Lee Yong Dae who took top honours for the day when he won both the men’s doubles and mixed doubles events. Not only did Lee win today, but the matches he played were both an hour and sixteen minutes long, the longest matches of the day. Lee’s long day started in the mixed doubles when Lee Hyo Jung and himself defeated China’s Zheng Bo and Ma Jin in three games 21-18, 15-21, 21-15. Lee’s next match, the men’s doubles was the last match of the day, where he partnered with Jung Jae Sung to defeat the top seeded pairing of Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong in another close three games 21-13, 19-21, 21-18.
The rest of the day belonged to China. Denmark’s sole representative on finals day was the youngster Jan O Jorgensen who’s string of upsets would continue no more. He played well this tournament, but as he mentioned yesterday he was up against the best of all time and he is not there yet. Lin Dan proved that he is above the rest this tournament, refusing to give up a single game. The final went to Lin Dan 21-12, 21-12 in thirty seven minutes.
The women’s doubles was won by Tian and Zhang as they defeated their teammates Du and Yu 21-14, 21-14. While the scores might not represent the quality of the match, the time should at fifty three minutes. Finally the women’s singles title went to Jiang Yanjiao who outclassed her teammate Wang Xin 21-19, 22-20.