Lee Chong Wei ensured his second success on home soil in 2012 after his Super Series success in January as Malaysia claimed 4 of the 5 titles this week.
Lee Takes Title
It was a far from dominant display from the world number 1 this week but nevertheless Lee Chong Wei claimed the title in a three game final against the unseeded Sony Dwi Kuncoro. After losing the opening game 21-17, the world number 1 dropped just another 18 points on route to the title. For Kuncoro, it was a positive week that far from reflect his drop in the world rankings to 79 as he defeated three players inside the top 50 in the world.
Three More Titles For Malaysia
Koo and Tan claimed the men’s doubles title, dropping just a single game in the process as Malaysia swept the doubles events. The world number 9 pairing of Chan and Goh have had an excellent year to date and claimed the mixed doubles title without the loss of a game. Chin and Wong defeated the top seeded Sari and Yao in the women’s doubles to claim Malaysia’s fourth title of the week, with the 2nd seeds defeating the Singapore pairing in two tight games.
Busanan Ongbumrungpan claimed the women’s title, as the Thai player defeated another unseeded player in Sayaka Takahashi in the final with the world number 157 claiming the title in two games.
Another big name fell in the men’s singles as the 4th seeded Taufik Hidayat was defeated in the second round by Singapore’s Zi Liang Derek Wong, but Hidayat was not the only seed to crash out on the 3rd day in London.
Hidayat was joined by 14th seeded Marc Zwiebler, who defeated Hidayat twice in the build up events to the world championships but lost in three games to Spain’s Pablo Abian in 74 minutes. Abian takes on the fairytale story of the event to date, Guatemala’s Kevin Cordon who is through to the last 16 after defeating Sweden’s Henri Hurskainen in two games. The top three seeds remaining in the draw had little trouble reaching the last 16, with Lee Chong Wei defeating Ville Lang in two games to set up a match against Park Sung Hwan in the third round. Lin Dan defeated Ireland’s Scott Evans in two tight games to set up his third round match against Lee Hyun Il of Korea whilst the 3rd seeded Peter Gade was very impressive in his 21-9, 21-5 victory over Pukhov of Russia and takes on the 13th seeded Simon Santoso in the 3rd round tomorrow.
The second round of matches in the women’s singles was completed today, with the first big name casualty coming in the 8th seeded Bae Youn Joo losing out to Pi Hongyan of France whilst the top seeded Chinese players on show today progressed safely into the last 16. Wang Yihan defeated Gu of Singapore in two games, as did 3rd Wang Xin in her victory over Anastasia Prokopenko of Russia. Saina Nehwal’s campaign also started with a win over Chloe Magee of Ireland and will take on Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong in the last 16.
The second round in the men’s doubles was also completed today, with top seeded Boe and Mogensen winning in impressive fashion to reach the last 16 and a match against Hashimoto and Hirata of Japan, seeded 9th.The 4th seeded Koo and Tan were also given a real test by the Chinese pair of Liu and Qiu, taking them to three games before the Malaysian’s eventually progressed to take on Chen and Lin of Chinese Taipei, who defeated the 13th seeded Kindervater and Schoettler to reach the last 16. Ko and Yoo were also taken to three games by the English pairing of Adcock and Ellis, before the 5th seeds claimed victory and a last 16 place to take on Cho and Kwon, in an all-Korean match.
The biggest seed to fall to date came in the women’s doubles as the 2nd seeded Chien and Cheng crashed out to the Indian pair of Gutta and Ponnappa in two games, who will take on the 11th seeded Poon and Tse who ended the English pairing of Langley and Smith’s run at the championships this year. Fujii and Kakiiwa almost crashed out today also, needing 88 minutes and saving a match point in their match over Chin and Wong before progressing 22-20 in the deciding game and setting up a 3rd round match against Vislova and Sorokina of Russia, seeded 10.
Britain’s last hope of success lies with Bankier and Adcock in the mixed doubles, after their victory over the 8th seeded Anugritayawon and Voravichaikul of Thailand in two games. Their reward is a 3rd round match against Shiota and Ikeda of Japan, seeded 15th who defeated the Austrian pairing of Zirnwald and Baldurf in two games. There was little hassle for the top seedings in the bottom half of the draw, as Ahmad and Natsir progressed into the last 16 in two games, as did the 5th seeded Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen in two games also and the 4th seeded Tian and Jiaming are also through to the last 16 to take on Mateusiak and Zieba of Poland.
The host nation progressed into the semi final stage of the Sudirman Cup, whilst there was a surprise in the second quarter final as Korea defeated a Malaysian team that broke up the best men’s doubles partnership in the world to try and win two matches and defeat the Koreans.
Koo and Chin took on the Korean pair of Ko and Ha in the opening mixed doubles match in what looked like a calculated risk by Malaysia to win the opening match of the quarter final. However the Korean’s were too strong and took an early 1-0 lead in the rubber, winning 21-17, 21-17. Lee Chong Wei evened the score back up at 1-1 with a two game victory over Park Sung Hwan and then took a 2-1 lead as Tan partnered Hoon in an impressive three game victory over Lee and Jung to put Malaysia within one match of the semi finals.
Bae Youn Joo had other ideas, as she leveled the rubber at 2-2 with a two game victory over Tee Jing Yi. That left it up to Ha and Kim of Korea and Chin and Wong of Malaysia to ensure victory for their nation. They both exchanged a game each, leaving it down to a one game decider to clinch a place in the last 4 and it was the Korean’s who progressed with Ha and Kim winning the deciding game 21-10 to reach the last 4.
China were overwhelmingly expected to progress in their match over India, even if Saina Newhal was to beat one of the Chinese girls in the singles. They started perfectly with Cai and Fu winning the opening match in less than 30 minutes, but Wang Xin came undone against Saina Newhal and tamely lost in two games to the Indian to tie the rubber at 1-1. This was China’s second defeat in the women’s singles with Wang Shixian losing to Juliane Schenk in the group stage.
Lin Dan was quick to put China back in front with a two game victory and it was left to the doubles partnership of Wang and Yu to clinch the rubber for China, a partnership that had never lost to a non-Chinese pairing to date. Their 21-8, 21-13 victory was an expected victory as the host nation progressed into the semi final against Korea on Saturday.
Question marks over China’s women’s singles will buoy Korea’s chances in the semi final, with Korea defeating China in the Uber Cup final in 2010. Cai and Fu take on Lee and Jung again in what could be a deciding match on who progresses into Sunday’s final or it could be the mixed doubles match that decides this rubber.
Sudirman Cup 2011 Day 1
12 have been cut to just 8 as the group stages have been completed in the top tier of this years Sudirman Cup.
Group A was home to the host nation China and they failed to disappoint, winning both games against Japan (5-0) and Germany (4-1)to secure top spot in the group. Japan’s 4-1 win over Germany secured second place in the group but both of Germany’s victories came by the way of Juliane Schenk in the women’s singles, defeating Eriko Hirose and Wang Shixian in her matches.
Group B was over for Russia on Monday night with defeats to Malaysia and Indonesia that set up a winner take all match on Wednesday night to see who would top the group. Malaysia took an early 2-1 lead with victories in the men’s doubles through Koo and Tan before going to the brink of victory with Lee Chong Wei’s win in the singles. However Indonesia faught back to take the womens and mixed doubles and snatch a 3-2 victory to top Group B.
Chinese Taipei topped Group C by the narrowest of margins, winning their matches against both India and Thailand 3-2. India finished second in the group even with Saina Nehwal’s defeat in the Thailand match, a match that India claimed victory by 3 matches to 2 to book their place in the last 8.
Group D seen Korea top the group with a comfortable 4-1 win over England before defeating Denmark in the final match of the group in the final rubber of the match as Ha and Kim beat Ropke and Kruse to give Korea a 3-2 victory and top spot, leaving Denmark to settle for second place in the group.
Tomorrow sees the opening two quarter final matches, with Korea taking on Malaysia and the mouthwatering prospect of Koo and Tan taking on Lee and Jung in the men’s doubles. Neither men’s singles player for Korea has won a match this week and that looks all the more like to remain the same with Lee Chong Wei in their path. Malaysia’s main concern is in the mixed doubles, where they have failed to record a victory in their group and the Korean’s claiming two victories in this event.
The other quarter final sees China take on India in what is expected to be a one-sided matchup. Saina Newhal could claim an unlikely point in the women’s singles but events like the women’s doubles and men’s singles are expected to be landslide victories for the Chinese.
Group A-D Results:
There was a pair of titles for the home nation in this week’s GP Gold, but disappointment in their quest for a third title.
The mixed doubles final was an unlikely feat for Malaysia to win this week, but 6th seeded Chan and Goh reached the final after defeating two higher seeded pairs in the route to the final. Their unlikely run was ended at the final hurdle by the 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir who defeated the 6th seeded pair in a tight three game match which the Indonesian pair took 21-19 in the third.
Saina Nehwal’s return to form this week was also faulted at the last hurdle as 2nd seeded Wang Xin took the women’s singles title in another three game match today, after Newhal took the opening game 21-13, the Chinese player was simply too good in the next two games in winning them 21-8 and 21-14. The women’s doubles final was another lengthy match, but todays match eclipsed the match in India last weekend in it’s length. Maeda and Suetsuna won the match against the Japanese team-mates 21-18, 21-13 but the match took 76 minutes to complete.
The two Malaysian titles was at the end of play on finals day, with Lee Chong Wei with another stunning week of play, capped off with his 21-9, 21-19 victory over the 7th seeded Bao Chunlai. Koo and Tan were also not troubled in their match against the 4th seeded Chandra and Gunawan, comfortably winning 21-16, 21-7 to claim a second title for the home crowd.
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:
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:
This weeks GP Gold’s field is almost as strong as the Super Series field of last week with some Chinese stars playing this week as well as the world #1 Lee Chong Wei looking for his second title in his home nation this year.
Lee Chong Wei won the Super Series event in January with an opening round win over Tommy Sugiarto and this week, he defeated the 15th seeded Sugiarto today in two games to reach the last 8 where he will take on France’s Brice Leverdez. China’s chance of clinching the title this week is down to just the 7th seeded Bao Chunlai as 4th seeded Chen Jin lost to Sho Sasaki of Japan in the last 16, with the 11th seeded Sasaki winning in three games to set up a quarter final match with Park Sung Hwan of Korea. The bottom half of the draw is headlined by 3rd seeded Tien Minh Nguyen, who takes on Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the last 8. In the last of tomorrow’s quarter finals, 7th seeded Bao Chunlai takes on the 9th seeded Lee Hyun Il of Korea for a chance to reach the semi finals on Saturday.
Top seeded Saina Newhal will have her toughest test of the week as she takes on Wang Lin in the quarter finals, with the unseeded Chinese player defeating 6th seeded Eriko Hirose in convincing fashion to reach the last 8. There is interest in three of the four quarter finals for China, with 3rd seeded Jiang Yanjiao taking on Sung Ji Hyun in the top half of the draw whilst Wang Xin takes on the on-form Japanese player of the past two weeks, Ai Goto who defeated last week’s India Super Series winner Porntip Buranaprasertsuk today as well as Saina Newhal last week.
Koo and Tan are Malaysia’s second chance of a title this week, having been impressive on route to the last 8. They take on the 6th seeded Japanese pairing of Endo and Hayakawa who have also been playing well this week. Ahsan and Septano are the other seed left in the top half of the draw with the 3rd seeds taking on the Dutch pairing of Bosch and Ridder in their quarter final match. The big shock in the draw was the defeat of 2nd seeded Kido and Setiawan to Malaysia’s Abdul Khalid and Mawan, whose reward is a quarter final match against Cho and Kwon of Korea, seeded 6.
The potential rematch of the top two Japanese seeds is over, as 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa lost out to Jung and Kim of Korea in their match today, who take on the Chinese pairing of Ying and Yu who defeated Malaysia’s Chin and Wong to reach the last 8. Top seeded Maeda and Suetsuna have had little problems to date and take on the 8th seeded Dutch pairing of Jonathans and Van Dooremalen in their quarter final match.
After Ma and Xu’s stunning first round loss, there has just been no more seeds eliminated from the mixed doubles. With all 6 remaining that started the second round, the only unseeded pairs in the draw are Thailand’s Jongjit and Amitapai who defeated Widianto and Irawati in the second round and Malaysia’s Mohd Tazari and Mg, who take on the 3rd seeded Kurniawan and Bernadeth who reached the India Super Series final last week.
The devoid of talent this week has been the subplot of a week of surprises, but there has been one outstanding constant within the week and that has been the play of Lee Chong Wei. His semi final today was another match that he was a class apart from his opponent, this time being Hu Yun of Hong Kong. Even the 8th seed had no answer for the Malaysian’s form this week as Lee Chong Wei won 21-11, 21-15 in just 28 minutes.
His opponent in tomorrow’s final will be Peter Gade, after he came through his semi final with Park Sung Hwan in two games, albeit a tighter match than the top seeds. His 21-15, 21-19 victory came in 45 minutes but Gade himself has been in excellent form this week in the loss of just one game to Kazushi Yamada in the first round.
The women’s singles featured another seed crashing out, with Yip Pui Yin tamely losing to Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 21-13, 21-8. Bae Youn Joo however had better success than her seeded counterpart in her semi final victory over Sayaka Sato in three games. The 63 minute match was the longest of the tournament for the Korean but has spent less time on court than her opponent tomorrow who survived two early round scares to reach the final.
It was a double shock in the men’s doubles, with Hashimoto and Hirata defeating the top seeded pair of Koo and Tan in their semi final and also the unseeded Saputra and Pratama’s win over the 3rd seeded Chandra and Gunawan to set up the most unlikeliest of finals at the start of the day. The women’s doubles final however, is an all more expected story with the top two seeds both from Japan reaching the final with only the 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa being tested by Poon and Tse of Hong Kong in their semi final matchups, eventually winning in three games.
An all-Indonesian final was all but assured in the mixed doubles, with Chan and Goh failing to regain the form that got them to this stage. The 5th seeded Malaysian lost out to Kurniawan and Bernadeth in two games, with the 3rd seeds winning 21-12, 21-16. The other all-Indonesian semi final was slightly anti-climatical with the 7th seeded Rijal and Susanto having to retire deep into the second game, however the pair were already a game and 15-9 down to the 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir, who go through to the final.
Day 4 Results:
A major badminton event returns to India for the 3rd year running after the 2009 World Championships and 2010 Commonwealth Games with it’s first Super Series event, after taking the Super Series tag from the Swiss Open for 2011. The draw is far from the strongest with the all-conquering Chinese squad not taking part this week, but still has some of the world’s best in New Delhi this week.
Lee Chong Wei, Taufik Hidayat and Peter Gade are the main attractions of the men’s singles draw with no Lin Dan, Chen Jin, Bao Chunlai or Chen Long in the draw which has allowed some lower ranked players like Yuhan Tan of Belgium and a host of India players to reach the main draw. One of those Indian’s in the main draw is Ajay Jayaram, who takes on the top seeded Lee Chong Wei whilst Taufik Hidayat takes on Anup Sridhar. The match of the opening round is a repeat of the 2010 World Championship quarter final between Peter Gade, seeded 3 this week and Kazushi Yamada with the winner likely to be involved in the match of the second round also, with Anand Pawar or Sho Sasaki playing in the other match in this part of the draw.
Top seeded Saina Nehwal has the weight of a nation on her shoulders for the second year running, after her Commonwealth success. She plays Ai Goto in her first round match whilst her main rival in the draw comes in the way of Tine Baun, the second seed who takes on Xing Aiying in her opening round match. Eriko Hirose will be Nehwal’s main rival in the top half of the draw, with the duo expected to meet in the quarter final stage.
Koo and Tan return to India just 6 months after their Commonwealth success as top seeds this week. Their main rivals in the top half of the draw will come in the way of the Asian Championships runners-up in Hashimoto and Hirata who are seeded 4th this week. The bottom half of the draw is very much a Indonesia/Japan rivalry, with both nations claiming two seeds in this half of the draw. 2nd seeded Ahsan and Septano will be the duo to pair, with team-mates Chandra and Gunawan being the main threat in the bottom half of the draw. The Japanese pair of Endo and Hayakawa, seeded 7 and the 6th seeded Kawamae and Sato hoping to cause an upset to reach Sunday’s final.
Japan claim four seeds in the women’s doubles, including the 1st and 2nd seed. Maeda and Suetsuna are the top seeds this week, with Fujii and Kakiiwa taking the second seed, Matsuo and Niato are seeded 6 and 7th seeded Takahashi and Misaki. The 5th seeded Sari and Yao of Singapore have pulled out before the event to boost the 2nd seeded pairs chances of reaching the final on Sunday with only 3 seeds in the bottom half of the draw.
Thailand claim the top two seeds in the mixed doubles this week, but the main news from the week is the pre-event withdrawal of India’s main hope in this event with Gutta and Valiyaveetil who were seeded 6 this week. The top seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam have a first round bye before potentially taking on the dangerous Japanese pairing of Sato and Matsuo in the second round.