Malaysia have dominated play at their home GP Gold event with Lee Chong Wei as well as Koo and Tan giving plenty reasons for celebration going into the weekend’s play.
Lee Taken To Three
Chong Wei Feng gave the world number 1 a scare in his quarter final, taking Lee Chong Wei to three games before the top seed eventually advanced into the semi final. His opponent in the semi final is Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia, a player who narrowly missed out on the Olympic qualifying standard but has been in excellent form this week. The third seed defeated Sourabh Varma of India to ensure his third straight two game victory on route to the last 4.
The other semi final sees the unseeded Sony Dwi Kuncoro take on Muhammad Hafiz Hashim, with hopes of an all-Malaysia final looming large. Kuncoro needed 76 minutes to defeat the 5th seeded Ueda of Japan to ensure his place in the last 4 whilst Hashim has progressed through with four easy wins.
One Seed Left In Women’s Singles Draw
Only P.V. Sindhu remains from the four seeds that started the week, with the Indian taking on Sayaka Takahashi who is looking to reach her highest ever world ranking. Currently 100th in the world, her previous best was 98th but a good run this week would see her top that. The other semi final features Xing Aiying of Singapore and Busanan Ongbumrungpan of Thailand. The duo played just 6 weeks ago and despite being ranked 90 places lower in the rankings, it was the Thai player who won the match in Vietnam in two games.
Germany’s hope of a title on home soil lies with Juliane Schenk, the 3rd seeded topped the world number 2 Wang Xin to reach the women’s singles final.
Chinese Presence In Singles Finals
Lin Dan progressed into tomorrow’s men’s singles final with a straight forward two game victory over Tommy Sugiarto to stop any chance of an all-Indonesian final. Simon Santoso defeated Jan O Jorgensen in two games to set up a 10th meeting with Lin Dan, with his sole victory coming by way of walkover in 2007. Li Xuerui takes on Juliane Schenk in the women’s singles final after the 2nd seed topped Gu Juan in her semi final in two games.
Lee Going For Two Titles
Lee Yong Dae has successfully reached the mixed and men’s doubles finals, losing just two games on route to both finals. Lee and Jung defeated the Japanese pairing of Endo and Hayakawa but their 2nd seeded team-mates Ko and Yoo crashed out in the second semi final to the unseeded pair of Hong and Shen. This is the 6th meeting between the pairs, with the top seeded Koreans winning the previous 5 matches.
The 7th and 8th seeds will play in the women’s doubles final, with the 7th seeded Jung and Kim defeating the 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa to reach the final. The second semi final saw the 8th seeded Huan and Tang defeating Cheng and Pan in an all-Chinese semi final. The 8th seeded Chinese pair hold a 1-0 advantage in the head to head in previous meetings.
Lee and Ha needed over an hour to defeat the unseeded Japanese pairing of Sato and Matsuo before booking their place in the mixed doubles final. Their opponent will be the 2009 world champions, Laybourn and Rytter Juhl who defeated the 2nd seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in the second semi final. This will be the first meeting between the world number 7 and 8 pairings.
The week begun with high hopes for Marc Zwiebler and Juliane Schenk, but going into the weekend there is only Juliane Schenk left in the draw from all of the German entries that started the week.
Jorgensen Keeps European Hopes Alive
Lin Dan progressed into the semi finals with a tough two game victory over Hans-Kristian Vittinghus where he will take on Tommy Sugiarto after the Indonesian defeated Ville Lang in his quarter final encounter. Simon Santoso ensured a double Indonesian threat with his victory over Shon Wan Ho but needed 79 minutes and also to save a match point to ensure his place in the last 4. Jan O Jorgensen defeated Wong Wing Ki in his quarter final in two game to ensure at least one European player still playing at the weekend.
Schenk Faces Toughest Task
Juliane Schenk claimed a three game victory over Inthanon Ratchanok in just over an hour to book her place in the semi finals. Her opponent in the last 4 is the top seeded Wang Xin, who needed three games to defeated Sung Ji Hyun which will give Schenk some hope of an upset tomorrow even though she has lost all of her three meetings with the world number 2 without taking a game in either. The other semi final sees Li Xuerui take on the unseeded Gu Juan of Singapore, with the added intrigue that Gu Juan beat the 2nd seed in their last encounter in China last September.
European Interest Down To 1
Only Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl have any hope of an Asian clean sweep in the doubles events, with the 4th seeds defeating Yoo and Jang in their quarter final and take on the 2nd seeded Thai pair of Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in the semi final. Lee and Ha take on the unseeded Japanese pair of Sato and Matsuo in the other semi final, with Lee Yong Dae looking for two titles this week.
Lee and partner Jung Jae Sung are through to the semi finals of the women’s doubles with a walkover against Kim and Kim in their quarter final match. They take on the unseeded pair of Endo and Hayakawa in their semi final match and the chance of an all-Korean final looms large with the 2nd seeded Ko and Yoo taking on Hong and Shen of China in the second semi final.
China have ensured a place in Sunday’s women’s doubles final, with Cheng and Pan taking on the 8th seeded Huan and Tang in the semi finals, with the seeded pair defeating the 3rd seeds Maeda and Suetsuna of Japan to reach the last 4. Fujii and Kakiiwa ensure at least some Japanese involvement, as the 2nd seeds take on the Korean pair of Jung and Kim in the other semi final.
It was a day of double disappointment for the German fans, as one of their unseeded doubles pairing crashed out but more surprisingly saw the exit of the 7th seeded Marc Zwiebler.
Lang Outlasts Thomsen
The opening match of the day turned out to be the highlight of the day, as Ville Lang and Christian Lind Thomsen played what could be the longest match of the year. The 104-minute encounter was one of the closest faught matches of the year to date, with the Finn coming through 19-21, 21-19, 21-16 to book his place in the last 8 against Tommy Sugiarto after the Indonesia defeated Lee Hyun Il in his third round match.
Hans-Kristian Vittinghus’ reward for defeating Marc Zwiebler in his third round match is a quarter final against the top seed Lin Dan. The Chinese top seed is the only seed remaining from the top 4, with 3rd seed Sho Sasaki losing out to Shon Wan Ho whilst the 2nd seeded Chen Jin was defeated by Wong Wing Ki in two games.
Schenk Into Last 8
The big German hope this week lay with the 3rd seeded Juliane Schenk and so far, she has progressed into the latter stages without much resistance. A tough test awaits in Inthanon Ratchanok but the German holds a 2-0 head to head record against the world number 11. The top two seeds have been just as impressive as Schenk, with Wang Xin taking on Sung Ji Hyun in her toughest match of the week to date whilst Li Xuerui takes on Hong Kong’s Chen Tsz Ka in her quarter final matchup.
Asian Dominance In Doubles
21 of the 24 pairs remaining in the three events are from Asia, with a lone Danish pair and two pairs from Germany making up the list. The men’s doubles is an all-Asia affair, with Lee and Jung taking on Kim and Kim in an all-Korean quarter final. The 2nd seeds Ko and Yoo take on the 5th seeded Hashimoto and Hirata of Japan in the last 8, but the Japanese pair have won their previous two encounters.
Marinello and Michels took full advantage of the loss of the top seeds by progressing to the last 8 after a victory over the pairing of Sari and Yao who defeated the top seeded Ha and Kim in the opening round. Their quarter final opponents are the unseeded Chinese pair of Cheng and Pan who defeated the 6th seeded Jauhari and Polii to reach the last 8.
The two European seeds in the mixed doubles still remain, with Laybourn and Rytter Juhl taking on the Korean pair of Yoo and Jang in their quarter final match whilst the 8th seeded German pairing of Fuchs and Michels also take on a Korean pair. The 3rd seeded Lee and Ha wait in the quarter finals with the winning pair being the sole seeded pair left in the top half of the draw after the exit of the top seeded Chen and Cheng to Korean’s Kim and Jung in two games.
Korea took every opportunity on finals day and walked away with four titles, with Ko Sung Hyun taking two titles in the doubles.
Tommy Sugiarto was the one that stopped the Korean monopoly on the titles this week, defeating 15th seed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in three games in the longest match of the day, with Sugiarto taking the title in three games 21-15 , 15-21, 21-17. The women’s title was won by Sung Ji Hyun, the 4th seeded also defeated her Thai opponent in the final in the 3rd seeded Inthanon Ratchanok, winning 22-20, 21-14 in 44 minutes.
The doubles was a Korean whitewash, with Ko and Yoo defeating their teammates Lee and Jung in a surprise victory with the 2nd seeds winning in two games, which levels their overall head to head at 3-3. Ha and Kim lost the opening game to Jauhari and Polii, only to fight back and take the 2nd game before the Indonesia pair had to retire at 2-0 in the deciding game to award the title to the Korean pair. Ko and Eom were the story of the mixed doubles, unseeded at the start of the week but defeated two seeds on route to the final before their best performance of the week in their victory over the top seeded Ahmad and Natsir in three games to claim the mixed doubles title.
The hope of a title remaining in Chinese Taipei ended today, with the defeat of Pai Hsiao Ma in the women’s singles and the top seeded Cheng and Chien crashing out of the women’s doubles.
They weren’t the only top seed to crash out, with Tien Minh Nguyen’s defeat to Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in two games and the Thai’s reward is a match with 6th seeded Tommy Sugiarto in the final. Sugiarto won the all-Indonesian semi final against Sony Dwi Kuncoro in 69 minutes and will take on the 15th seed in their first matchup for the title tomorrow.
Sung Ji Hyun ended Pai Hsiao Mai’s run at the semi final stage with a convincing two game victory, many expected an all-Korean final but Thailand’s 3rd seeded Inthanon Ratchanok defeated the 2nd seeded Bae Youn Joo in the other semi final in two games to book her place in the final against Hyun as the world number 12 and 13 do battle for the title.
There is one all-Korean final in the men’s doubles, as Lee and Jung take on Ko and Yoo. The top two seeds have progressed without much resistance this week and have quashed rumours that Lee and Ko were set to team up ahead of the Olympic Games next year. Jauhari and Polii ended the run of the top seeded Chinese Taipei pair of Cheng and Chien in one of the shortest matches of the day to set up a final against the 2nd seeded Kim and Ha who defeated the unseeded pairing of Hoo and Woon of Malaysia.
Lee and Ha’s run in the mixed doubles ended at the hands of Ahmad and Natsir, the top seeded Indonesians. However, one unseeded Korean pair did reach the final as Ko and Eom defeated their third seed of the week, this time it was the 3rd seeded Kurinawan and Bernadeth in their semi final as they continued their exceptional run this week of not losing a game to date.
The Korean squad has a massive interest going into the semi finals on Saturday, with a potential four titles on offer for Korea this week.
The only title that the Korean’s can’t win is the men’s singles, with Tien Minh Nguyen progressing in three games over Shon Wan Ho to end Korean interest in the event. Tommy Sugiarto is Nguyen’s main rival this week and the 6th seed will take on his team mate Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the semi final after the unseeded Indonesian defeated Malaysia’s Muhammed Hafiz Hashim in three games in their quarter final.
Pai Hsiao Ma has been the revelation in the women’s singles, after her defeat of the top seeded Cheng she added another victory over a seeded player in her victory over Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong in three games to reach the semi finals. Sung Ji Hyun is the opponent for the Chinese Taipei woman, with Korea also having interest in the other semi final with the 2nd seeded Bae Youn Joo who takes on Inthanon Ratchnok, seeded 3 this week.
The doubles are dominated by Korea, with three pairs in the last 4 of the men’s doubles including Lee and Jung who are the top seeded as well as the 2nd seeded Ko and Yoo with neither pair losing a game to date this week. Chien and Cheng are sole Chinese Taipei interest in the doubles in the women’s doubles and take on the 3rd seeded Jauhari and Polii of Indonesia. The 2nd seeds of Ha and Kim take on the unseeded Malaysia pair of Hoo and Woon in the other semi final.
The mixed doubles features two unseeded Korean pairs, with Lee and Ha defeating two seeds this week already in their route to the semi final. After defeating the 8th seeded Widianto and Natsir, they went on to beat the 4th seeded Lee and Chien but face their toughest task in the semi final as they take on the top seeded Ahmad and Natsir. The other Korean pair of Ko and Eom have also been in excellent form as they also defeated two seeds to reach the semi final, after their victory over the 2nd seeded Chen and Cheng they beat the 6th seeded Rijal and Susanto in two games to reach the semi finals against Kurniawan ad Bernadeth, seeded 3rd this week.
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.
With an excellent field present in Madrid this week, the first full day of action has provided some unlikely results in the singles events as well as some success for some of the future stars of the game.
Viktor Axelsen’s impressive win over 6th seeded Eric Pang was the talking point of the men’s singles draw, with the teenager defeating one of top European players in two games to book his place in the quarter finals. Top seeded Tommy Sugiarto was relentless in his 21-15, 21-3 win over Joachim Persson and sets up a quarter final against Spain’s own Pablo Abian in the last 8. Second seeded Hans-Kristian Vittinghus is also safely into the last 8 after a pair of two game victories and sets up a quarter final clash with Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Jen Tao who defeated the 7th seeded Ville Lang in a convincing two game victory.
Susan Egelstaff, seeded 2 was the highest seed to start the week in the women’s singles and has had little trouble in reaching the last 8 and will take on the Sashina Vignes Waran, seeded 8th in the quarter final. There is also Spanish interest with Carolina Marin who is also through to the last 8 and takes on Ireland’s Chloe Magee in the quarter final after the retirement of Nicole Grether in the second round match. Olga Konon is the highest seed in the top half of the draw and has had little trouble on route to the last 8, where she will play Kristina Ludikova of the Czech Republic.
The three seeds that started the week in the men’s doubles are still in the draw at the last 8 stage, with 2nd seeded Cwalina and Logosz taking on the Spanish pair of Leal and Ojeda in tomorrow’s quarter final. 3rd seeded Bosch and Ridder take on the Austrian pair of Koch and Zauner who came through a tight three game match against Gilmour and Campbell of Scotland. The only seed in the top half of the draw is 4th seeded Kasbauer and Zurwonne who came through a three game match to set up a quarter final against the Japanese pairing of Saeki and Taohata.
The top seeded Van Dooremalen and Jonathans are safely into the last 8 and take on the Spanish pair of Jimenez and Rodriguez. There has been more good fortune for the Spanish with the pairing of Molina and Ojeda not having to play a match to reach the last 8, they take on the English pair of Langley and Smith who defeated the 3rd seeded Mexican pair of Gonzalez and Montero. The 2nd seeded Reid and Grether are into the last 8 but question marks over Grether’s injury in the singles could be a factor in their quarter final match against Diaz and Lee.
The top two seeds are safely through to the mixed doubles quarter finals and are also joined in the last 8 by the 4th seeded Magee’s of Ireland. There is an all-Spanish quarter final also, with Longo and Ojeda taking on Lorenzo and Marquez for a chance to take on the winner of the Durkinjak/Ponzanovic versus Ng and Gao matchup.
Picture Provided by Rene Lagerwaard
All five of the top seeds reached the last 8 without much concern, but the quarter final was a hurdle that two top seeds stumbled at and opened the draw up for fellow team-mates and other seeded players to take advantage of.
Boonsak Ponsana was the first top seed to crash out today, losing in three games to the 9th seeded Tommy Sugiarto which opened the door for Tien Minh Nguyen to potentially take the title. That prospect lasted a mere hour as the 2nd seeded Nguyen lost to 6th seeded Sho Sasaki in another lengthy three game encounter to further open up the men’s singles draw.
An all-Chinese final is a real possibility in the women’s singles, with top seeded Liu Xin defeating 8th seeded Sayaka Sato to reach the last 4 where she will take on Inthanon Ratchanok of Thailand in the first of the semi finals. The other semi final is another Thailand v China clash, with 6th seeded Porntip Buranaprasertsuk taking on the unseeded Wang Lin with both secure two game victories in their quarter finals to reach the last 4.
The men’s doubles is loaded with Japanese pairs and of the four remaining duos, the highest seed still in the draw is the 5th seeded Endo and Hayakawa who defeated the 3rd seeded Gan and Tan to reach the last 4. Their opponents in the semi final are the top seeded Japanese pair of Hashimoto and Hirata who have failed to drop a game to date. The second semi final sees the 4th seeded Kawamae and Sato, also of Japan take on the 2nd seeded Chandra and Gunawan. Both duos have been on top form this week and have failed to drop a game to date.
The top seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa crashed out in the women’s doubles to the Malaysian pair of Chin and Wong in a tight three game match. They set up a semi final match against another unseeded pair in the Hong Kong duo of Poon and Tse, who defeated the 3rd seeded Singapore pairing of Yao and Sari. The other semi final features another unseeded pair in the Chinese partnership of Xiong and Ou, who take on the only seed left in the draw in Matsuo and Naito of Japan, the 4th seeds who have failed to drop a game to date this week.
The mixed doubles is another event with 4 of the top 5 seeds left in the draw, with top seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam defeating Widianto and Natsir to reach the last 4 against the 5th seeded pair of Hashimoto and Fujii, who defeated the 4th seeded Wong and Chau to reach the semi final. The other semi final is another Thailand – Japan match up with the 3rd seeded Ikeda and Shiota taking on the Thai 2nd seeds of Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul, who defeated the unseeded Malaysia pair of Ng and Tan in a three game match late on Friday evening.
Day 4 Results: