The old and new guard of Danish badminton had a dream start to the first round matches in Odense, taking out seeded partnerships and impressing on a day of positives for Danish and European badminton.
Gade, Axelsen and Jorgensen Progress
A trio of Danes have all reached the last 16 safely, with Peter Gade impressively defeated Wang Zhengming in a one-sided match to book a second round clash against Germany’s Marc Zwiebler. Hans-Kristian Vittinghus has very close to making it four from four in the opening round by narrowly lost to the 5th seeded Taufik Hidayat in three games. Viktor Axelsen claimed his third victory over Przemyslaw Wacha in the opening round today to set up a match against Hidayat in the second round.
Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan both came through their opening round matches without much resistance, whilst China claim four places in the last 16 with victories for Chen Long, Chen Jin and Du Pengyu, with the 8th seed taking on Jan O Jorgensen who won his opening round match in two games to set up the second round match.
Two Europeans Remain
The depth of European players in the women’s singles has been exposed this week, with just two making it through to the last 16 with a predominantly Asian feel to the draw. Tine Baun and Juliane Schenk hold the hope of Europe on their shoulders as both progressed into the second round with a pair of excellent victories. The Chinese juggernaut has six of the last 16, with an all-Chinese match in the second round set to decrease their quota to at least four.
Wang Yihan’s opening round match was as impressive as it was one-sided, her 21-13, 21-5 victory over the world number 10 Bae Youn Joo was a statement that the world number 1 is back to her best. There were wins Jiang Yanjiao, Li Xuerui, Liu Xin, Wang Xin and Wang Shixian to ensure a vast Chinese interest in the event going in the second round.
Seeds Topple In Doubles
If the singles events were business as usual for the world’s best, the doubles disciplines have been the complete opposite. The men’s doubles lost three seeds in the opening round with the biggest casualty being the Commonwealth champions and 5th seeded Koo and Tan, who were defeated by Cho and Kwon of Korea. There were victories for Cai and Fu as well as the second seeded Lee and Jung, who both claimed a berth in the second round with a routine two game victory.
There was Danish success in the women’s doubles, with Pedersen and Rytter Juhl defeating the 4th seeded Japanese pair of Maeda and Suetsuna in two tight games to reach the last 16. Kruse and Roepke ensured a second pair in the last 16 with a victory over Korea’s Eom and Jang. The Danes reward is another Korean pair in Jung and Kim who put out the 7th seeded Matsuo and Naito in the opening round.
There were no such shocks for the top seeded Wang and Yu, who progressed in a straightforward two game victory over Poon and Tse and take on the Singapore pair of Sari and Yao in the last 16. Tian and Zhao were equally impressive in their opening round match and take on the Indonesian pair of Marissa and Melati in their second round match.
Kamilla Rytter Juhl was the star of the day for the locals as she defeated another seed in the mixed doubles with partner Thomas Laybourn as the 2009 world champions rolled back the years as they defeated Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in two games to reach the second round. Lee and Ha also produced a shock with a three game victory over the second seeded Ahmad and Natsir, who were the biggest casualties of the first day in Odense. The world champions Zhang and Zhao had no problem in reaching the second round with a two game victory over Triyachart and Yao of Singapore, whilst the world championship silver medalists Adcock and Bankier won their all-British first round match to reach the last 16.
The opening round was without one of China’s golden generation as the Olympics near ever closer as he became the first of a likely series of retirements. Bao Chunlai retired from international badminton today, citing continual knee injuries as the main factor in his decision.
The men’s singles is laden with players claiming this is their final year in the sport. Both Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan have expressed their desire to retire after London 2012, this week they successfully progressed into the second round with Lin Dan needing three games to dispose of Lee Hyun Il of Korea. There were wins for Peter Gade, Chen Jin and Chen Long but the biggest casualty of the day was the 5th seeded Taufik Hidayat who lost to qualifier Chou Tien Chen in three games in easily the shock of the opening days play.
The usual Chinese contingent are still in the women’s singles, without Jiang Yanjiao whose China Masters retirement seems a genuine one to dispel the ideas of China “fixing” matches to get the maximum amount of players to London 2012. Wang Yihan leads the charge this week, with Wang Shixian, Liu Xin and Wang Xin also present in the second round. Only one seed fell in the draw today, Cheng Shao Chieh retired in her match against Sayaka Sato to allow the Japanese player to advance to the second round.
Boe and Mogensen continue their recent run of poor form with another first round defeat to Kawamae and Sato of Japan and will take on the partnership of Lee and Ko. The 5th seeded Jung and Yoo had to retire and allow their Chinese opponents of Liu and Qiu, whilst the top seeds Cai and Fu had little trouble progressing into the second round with a two game victory and will take on qualifiers Liao and Wu.
The women’s doubles has lost the top two seeds, with Wang and Yu pulling out pre-event and the defeat of 2nd seeded Maeda and Suetsuna at the hands of Yixin and Zhong of China. 3rd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa progressed safely in the second round and the other Chinese pair left in the usual stronghold event is the 4th seeded Tian and Zhao who won in three games to reach the second round.
Seven of the eight seeds remain in the mixed doubles with the top seeded Zhang and Zhao taking on Lee and Ha in one of the matches of the second round. Ahmad and Natsir are safely into round two with a two game victory and take on the Chinese pair of Hong and Pan whilst the world championship silver medalists Adcock and Bankier are into the second round to take on the 3rd seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in the second round.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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:
Returning for it’s second annual run in it’s current form the Canada Open is underway now in Richmond, Canada. Also returning is marquee player Taufik Hidayat, ready to once again delight the local spectators.
Business As Usual For Taufik
The first day of the event proved relatively non threatening to the big names. Of the mens singles seeds only Michael Lahnsteiner of Austria fell with a 21-16, 21-19 loss to American Howard Shu. Pablo Abian struggled more than expected with Andrez Lopez but still managed to win 21-13, 19-21, 21-13. Crowd favourite Taufik Hidayat managed a fairly straight forward win over Switzerland’s Anthony Dumartheray 21-16, 21-13.
The womens singles seeds faced even less pressure with all of them progressing without dropping a single set. Top seeded Shao Chieh Cheng looked completely at ease during her first round match against Joycelyn Ko of Canada winning 21-16, 21-6. From here on out it’s quite possible that the top seed may play all Japanese players until the final unless Spanish youngster Carolina Marin has something to say about it. The Spaniard won her first match against Victoria Montero 21-7, 21-15.
Lee Yong Dae Ends Canadians’ Run
Lee Yong Dae may be a crowd favourite and favourite in both his respective events, however he wasn’t too popular yesterday when he easily ended the hopes of two Canadian pairs. Starting with the mixed doubles he paired with Ha Jung Eun to defeat Hao Li and Reshma Bhambhani 21-5, 21-15 in a mere 15 minutes. Next he went on to partner with Ko Sung Hyun to defeat Canada’s number 2 mens doubles pair Toby Ng and Jon Vandervet 21-8, 21-15. While Ko Sung Hyun might not be Lee’s regular partner there is no doubt that the pair are legitimate threats to win here this week. The last match of the day which kept all the volunteers at the Oval late was Juergen Koch and Peter Zauner’s mens doubles match against China’s sixth seeded Liu Xiaolong and Qiu Zihan. The Austrian pair were obviously no match for the Chinese in terms of raw speed, however they played incredibly smart and their anticipation made up for any lack of physical speed they may have had. Reading all of the Chinese pairs shots they pushed them in an incredible 3 game match, but eventually lost 21-15, 18-21, 21-15.
Canada’s Grether and Reid Crushed
The womens doubles provided numerous byes to several pairs and few matches were played as a result, however Canada’s top ranked international pair Charmaine Reid and Nicole Grether fell to Shu Cheng and Bao Yixin 21-11, 21-6 which was surely a disappointment to the local fans. However, national champions Alex Bruce and Michelle Li remain and today have an important match in their Olympic qualification run against Americans Eva Lee and Paula Obanana.
Whilst Japan have interest in all five events, China’s involvement this week had ended at the quarter final stage.
Taufik Crashes Out
The big news for Europe is that there is another player capable of defeating the world’s elite in Marc Zwiebler. After his run to the semi final at the All-England, big things were expected and his two game victory over the top seeded Taufik Hidayat only confirms his credentials at the highest level. Tien Minh Nguyen is Zwiebler’s opponent in the semi final, after the 3rd seed defeated Bao Chunlai in two games to reach the last 4.
Lower Seeds Surprise
Few expected the defeat of both Lu Lan and Li Xuerui at the quarter final stage, but that is exactly what took place as both Japanese players reached the last 4. Lu Lan lost out to Tai Tzu Ying by the narrowest of margins, with the Chinese Taipei player winning the deciding game 22-20 to set up a semi final against Eriko Hirose. The Japanese 5th seeded defeated Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in two tight games to reach the last 4. Sayaka Sato’s upset over Cheng Shao Chieh hung on a knife edge as both players had match points, before the 8th seeded Sato won the match on her 5th match point to progress 27-25 in the decider.
Japanese and Korean Interest In Doubles
With 2 pairs in the men’s and mixed doubles, as well as 1 in the women’s doubles for the Japanese, they narrowly have the most pairings remaining in the doubles disciplines. Korea are also well represented, mostly down to Lee Yong Dae and Ha Jung Eun who are in 3 of the 5 Korean matches in the doubles tomorrow. Lee and Ko take on their third Japanese pairing in the men’s doubles in the semi finals, with the 6th seeded Kawamae and Sato standing in their way to the final. The second Japanese pairing in the men’s doubles is the 2nd seeded Hashimoto and Hirata, who take on the American pair of Bach and Gunawan who received a walkover to the last 4.
Korea have interest in both the women’s doubles semi finals, with Ha and Kim taking on the Japanese 2nd seeds Maeda and Suetsuna whilst the 8th seeded Jung and Kim take on the top seeded Cheng and Chien of Chinese Taipei. Lee and Ha combine in the mixed doubles to take on another Japanese pairing, this time the 6th seeded Ikeda and Shiota. The other semi final sees the unseeded Japanese pair of Sato and Matsuo take on the 5th seeded pairing of Chen and Cheng of Chinese Taipei.
The big Japanese contingent that travelled to the US Open have impressed and have defeated several seeds on route to the quarter final stages whilst some of the biggest names in Japanese badminton struggled on day 3.
Top Seeds Safely Into Last 8
There was little trouble for the top seeds in their 3rd round matches, with top seeded Taufik Hidayat booking his quarter final place against Marc Zwiebler of Germany, seeded 6th this week. The other quarter final in the top half of the draw sees the 3rd seeded Tien Minh Nguyen take on the 5th seeded Bao Chunlai, with all four players progressing without the loss of a game in their 3rd round matches. Boonsak Ponsana’s reward for defeating Takuma Ueda is another Japanese opponent in the 7th seeded Sho Sasaki.
Four Nations Remain
The women’s singles has a symmetry at the quarter final stage, with two competitors from four nations remaining. Two from China, Japan, Thailand and Chinese Taipei with one player from each nation in either half of the draw. Eriko Hirose and Porntip Buranaprasertsuk fight it out at the last 8 stage to see who is the last seed remaining in the top half of the draw, whilst all four seeds remain in the bottom half, with 2nd seeded Cheng Shao Chieh coming through in three games against Ayane Kurihana to set up her quarter final against Sayaka Sato of Japan.
Aussie Delight in Men’s Doubles
The big shock of the day was the defeat of Cheng and Fang in the men’s doubles to Australia pair of Smith and Warfe in just two games to book their place in the last 8. The remaining 7 seeds progressed into the last 8 and the pick of tomorrow’s match sees Lee and Ko take on the Japanese pair of Endo and Hayakawa, whilst the American pairing of Bach and Gunawan take on the German 3rd seeds in Kindervater and Schoettler.
Fujii and Kakiiwa Out
The biggest casualty in the women’s doubles was the loss of the 3rd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa to China’s pairing of Ying and Yu in two games, but there is still two Japanese pairs through to the last 8 with Suetsuna and Maeda progressing in two games as well as Matsuo and Naito having better luck against their Chinese opponents, defeating them in three games to reach the last 8 to take on the 5th seeded Ha and Kim of Korea.
Matuso and Sato Stun Robertson and Wallwork
Japan’s excellent day in the doubles was completed with Matsuo and Sato’s two game victory over the 4th seeded Robertson and Wallwork. Lee and Ha continued their run in the event with a two game victory and take on the Chinese pairing of Qiu and Yixin who defeated England’s Olver and Ellis to compound a poor day for the English.
Day 3 Results:
This years US GP Gold event has produced a very quality field, with the likes of Bao Chunlai and Tine Baun using the event as preparation for the world championships in just 4 weeks time.
Top Seeds Through In Men’s Singles
Top seeded Taufik Hidayat has been a regular player at this event for a number of years and is safely into the last 16 with a pair of straight forward wins to set up a 3rd round match against Chetan Anand of India, who defeated the 13th seed Brice Leverdez in two games to round the last 16. 3rd seeded Tien Minh Nguyen has a similar story to Hidayat, with two straight forward victories and a 3rd round match against an Indian opponent, only the 3rd seeded takes on the 12th seeded Kashyap who has also been impressive on route to the 3rd round.
Bao Chunlai is the third big man in the top half of the draw, the 5th seed defeated Carl Baxter of England in the 2nd round to set up a last 16 clash with Japan’s Keigo Sonoda who defeated the 10th seeded Kazushi Yamada in his 2nd round match. The bottom half of the draw is dominated by the Japanese, with 3 players of the 8 remain on that half of the draw. Boonsak Ponsana, the highest seed in the bottom half takes on one of the Japanese players, 14th seeded Takumi Ueda. Both players have been in good form this week and have failed to drop a game on route to the 3rd round.
Baun Crashes Out
Top seed Tine Baun was the main name of interest in the women’s singles, but her run lasted all of 40 minutes as she crashed out to Kaori Imabeppu of Japan in just two games to set up the biggest shock of the week to date. Imabeppu’s reward for defeating Baun is a second round match against Lu Lan of China. The 2nd seeded Cheng Shao Chieh had little trouble in reaching the last 16, where she takes on Ayane Kurihara of Japan in another draw that has a big Japanese contingent still in the draw.
Seeds Safely Into Second Round
The opening rounds of the doubles have been fairly easy for the seeded pairs in all three events. Top seeded Fang and Lee were tested in their opening round match against Austria’s Koch and Zauner but the Chinese Taipei pair came through safely in two games. Lee and Ko of Korea join forces for the first time just a month ahead of the world championships, with the 5th seeds taking on Hirobe and Kazuno of Japan in their second round match in their first main test of the new partnership. The 7th seeded Bach and Gunawan faught through a three-game opening round match to progress into the last 16, where they take on the English pair of Clark and Langridge.
Cheng and Chien progressed into the second round of the women’s doubles without much resistance, but have a tougher test against the Singapore pairing of Sari and Yao in the second round. Japan’s involvement is also apparent in this event also, with 2nd seeded Suetsuna and Maeda as well as 3rd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa both progressing into the last 16, as well as the 4th seeded Matsuo and Naito, who take on the Chinese pairing of Yixin and Cheng in the second round.
Yixin is also in the mixed doubles, and with her partner Qiu YIhan defeated the 2nd seeded Fuchs and Michels in the opening round of the mixed doubles to set up a 2nd round match against Ellis and Olver of England. Lee and Ha are also in the field and they also defeated a seed in the opening round in the 7th seeded Jongjit and Amitapal of Thailand, they take on Shin and Kim in the second round in an all-Korean match.
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.
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.
Lee Chong Wei Returns With Power
After skipping over the recent Singapore Super Series last week we are treated to the return of Lee Chong Wei to the Super Series circuit. A lot of speculation has been going around about whether Lee Chong Wei will be able to repeat his victory over Lin Dan at the All Englands or if it was an isolated incident of Lee not crumbling under pressure. So far the Malaysian shuttler doesn’t seem bothered as he easily brushed aside local hopeful Tommy Sugiarto 21-16, 21-8. Indonesia’s top player and local hero Taufik Hidayat had a scare in his first round against Daren Liew 30-28, 21-23, 21-12. Hidayat will have a greater test in his next match against Bao Chunlai. One of the few surprises of the day was Boonsak Ponsana’s withdrawal for unknown reasons.
China Smoothly Through
China’s womens shuttlers had mixed fortunes on day 1 with top seeded Wang Shixian moving smoothly passed Ai Goto 21-9, 21-17 while her compatriot Wang Xin fell in three games to Tai Tzu Ying 15-21, 21-15, 21-19. Korea’s fifth seeded Bae Youn Joo fell to Juliane Schenk 15-21, 22-20, 21-14 while the remaining seeds went through with only a few serious challenges.
Mogensen and Boe Return After Singapore Withdrawal
After pulling out in Singapore Denmark’s Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen are hoping to erase that memory here in Indonesia and are off to a good start. They ousted their Japanese opponents Hirokatsu Hashimoto and Noriyasu Hirata in two games 21-11, 22-20. While not an upset on paper the crowd was no doubt disappointed to see former Indonesian hero Tony Gunawan and his current American partner Howard Bach lose to Germany’s Johannes Schoettler and Ingo Kindervater 22-20, 21-15.
Womens Doubles Maintain Status Quo
The only upset in the womens doubles came in the loss of Japan’s Maeda Miyuki and Suetsuna Satoko. The Japanese pair fell to Korea’s Kim Ha Na and Jung Kyung Eun with little resistance 21-13, 21-12. China’s top seeds Wang and Yu made short work of their first round opponents Dewi and Gozali 21-11, 21-8.
Finally in the mixed doubles we’re seeing similar unsurprising results as all of the seeded pairs are through with limited challenges. Only seconds seeds Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam were stretched to three games against Germany’s Fuchs and Michele.