The Chinese events are always predominantly made up of home players and most of the mainstays of the Super Series tour, but even so the Chinese success on Day 1 should not be underestimated. Only the retirement of Wang Xiaoli in her opening round Women’s Doubles with Yu Yang will be considered a disappointment on a day dominated by the home nation.
Wang Xin got the day off to the perfect start with a 2 game victory to progress into Round 2, the other seeds progressed without much resistance as Wang Shixian progressed from a potentially harder match against Yip Pui Yin. Wang Yihan and Jiang Yanjiao also reached the last 16 and by the end of play, China had no less than 9 players into the last 16 of the women’s singles. 2009 World Champion Lu Lan is one of the nine through after defeating the 8th seeded Ella Diehl in two games to further boosts China’s compliment in the second round.
The men’s singles can also boast a similar story, with 8 of the last 16 players being from the home nation. The noticeable names in the second round are all potential winners of this event, Bao Chunlai received a first round bye, current world champion Chen Jin progressed with ease and the highest seed in the draw Lin Dan defeated Zhou Wenlong in an all-Chinese first round encounter. 5th seeded Chen Long is also through to the last 16 as well as relative unknowns such as Sheng Zhang, Lu Yi and Bin Qiao but the 8th Chinese player left in the draw, Du Pengyu defeated the 4th seeded Boonsak Ponsana to reach the second round.
Robert Blair’s trek from Glasgow has been a successful one as he and partner Flandy Limpele reached the second round today but face the big Chinese threat in the draw in round 2, Cai and Fu. The 5th seeded Chinese pair had little trouble being the 2005 world champions Bach and Gunawan in their opening round match. 4th seeded Lee and Jung also made a successful start to their campaign with a two game victory whilst the top seeded Boe and Mogensen received the only opening round bye. Commonwealth Games champions and 2nd seeded Koo and Tan are also safely into the second round with a two game opening round victory.
Yu and Ying were the big winners in the women’s doubles as they toppled the 3rd seeded Vislova and Sorokina in their opening round encounter and boosts the number of Chinese pairs in the bottom half of the draw to 5 out of a possible 8. With the top two receiving byes, the Russian 3rd seeds were the highest seed playing today. Ma and Zhong have made a successful start to their campaign by take on the Macau pairing of Zhang and Zhang, seeded 7th in the event.
Ma Jin’s success also spread to the mixed doubles, as her and partner He Hanbin set up a second round match with the 2nd seeded Mateusiak and Zieba with both winning in two games in their opening round matches. Yu Yang didn’t let her women’s doubles disappointment stop her reaching the second round of the mixed, as she and partner Xu Chen take on Jiaming Tao and Tian Qing in the second round tomorrow to guarantee one Chinese pair into the last 8.
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.
The Japanese interest in the final guaranteed at least one title, whilst top seed Yao Jie hoped to keep the women’s singles title in Holland this year. The day didn’t start well for the Japanese as they lost the women’s doubles final to the 2nd seeded Vislova and Sorokina who defeated the top seeded pairing of Fujii and Kakiiwa 21-19, 21-19.
However, Japan did secure it’s first title of the day in the men’s singles as Sho Sasaki beat unseeded Indian Ajay Jayaram in two games, winning 21-19, 21-16 in 37 minutes. The women’s singles had local interest with Yao Jie, top seed in the singles faced the 2nd seeded Juliane Schenk in the final. The pair shared the opening two games before Schenk prevailed in the third game, winning the 21-13, 14-21, 21-15 in just under an hour.
Valeria Sorokina secured title number two in the mixed doubles; with her partner Alexander Nikolaenko they defeated the Japanese 3rd seeds, Ikeda and Shiota 22-20, 21-9 to ensure Japan walked away with only two titles from the four finals. Title number 2 for Japan went to the top seeded Hashimoto and Hirata over their unseeded team mates, Hirobe and Kazuno with the top seeds winning 21-17, 21-13.
Picture Provided by Rene Lagerwaard
No less than four finals will have Japanese interest, with one all-Japanese final guaranteeing at least one success for Japan. Ajay Jayaram booked his place in the men’s singles final with a two victory over the 14th seed, also from India, Anand Pawar. He will play the 5th seeded Sho Sasaki of Japan in the final, after ending the chances of local success with a two game victory over Eric Pang.
The chances of all 5 finals having Japanese interest ended when Ai Goto was defeated by top seed Yao Jie in two games to give the local crowd some home-grown interest in tomorrow’s final. Top seeded Yao takes on the 2nd seeded Juliane Schenk after defeating Olga Konon in three games to book her place in the final.
The men’s doubles will be an all-Japanese final, top seeded Hashimoto and Hirata defeated Kindervater and Schottler to book their place in the final. The unseeded pair of Hirobe and Kazuno defeated their 3rd seeded countrymen Sato and Kawamae in three games to set up tomorrow’s all-Japanese affair.
The top two seeds meet in the women’s doubles final, as Fujii and Kakiiwa ended the Swedish pair of Lennartsson and Wengberg’s excellent run this week with a two game victory for the top seeded Japanese pair. Second seeds Vislova and Sorokina averted another all-Japanese final with a two game victory over the 3rd seeds Matsuo and Naito to book their place in tomorrow’s final.
The mixed doubles final is another Russia – Japan affair, with the 3rd seeded Ikeda and Shiota defeating their 6th seeded countrymen of Hayakawa and Matsuo in an 81 minute thriller, after the 3rd seeds lost the opening game 30-29. They play the 4th seeded Sorokina and Nikolaenko in tomorrow’s final after they ended the run of local pairing of Bosch and Jonathans in two games to set up the second Russia v Japan final.
Picture Provided by Rene Lagerwaard
Whilst Viktor Axelsen’s quest for title number 2 ended at the hands of Eric Pang, there was delight for India as they guaranteed themselves a place in the men’s singles final. Ajay Jayaram continued his excellent run whilst Anand Pawar defeated Ireland’s Scott Evans in just over an hour to book his place in the all-Indian semi final. Chetan Anand could not make it 3 Indians in the last 4, as he lost out to Sho Sasaki of Japan.
The big local hope is in the women’s singles, as Yao Jie made it through to the last 4 with a three-game victory over Ukraine’s Larisa Griga. She takes on Ai Goto of Japan, who defeated Pai Hsiao Ma in two games. The second semi final is an all-German affair with 2nd seed Juliane Schenk taking on Olga Konon after both came through comfortably in two games in their quarter finals.
The shock in the men’s doubles was the defeat of 6th seeded Endo and Hayakawa to unseeded German pairing of Schottler and Kindervater, losing 24-22 in the third game. The other seeded Japanese pairs had little trouble, with both the top seeded Hashimoto and Hirata as well as Sato and Kawamae making it through to set up a semi final clash against each other.
Wengberg and Lennartsson ended the 4th seeded Jonathans and Van Dooremalen’s dreams of a home victory to join the top 3 seeds in the semi finals of the women’s doubles. Both top seeds Fujii and Kakiiwa as well as 2nd seeded Vislova and Sorokina won in two games, with Matsuo and Naito coming through in three games to book their place in the last 4.
Japan will definitely have a finalist in the mixed doubles, with 3rd seeded Ikeda and Shiota defeating Vislova and Durkin in their quarter final and in the all-Japanese quarter final, the 6th seeded Hayakawa and Matsuo progressed through. The top half of the draw has local interest in Bosch and Jonathans, they take on the 4th seeded Nikolaenko and Sorokina of Russia in the semi final.
Picture Provided by Rene Lagerwaard
More seeds toppled as the 16 seeds that started the men’s singles has become just 5, with three unseeded players putting their names into the equation. Russia’s Ivan Sozonov defeated the last Danish seed in the draw, Christian Lind Thomsen in three games to leave Viktor Axelsen as the last Dane in the draw. His stunning 21-10, 21-7 win over the 15th seeded Pablo Abian is a real statement of intent for this week, he takes on 6th seeded Eric Pang in the last 8. Ajay Jayaram is the last of the unseeded trio, defeating 13th seeded Kestutis Navickas in two games to set up a match with Sozonov in the quarters.
The women’s singles boasts the same quota of seeds at the last 8 stage. Unseeded Chinese Taipei player Pai Hsiao Ma takes on the 3rd seeded Ai Goto in the quarters whilst the other two unseeded players face of in the 3rd of the quarter finals, as Iceland’s Ragna Ingolfsdottir takes on the newly nationalised Olga Konon of Germany, formerly of Poland. Yao Jie came through a tough test against Karina Jorgensen of Denmark to set up a match with Larisa Griga of Ukraine. The 4th quarter final sees Juliane Schenk take on Anastasia Prokopenko for a place in the last 4.
The men’s doubles got underway today and after two rounds there is a Japanese presence to the final 8, with 4 of the pairs being from Japan. All four pairs could make the last 4 as they all play in different quarter finals. Top seeded Hashimoto and Hirata take on Danes Elbjorn and Skovgaard in the first of tomorrow’s quarter finals.The 5th seeded Endo and Hayakawa take on the experience German pair of Kindervater and Schottler. The third of the seeded Japanese pairs, 3rd seeded Sato and Kawamae have the tough task of taking on the 8th seeded Russians, Durkin and Nikolaenko. The 4th Japanese pair, unseeded Hirobe and Kazuno take on the 2nd seeded Ellis and Mills of England.
The women’s doubles opening round was a brief affair, with all 8 of the matches being won in two games. All 4 of the seeded pairs are through to the last 8, with the top seeds Fujii and Kakiiaw and 3rd seeded Matuso and Naito giving the draw another Japanese vibe to it. The Japanese vibe continues in the mixed doubles, but it is without the top seeded Japanese pair, Hashimoto and Fujii losing out to the Dutch pairing of Bosch and Jonathans, leaving the Russian pair of Nikolaenko and Sorokina as the highest seeds in the top half of the draw, as the 4th seeds. The bottom half of the mixed draw is littered with Japanese pairings. Only the 7th seeded Russian pairing of Vislova and Durkin break into a Japanese monopoly, led by their quarter final opponents, Ikeda and Shiota who are seeded 2 for the event. The final match of the quarters is an all-Japanese affair between the 6th seeded Hayakawa and Matsuo and unseeded pair Hirobe and Matsutomo,
The winners of the previous two European events progressed into the third round at the expense of two of the top four seeds. Ajay Jayaram defeated Manuel Batista of Italy in the opening round and then defeated the top seed Marc Zwiebler in two games also to progress into the last 16. Victor Axelsen, recent winner in Cyprus International is also through to the third round, defeating the 4th seed and fellow Dane Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in three games to boost his credentials as Denmark’s third best player. Axelsen also received the news that will be in the qualifying for the Danish Super Series next week also. Dicky Palyama also surprisingly lost out to Shuhei Hayasaki in two games, leaving just Chetan Anand as one of the top 4 seeds remaining in the draw.
If the men’s singles was full of shocks, the women’s singles is the complete opposite. Every seed successfully progressed into the last 16, with the top two seeds Jie Yao and Juliane Schenk winning in two games. Ai Goto was a two game winner also, whilst 5th and 6th seeds Linda Zechiri and Larisa Griga had to come through tough three game encounters to book their place in the last 16.
The mixed doubles lost it 2nd seed, Atrashchenkov and Prus to Japanese pair of Hirobe and Matsutomo in two games. They join four other Japanese pairs in the last 16, including top seeds Hashimoto and Fujii and 3rd seeds Ikeda and Shiota. The Russian seeds are also still in the draw, with 4th seeded Nikolaenko and Sorokina and Durkin and Vislova both progressing without the loss of a game.
The Chinese domination of the 2009 Women’s Doubles looks likely to attempt a double in 2010 with 4 of the top 7 seeds being Chinese, with a new world champion guaranteed also with the 2009 champions with Zhang and Zhao not taking part this year.
The top seeds are the young Chinese pairing of Ma and Jin, much is expected of them after making the semi finals last year and they start their campaign in Round 2 against the American pairing of Wang and Wang, ranked 43rd in the world. The 11th seeded Sari and Yao from Singapore also receive a bye into round 2, and they will play the winner of Cooper and Slee of Australia and Ideh and Maria of Nigeria who are both ranked outside the top 100 in the world.
The Korean pair of Ha and Kim are seeded 6 for the championships and begin their run to the final against the world number 72 Swiss pairing of Gruber and Jacquet in round 2. The 16th seed Gutta and Ponnappa start in round 1 against Barning and Muskens of Holland, before a likely matchup between the winners of the Edwards and Viljoen of South Africa and Ulitina and Voytsekh of the Ukraine.
Last years beaten finalists look to go one better as the 4th seeded Cheng and Zhao begin with a first round bye before taking on Chang and Chou of Chinese Taipei, the world number 96. They are joined in this section by 14th seeded Thai pairing of Arronkesorn and Voravichitchaikul who take on the Greek duo of Karkantzia and Ligomenou, ranked 147th in the world. The other match in the section sees two of Europe’s best pairings go at it for a place in round 2 as Overzier and Marinello of Germany take on Denmark’s Damkjaer and Schjoett-Kristiansen, with both pairings ranked inside the top 30 in the world.
The 5th seeded Japanese pairing of Miyuki and Suetsuna has a first round bye before taking on the Spanish pairing of Molina and Ojeda, ranked over 100 places lower in the world rankings. The 10th seeded Bulgarian/Russian partnership of Nedelcheva and Russkikh take on the French pairing of Choinet and Rasidi The final match in the section is between England’s young pairing of Wallwork and White take on Canada’s St. Jacques and Cloutier for a place in round 2.
8th seeded Koreans Hyun and Jung take on the Canadian pair of Gao and Ko, ranked 53rd in their opening match after a first round bye, they are joined in their section by one of the top pairings on the EBU Circuit in Sorokina and Vislova who are ranked 12th for the event. They take on Ukrainian pair Prus and Kobtseva in their opening round match and the final match sees another French pairing of Chanteur and Matias take on Czech duo Basova and Krizkova for a place in round 2.
One of the form pairs of the last month are seeded 3rd, Chinese Taipei pairing of Cheng and Chien are the duo to look out for after wins in the US and Chinese Taipei in the last month, they begin with a second round match against Hong Kong’s Chan and Chau. The other seed in the section are the 13th seeds Amitapal and Munkit of Thailand who take on Scotland’s Mason and Bankier who are both coming back from long-term injuries. The other match in the section is between Denmark’s Roepke and Kristiansen and Holland’s Van Dooremalen and Jonathans.
The 7th seeded Pan and Tian might receive a first round bye, but their second round opponent will be a match for any partnership this season, they take on Korea’s Lee and Lee for a place in Round 3. The 9th seeded Japanese pairing of Fujii and Kakiiwa are the other seeds in the section and take on Yeh and Yeh of the USA in their opening round match. Also in the section is the world number 25 pairing of Lennartson and Wengberg of Sweden, who take on Australian pair of Veeran and Tang for a place in the second round.
The 2nd seeds begin their campaign against local pairing Fontaine and Luttmann for a place in round 3 of the competition. The 3rd Japanese seeded pair of Matsuo and Naito are the 15th seed for the event and take on the Polish pair of Poczyowiak and Wojtkowska for a place in the second round. The final match in the section sees the Belgian #1 duo of Annys and Corvillain take on Finland’s Rautala and Virta for a place in the second round of this years World Championships.
Women’s Doubles Draw
Day two had the remaining teams play their opening matches, as well as the arrival of Nigeria’s men’s team to the competition, albeit a day later than expected.
Korean booked their place in the last 8 with a 5-0 win over Peru, meaning that China also qualify from Group Ar after their 5-0 win yesterday over the South Americans. Tomorrow’s match sets up to be a winner-take-all between Korea and China to see who tops the group. Japan is also through to the last 8 after defeating Nigeria 5-0, who arrived for this group match unlike yesterdays forfeit over Malaysia. The Nigerian’s failed to win a single game in any of the 5 matches against a relentless Japanese side. Hosts Malaysia will play tomorrow against the Japanese to determine the group winner, as well as the anticipated rematch between Kenichi Tago and Lee Chong Wei.
Germany defeated Poland 5-0 to dump the Poles out of the tournament, setting up a Zwiebler – Gade rematch tomorrow in the final Group C match to find out the group winner. Dieter Domke also has to continue his excellent form to stand a chance against Jan O Jorgensen in the second singles match tomorrow. Indonesia easily disposed of India in the Group D encounter, winning the match 4-1 overall but the main news from the match is Sony Dwi Kuncoro’s retirement in his singles against Arvind Bhatt, with the Indonesian player suffering a back injury in the second game of his match. India and Australia will play in the final group match tomorrow, with the winner progressing into the final 8.
Malaysia’s women started their campaign with a comfortable 5-0 win over the USA, conceding just two games in their victory. Both China and Malaysia are through from Group A, but will play tomorrow in the final league match to determine the top spot in the group,
Group B seen Denmark take on Australia, with the European powerhouses expected to coast into the last 8 with a comfortable victory. It started well for them with Camilla Sorensen’s two game victory over Erica Pong, but the next hour was a disaster for the Danes, with Karina Jorgensen losing to Renuga Veeran 20-22, 13-21 and then Mette Poulsen’s stunning collapse to Chia Chi Huang 11-21, 5-21 gave Australia an unlikely 2-1 lead. Pedersen and Rytter Juhl were needed to win just to keep Denmark in the rubber, 28 minutes later, the score was level at 2-2 with a 21-12, 21-19 victory for the Danish pair. Kristiansen and Ropke played the final match for Denmark against Tan and Huang of Australia, it resulted in the longest match of the five, but the Danes came through in two games, winning 21-13, 21-16 to book their place in the last 8, eliminating Australia but leaves a big question mark over Denmark’s credentials in the competition.
Juliane Schenk continued her run of good form to give Germany another lead today, this time against Russia as Schenk defeated Ella Diehl 21-16, 21-13 to give Germany a 1-0 lead in the rubber. It was the only lead that the Germans would have, as Bibik and Prokopenko thrust Russia into a 2-1 lead with tight victories over Schnaase and Deprez of Germany. Sorokina and Vislova made it 3-1 with a two game victory over Overzier and Schenk and the new partnership of Diehl and Russkikh completed the rout with a two game victory to book Russia’s place in the last 8.
India’s women had a better day than their male counterparts, defeating South Africa 5-0 to book their place in the last 8. Saina Newhal was on court less than 20 minutes in her victory over Kerry-Lee Harrington, with the remaining four matches taking just 79 minutes to be completed. India take on Korea tomorrow to determine top spot in the group.
Denmark dominance of European badminton was proved yet again with finalists in 4 of the 5 final in Manchester today, only the women’s doubles finalist was certain to have a non-Danish winner.
The top 2 seeds met in the men’s singles final in an All-Danish affair between Peter Gade and Jan O Jorgensen. The opening game started off evenly, with neither player about to create a gap of any merit. Towards the middle of the opening game, Peter Gade begun to string runs of 3 and 4 points together to create a sizable gap that Jorgensen was unable to pull back, Gade served out the opening game from 19-14 to win the opener.
The second game started well for Jorgensen, taking an early 6-2 advantage before the 4-time European champion strung 8 consecutive points together to take a 10-6 lead in the game. Jorgensen fought back to 10-12 but Gade reeled off another 7 point run to take a 19-10 lead which he was never going to give up and served out from 19-11 to take his fifth European title.
2nd seeded Tine Rasmussen was hoping to continue her excellent run of form in 2010 with a victory over 3rd seeded Juliane Schenk of Germany. However, the opening game was very much dominated by the German. Schenk led at 17-12 before Rasmussen brought it back level at 17-17 and the momentum was with the Dane for the remainder of the game, with Rasmussen taking the opening game 21-19.
Schenk response in the second game was fantastic however, domination the game much like the first but this time continued to score points late on in the game and the German levelled the match, winning the second game 21-14. The first part of the third game was very nervy and tight, with neither player being able to pull out a gap. At 13-12, Rasmussen managed to pull out a 4 point gap to 16-12, a gap that Schenk was never able to pull back after saving 2 match points previously, Rasmussen finished the job with her third match point, winning the final game 21-19.
There was another all-Danish final in the men’s doubles as the rematch from the All-England final between Paaske and Rasmussen playing Boe and Mogensen. The top seeded Boe and Mogensen were keen to avenge their All-England defeat but the second seeded Paaske and Rasmussen led throughout the opening game, but squandered three game points at 20-17 to allow the top seeds back into the opening game. They received two more opportunities to win the opening game before converting on their sixth attempt to take the game 24-22.
The second game was a complete role reversal, with Boe and Mogensen dominating the game before failing to convert on two game points at 20-18. Paaske and Rasmussen put together a run of 4 points from 20-18 to win the second game 22-20 and take the European crown to add to their All-England title.
The top two seeds met in the final, with three of the four players coming from Russia. The second seeded Russian duo of Nina Vislova and Valeria Sorokina had failed to drop a game on route to the final and that record remained unchanged with a fabulous display against the top seeded Nedelcheva and Russkikh, winning 21-18, 21-14 in just under three quarters of an hour.
Another clash of the top two seeds took place in the mixed doubles final between World Champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl of Denmark and the 2009 Hong Kong Super Series winners, Mateusiak and Kostiuczyk of Poland. The match was three games of dominating badminton, with few lead changes throughout the games. The Danish pair dominated the opening game, with the second seeded Poles never leading in the opening game that they lost 21-19. The second game was a complete reverse, with the Polish pair dominating the second game, allowing the Danes to lead only twice in the entire second game at 1-0 and 6-5. Mateusiak and Kostiuczyk took the second game 21-18 to set up a third game.
The final game was a mirror of the first game, with the Danish pair leading from the start and not letting the Polish pair have a chance to take any kind of lead in the game. The 2nd seeds pulled it back to 13-12 before the world champions strung together 8 consecutive points to add the European title to their world crown, winning the match 21-19, 18-21, 21-12 in exactly one hour.