Denmark’s best chance of a title ended before play even started today, with Boe and Mogensen’s withdrawal and it went from bad to worse in the doubles for the Danes.
Peter Gade was one Danish highlight, with a two game victory against Tommy Sugiarto and he has been joined in the last 16 by another two Danes. Jan O Jorgensen defeated Kenichi Tago in two games to set up a second round match against Lin Dan, who also progressed comfortably into round 2. Viktor Axelsen reversed the result from last week’s Thailand Open and defeated Wong Choong Hann in two tight games to reach the second round, where he takes on the 7th seeded Bao Chunlai. Taufik Hidayat survived an early scare to reach the second round where he takes on Wang Zhengming of China, whilst world champion Chen Jin also survived a scare in the opening round before progressing to take on the 8th seed Park Sung Hwan.
The women’s singles continues to entertain in the early rounds, with Saina Nehwal against coming through against the 2009 world champion Lu Lan in three games to reach round 2. The second round sees an intriguing all-Chinese match between top seeded Wang Shixian and Wang Lin, the current world champion. The other two Chinese seeds progressed safely into the second round from their half of the draw, whilst Tine Baun is the main European threat in the draw and faces Sayaka Sato of Japan in her second round match.
The big shock in the mens doubles is the defeat of 3rd seeded Ko and Yoo to unseeded German pairing Kindervater and Schoettler in three games, further opening up the top half of the draw. There were more surprises as the 5th seeded Lee and Fang lost out to Indonesia’s Chandra and Gunawan, to leave the 7th seeded Chai and Guo as the lone seeds remaining in the top half of the draw. The bottom half was more straightforward for the seeds, with all 4 coming through their match in two games to reach the last 16.
The new Chinese pairing of Ma and Pan lasted just 76 minutes this week, before falling to the top seeded Maeda and Suetsuna. All England semi finalists Ropke and Damkjaer Kruse progressed in the tightest of matches, winning 23-21 in the deciding game to reach the last 16 and a match with the Chinese pairing of Tian and Zhao. There are 4 Japanese pairs into the last 16, with one all-Japanese match set for the second round as 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa take on the unseeded Misaki and Takahashi for a place in the last 8.
Denmark’s strength in the mixed doubles discipline was dealt a huge blow with all three pairings crashing out in the opening round. 5th seeded and 2009 world champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl lost out to Sato and Matsuo of Japan in two games, whilst the 3rd seeded Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen lost tamely to Chen and Cheng of Chinese Taipei 21-15, 21-15 and the third pairing of Pieler Colding and Houmann faired the best of the three, but still lost out to Japanese pairing of Ikeda and Shiota. Top seeded Zhao and Zhang survived a three game match to progress into the last 16 and are joined in the top half of the draw by two other Chinese pairs of Xu and Ma as well as He and Yu.
The first morning at the All England saw seeds tumble on a regular basis before the afternoon brought the best players in the world show to off their ability. However, play ended with the biggest shock of the day with the defeat of Taufik Hidayat.
World championship quarter finalist Kazushi Yamada crushed the 2nd seeded Hidayat in a one-sided 21-14, 21-10 victory that took just over 30 minutes and opened the bottom half of the draw for the likes of Lin Dan to capitalize on. The Chinese have a strong showing with six players in the last 16 and the biggest name of them all is safely into the second round as Lin Dan progressed to set up a second round match against Rumbaka of Indonesia. Last years beaten finalist Kenichi Tago takes on last years semi finalist in Peter Gade in the second round this year, both progressing without difficulty today.
Lee Chong Wei was in superb form to set up a tough second round match against the 4th of last years semi finalists in Bao Chunlai, with the Chinese player impressive in his 21-10, 21-6 win over Sony Kuncoro in his opening round match. The Danish presence in the draw is down to just the 4th seeded Gade, with Jan O Jorgensen and Joachim Persson both crashing out on the opening day. World champion Chen Jin survived a tough opening game against Rajiv Ouseph before cruising to a 2 game victory and a second round match against Germany’s Marc Zwiebler. Continue reading »
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The second SuperSeries Premier event of 2011 takes place this week in Birmingham as the All England Championships take centre stage this week. Lin Dan is looking to regain his title and take his second Super Series Premier title whilst defending champion Lee Chong Wei will be looking for revenge after his Korea Open defeat to Lin Dan.
Lee Chong Wei is the top seed this week and starts his campaign against Sho Sasaki of Japan before a potential second round match against the winner of Bao Chunlai and Sony Kuncoro, both players have been seeded in Super Series events in the past few years but such is the strength and depth of the draws in the Premier events, they meet in the first round this week. The 8th seed Boonsak Ponsana faces a tough test against Simon Santoso in his first round match and the winner will likely play Joachim Persson of Denmark for a place in the last 8. Continue reading »
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The opening Premier event of 2011 ushers in a new era for badminton, with added prize funds now over $1,000,000 there is suddenly a massive incentive to play in these “Premier” events that will ultimately attract the best players in the world. The opening round in Korea has provided the strongest field since the World Championships in August, perhaps even stronger than that due the depth of certain nations that allows them to field more than 4 players from their nation.
The clear favourite going into this week is Lee Chong Wei, dominant in Malaysia in his home event and looking to be in similar form to his impressive 2010 campaign. He will need to be at his very best for his opening round match when he takes on the world number 9 Jan O Jorgensen in his opening round match, such is the depth of talent in this event. Potentially all of his opponents this week will be ranked inside the top 25 in the world, nothing that could ever be boasted before this week. The question marks over Lin Dan’s withdrawals over the last couple of months should end here, with no Chinese players in his half of the draw for him to conveniently withdraw before player, the chance of seeing the dream final against Lee Chong Wei is a strong possibility. However, he must overcome a qualifier in Round 1 and the potential of playing his long-time rivals Taufik Hidayat and Peter Gade in the later rounds is going to test the 6th seed to the very limit.
There are other high-caliber matches in the opening round in the singles, world number 4 and 4th seeded Chen Long takes on the world number 7 Tien Minh Nguyen who did not receive a seed for this week’s event and the on-form Simon Santoso takes on Boonsak Ponsana who will be looking to play better than last week in Malaysia.
The women’s singles will undoubtably be a mainly Chinese affair, with 4 of the 6 top seeds coming from China. Only Saina Nehwal (seeded 4) and Tine Baun (seeded 5) potentially posing any sort of challenge before the all-Chinese matches later in the week than has been the story of much of the later half of 2010. Top seed Wang Xin could have an all-Chinese match as early as the second round with Liu Xin a potential opponent, there is also Lu Lan and Li Xuerui in the draw to boost the potential for a Chinese monopoly this week. Wang Shixian takes on the world number 16 Salakjit Ponsana in her opening round match whilst the world number 5 Tine Baun’s campaign begins against Li Xuerui, seeded just six places lower than her in the current rankings. Saina Nehwal’s campaign will not run into a Chinese opponent at least until the semi final, but will potentially have a meeting with Germany’s Juliane Schenk to reach the last 4.
Local favourites Lee and Jung are hoping to retain their title from last year where they triumphed as the top seeds, 12 months later and they are the 6th seeds and begin with a match against the 2005 world champions Bach and Gunawan with Kido and Setiawan as well as Koo and Tan in their half of the draw. There is also potential banana skins in the draw with the unseeded Chinese pairings throughout the draw, Zhang and Xu are also in the bottom half of the draw whilst the likes of last weeks winners Chai and Guo who were seeded last week in Malaysia and play their opponents from that final in Conrad-Petersen and Rasmussen in the opening round this week, with a potential matchup against Cai and Fu waiting in round 2. The top seeded Danish pair of Boe and Mogensen could almost boast to have an “easy” draw until the last 8, taking on the world #16 pairing of Gan and Tan of Malaysia in their opening round match.
The women’s doubles is one of the events this week where seedings simply don’t matter, this about how is on form that week, especially with the Chinese ladies playing at such a high level over the past few months. The two “favourites” for this week are the 6th seeded Wang/Xu and 7th seeds Cheng/Ma from China who are both in the top half of the draw whilst another Chinese pair is expected to come out of the bottom half for the expected all-Chinese final on Sunday. The other four seeds simply have to stop that happening, with top seeded pair Chien and Cheng taking on the Danish pair of Pedersen and Rytter Juhl and the 2nd seeds from Japan, Maeda and Suetsuna having to play into some sort of form before the expected matchup with the 5th seeded Chinese pair of Du and Pan.
Ma Jin’s excellent run with He Hanbin seemed to be a temporary one, as Yu Yang has returned as He Hanbin’s partner this week in what must be an increasingly annoying situation for one half of the current mixed doubles world champion. However her partner this week is the excellent Xu Chen but they begin their campaign against the 3rd seeded Polish pair of Mateusiak and Zieba. The main news from the mixed doubles draw is the withdrawal of the top seeded pair of Laybourn and Rytter Juhl, with Thomas Laybourn not recovering from an injury that cut his SuperSeries finals appearance short earlier in the month. The top half of the draw has been opened up for a Chinese monopoly with 4 pairings in the top half of the draw. 8th seeded He and Yu and 5th seeded Zhang and Zhao will look to capitalise on the opportunity. The bottom half is not without some excellent pairings also, with last week’s runners up Tian and Jaiming seeded 6. Ko and Ha are the big local hope, seeded 4th and taking on the German pairing of Fuchs and Michels in their opening round match.
Even without Gade or Baun picking up a title last week in Odense, Danish badminton is on a real high after their trio of titles. Jan O Jorgensen proved his credentials as a Super Series winner and the teenage sensation Viktor Axelsen breezed through the qualifying rounds to add another Danish contender in the biggest events for years to come.
Peter Gade returns to action this week, or he will at least try on Wednesday. He is unsure himself about the level of his play going into tomorrow’s opener against Carl Baxter. Last week’s winner Jan O Jorgensen takes on Przemyslaw Wacha in a tough opening round match and could face another rematch with Viktor Axelsen in the second round, however the 16-year old faces the tough task of defeating Du Pengyu of China in his opening round match. 2nd seeded Taufik Hidayat also starts with a tough opening round match against Wang Zhengming, the Chinese qualifier.
Pi Honygan will be under similar pressure as when the World Championships were held in August with a nations expectation on her shoulders. Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying is the French 3rd seeded first round opponent on the show court on Wednesday afternoon. Wang Yihan continues to play whilst most of the Chinese squad have opted not to play in Europe this month, she takes on Marie Maunoury of France who came through the qualifiers to reach the main draw. Tine Baun will want to put last week’s disappointment behind her with a strong performance this week, she starts her campaign against Elena Prus of Ukraine.
Last weeks winners of the men’s doubles, Boe and Mogensen look to continue their excellent run of form this week, they take on the French pairing of Careme and Grosjean in their opening round match. Last week’s runners-up will hope to go one better as Kido and Setiawan start their campaign against the Dutch pairing of Bosch and Ridder.
The Japanese contingent that has been progressing deep into tournaments has chosen not to play in France this week, leaving the door open for last weeks runners-up, Vislova and Sorokina to go one better this week. The seeds for the women’s doubles have a European look to them, with 7 of the 8 seeds coming from a European nation.
One big name pairing who are playing this week are the top seeds in the mixed doubles, Marissa and Gunawan of Indonesia. They start with a tough opener against Durkin and Vislova of Russia. Last weeks winners Laybourn and Rytter Juhl start against the American pair of Lee and Ho whilst last weeks runners-up Robertson and Wallwork start against Moren and Pocztowiak of Poland in their opener.
Even without Tine Baun or Peter Gade featuring on finals day, Denmark had the opportunity to win three of the five events. Jan O Jorgensen delivered upon the hype that he is the future of Danish badminton after Peter Gade’s retirement with a two game victory over 2nd seeded Taufik Hidayat, whose drought in 2010 continues. The 21-19, 21-19 scoreline hides Taufik’s mid-game collapse in both games, allowing Jorgensen to win 6 consecutive points and led for the remainder of either set.
The Chinese monopoly on the women’s single continues, with top seed Wang Yihan took on unseeded Liu Xin in an all-Chinese final. The two game victory for the top seeded Wang Yihan was one of the more one-sided of finals day, with the top seed winning 21-14, 21-12 in 41 minutes with the unseeded Liu Xin never having a lead late on in either game to have a chance to take it to a third game.
The most one-sided final came in the men’s doubles, with the top two seeds meeting in the final. It was the top seeded Danish pair of Boe and Mogensen demolishing the second seeded Kido and Setiawan 21-13, 21-12 in just 31 minutes to double Denmark’s titles on home turf. The Danish pairs 10-point run in the middle of the second game ended any resistance from the Indonesian 2nd seeds.
The Japanese contingent will be satisfied with it’s women’s doubles title, with the top seeded Maeda and Suetsuna defeating the 6th seeded Matsuo and Naito also of Japan in two games, winning 21-17, 21-14 in just over a hour in the longest match on finals day on Odense.
Denmark’s third title came from the 2009 world champions, Laybourn and Rytter Juhl who defeated the 6th seeded Robertson and Wallwork in the mixed doubles final in three games. After the pairs exchanged games with both winning their respective games 21-12, the higher seeded Danes never gave the English pair an opportunity to lead in the deciding game, with Laybourn and Rytter Juhl taking the third game 21-9.
The day begun with optimism that Peter Gade could take his 4th Denmark Open title, only for the top seed to pull out with a back injury that plagued his previous week of training. There are three Danes into the last 16, Joachim Persson produced an excellent two game win over Carl Baxter and the home crowd has it’s dream second round encounter as Jan O Jorgensen will take on Viktor Axelsen after both recorded first round wins. The match will take place tomorrow night at 7.10 local time as Axelsen hopes to defeat Jorgensen just as Jorgensen defeated Gade in last years event.
There were wins for the 2nd seed Taufik Hidayat over Danish qualifier Emil Vind as well as 3rd seeded Boonsak Ponsana, who edged out Kazushi Yamada in three games. Last weeks Dutch Open winner Sho Sasaki is through to the second round and faces an all-Japanese match against the 5th seeded Kenichi Tago.
The women’s singles has had it’s fair share of shocks today, top seeded Wang Yihan lost her opening game against Jeanine Cicognini before progressing in three games. 3rd seeded Pi Hongyan was not as fortunate as she crashed out to Petya Nedelcheva in two games whilst 6th seeded Juliane Schenk lost her opening game to Sayaka Sato before winning the next two to progress into the last 16.
Denmark has the guarantee of at least one pair in the men’s doubles quarter final, as Boe and Mogensen take on Bonde and Kristiansen after both pairs come through their opening round matches in two games. Japan are well represented in the draw, just like last week in the Dutch Open. 4th seeded Hashimoto and Hirata as well as 8th seeded Endo and Hayakawa progressed safely into the last 16 and are joined by qualifiers Hirobe and Kazuno after a three game victory.
Four of the last 16 couples in the women’s doubles are also Japanese with the host nation only managing three couples into the second round. All eight seeded pairs who had an opening round match safely progressed in two games apart from the 3rd seeded Nedelcheva and Russkikh and 7th seeded Jonathans and Van Dooremalen who needed three games to progress into the second round.
Top seeded Mateusiak and Zieba survived their opening round scare against Setiawan and Russkikh, eventually progressing in three games. Both of Denmark’s seeded pairings are also safely into round 2, Fischer and Pedersen coming through a tight two game match whilst Laybourn and Rytter Juhl were taken to three games by the Russian pairing of Nikolaenko and Sorokina, who won the Dutch Open last week.
The 2010 Denmark Open is without many of the top Chinese players and no Lee Chong Wei in the men’s singles, but the absence of these players is Denmark’s advantage as Peter Gade goes into the singles as the top seed, as well as Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen in the men’s doubles. Jan O Jorgensen and Tine Baun offer outside chances of another threat to the singles titles, also going to attempt to make the main draw is Denmark’s newest star, Viktor Axelsen. A streak of late pullouts has offered him the opportunity to make a name for himself on the Super Series circuit.
The men’s singles is littered with potential winners, unseeded this year is Joachim Persson who is a former top 10 player, Kazushi Yamada who made the world championship quarter finals and last weeks winner in Holland, Sho Sasaki. Taufik Hidayat is the big threat to Danish success this week; he starts with a qualifer before likely to take on the winner of the Carl Baxter – Joachim Persson matchup in an intrigued 2nd round encounter. The most intriguing sub-plot is a potential all-Danish second round match featuring Jan Jorgensen against Viktor Axelsen, should the 16-year old progress through 3 rounds of qualifying and a first round match against Mathieu Lo Ping Ying. Denmark’s biggest hope will undoubtedly be Peter Gade, who begins is campaign on Wednesday against Wong Wing Ki of Hong Kong. However, there is talk of Gade carrying a back injury that may hamper his chances this week.
One of China’s biggest stars had made the trip to Odense, Wang Yihan is looking to regain her #1 spot after losing the place to Wang Xin after the World Championships in Paris in August. She begins on Wednesday morning with a match against Jeanine Cicognini of Switzerland. Tine Baun is seeded 2 and starts with an opening round match against Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand.
The men’s doubles top seeds are also from Denmark, as Boe and Mogensen take on Goh and Teo of Malaysia in the first round on Wednesday night. Their biggest challengers will be Kido and Setiawan of Indonesia who start with a match against Kawamae and Sato of Japan in their opening round.
The women’s doubles has a similar feeling to the Dutch Open last week, with the seeds being littered with Japanese players. Maeda and Suetsuna are seeded 1 for the event and receive a first round bye, the second seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa also receive a first round bye. The main challenges to Japanese success will come from the Bulgarian/Russian partnership of Nedelcheva and Russkikh who are seeded 3rd for the event and take on Danes Skelbaek and Heisbol in round 1.
Poles Mateusiak and Zieba take the top seeding in the mixed doubles, but there is plenty of Danish challengers waiting, like the 2009 World Champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl, seeded 3rd for the event but have a tough opener against last weeks Dutch Open winners, Sorokina and Nikolaenko of Russia. Fischer and Pedersen of Denmark are seeded 5th for the event also and face a qualifier in round 1. 2nd seeded Gunawan and Marissa of Indonesia take on Wiratama and Tse of Hong Kong in their opening match on Wednesday morning.
Picture Provided by Rene Lagerwaard
Another two top seeds crashed out on a day of shocks in Paris as several big names crashed out on quarterfinals day.
The men’s singles suffered two major casualties, both on the top half of the draw as World #1 and top seed Lee Chong Wei was defeated by a re-energised Taufik Hidayat who continues his excellent run at this years event with a three-game, 61 minute victory over the Malaysian. Many expected a classic match against Lin Dan in the semi finals, only for Park Sung Hwan of Korea to end the Chinese 3rd seed run at the last 8. His 21-13, 21-13 win over Lin Dan sent shockwaves in the draw, piling pressure on Gade to seize the opportunity that the days play had offered him, a chance at the world championship.
Chen Jin awaited the winner of Gade’s match, securing his place in the last 4 with a three-game win over Hsueh Hsuan Yi of Chinese Taipei in 64 minutes. Peter Gade entered the arena as the clear fans favourite and delivered a masterful performance over Kazushi Yamada, winning in two games 21-19, 21-12 to set up a semi final clash with Chen Jin.
The second seed in the women’s draw crashed out as Saina Nehwal was comfortably beaten by the 6th seeded Wang Shixian of China, the two game 35 minute encounter was completely dominated by the Chinese player who rightfully deserved her place in the semi final in her first world championships. Her opponent in the semi finals is the 3rd seeded Wang Xin of China, who ended the hopes of a French world champion with her 21-13, 21-15 win over Pi Hongyan in 34 minutes.
The other semi final features Wang Lin of China, the 7th seed avenged the defeat of Wang Yihan today with a two game win over Eriko Hirose, winning 21-16, 21-17 to take on the last European in the draw, Tine Baun of Denmark. The 4th seed defeated the unseeded Cheng Shao Chieh in two games to set up her last 4 encounter with Wang Lin.
The top seeds in the men’s doubles are still in the competition, as Koo and Tan defeated last years finalists Lee and Jung in three games in a 72-minute encounter to set up a semi final against Guo and Xu who defeated Paaske and Rasmussen in two games to reach the last 4. The other semi final sees the second seeded Kido and Setiawan, who defeated the 6th seeded Fang and Lee take on the form duo of the competition and reigning champions, Cai and Fu of China. The 5th seeds defeated Mogensen and Boe in a clinical 41-minute, two game victory to set up a semi final against the 2nd seeds.
The top four seeds in the women’s doubles remain intact at the semi final stage, with top seeds Ma and Wang coming through their quarter final in three games over Ha and Kim of Korea to set up an all-Chinese semi final against 4th seeded Cheng and Zhao. The other semi final sees the 2nd seeded Du and Yu take on the 3rd seeded Cheng and Chien who have both reached the last 4 without the loss of a game this week.
The top seeds in the mixed doubles also fell today, with Widianto and Natsir losing to Zheng and Ma of China, the 8th seeds in two games. The 12th seeded Ko and Ha are also an unexpected pair to be still in the draw at this late stage, they defeated the 9th seeded India pairing of Diju and Gutta in two games in the first match on Court 2 today.
The other semi final is features another unlikely duo, the 16th seeded Lee and Chien of Chinese Taipei who defeated the 10th seeded Jiaming and Yawen in three games in just under a hour to book their place in the last 4. They will play He and Yu of China after their two game victory over the current world champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl in 43 minutes.