With the cancellation of the Estonian International last week the Swedish International is the first EBU tournament of the new year, and a strong field is in play after a short holiday break.
While the Danes may be upset with the loss of Jan O Jorgensen across the globe in Malaysia, they have reason to maintain their hope for the future today. Another young rising star seems to be coming up the ranks as Viktor Axelsen fought his way past Sweden’s top player Henri Hurskainen in three long games, and then also defeated his compatriot Sune Gavnholt in two tight games to book himself a place in the quarter-finals. In the next round he will have to face off against another Dane Kasper Ipsen. A strong performance in his first ever EBU event.
Perhaps the upset of the day comes with Finnish Ville Lang the second seed falling to Swedish qualifier Mattias Borg in two relatively quick games 21-13, 21-14, only to lose the next round to another Finnish player Eeto Heino.
Chinese qualifier Rong Bo is back at it again after a strong performance last month in Ireland. Today she defeated 8th seeded Chloe Magee and Alesia Zaltsava to earn her quarter-final place against Tatjana Bibik.
While the Danes are fairing well in the mens the women are struggling a bit more. The only Danish woman left is Camilla Sorensen who managed to upset the second seed Maja Tvrdy in three games 21-15, 15-21, 21-11, and then followed that up with another win over Japan’s Mizuho Muramatsu 21-16, 16-21, 21-16 to make it to the quarter-finals against England’s Elizabeth Cann.
Heading into the semi-finals at the Bitburger Open and Denmark is looking strong with two semi-finalists in the mens singles. On the top Eric Pang from the Netherlands will be facing off against Hans-Kristian Vittinghus. Pang defeated India’s Anand Pawar in three games 21-10, 16-21, 21-6 while Vittinghus had a much easier time against Raul Must winning in two easy games 21-9, 21-11.
On the bottom of the draw we have England’s Carl Baxter facing off against Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen. Baxter defeated Ukrainian Dymtro Zavadsky in three thrilling games 16-21, 21-19, 21-17, and Jorgensen defeated Finland’s Ville Lang in two easy games 21-16, 21-10. The odds are stacked against Baxter in this one, but Jorgensen is still young so anything can happen.
Very few surprises in the women’s singles. At the semi-final stage only the fourth seeded Elizabeth Cann failed to live up to her billing, instead Yu Hirayama takes her place against Ella Diehl. On the other side of the draw we have Yao Jie against Germany’s hometown favourite Juliane Schenk.
For full results and live scoring from tomorrow’s matches visit the link below:
Bitburger Open 2009 Draws
We are heading into the quarter-finals of the Bitburger Open, and so far India has suffered the biggest upsets with both Chetan Anand and Arvind Bhat losing out. The top seeded Anand lost to his fellow teammate Anand Pawar in two quick games 21-16, 21-13, while Bhat lost to Dmytro Zavadsky from the Ukraine 21-18, 9-21, 21-17.
Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen is now the highest seeded player remaining in the draw, and with strong results recently this is his opportunity to show the badminton world that he is the next European to hold his ground against the Asians. If he can’t win back in Europe it will be hard for him to show his stuff against the Asians. Jorgensen plays the eighth seed Ville Lang next.
England’s Carl Baxter had the benefit of Petr Koukal falling unexpectedly to Germany’s Sven-Eric Kastens, giving the Englishman a somewhat easier, but still challenging match to book his place in the quarter-finals against Zavadsky.
For more results, and to see the full line up of matches visit the draw link below:
Bitburger Open 2009 Draws
Just as I predicted, Taufik has beaten Peter Gade. I also must add that this is a particularly gutsy prediction seeing as Gade has been playing well the past few months, and Taufik has done very little over the last couple years. Taufik won the match in two straight games 21-17, 21-18 and now faces Lee Chong Wei in the semi-finals. My money is still on Taufik. Lee Chong Wei has yet to really be tested, he lost a game in the first match of the tournament, but I’m sure that was just a bit of a slow start for him. Taufik on the other hand has had a few tough matches, so he is more ready for a battle than Lee Chong Wei is.
On the other side of the draw we’ll see Lin Dan aginst Chen Jin. Lin Dan thumped Joachim Persson while Chen Jin barely snuck out a win against Sho Sasaki. My money is on Lin Dan for this one, he is out to make a point that he is the world’s best, too bad Taufik will show him what’s up in the finals!
This is what I’m looking forward to seeing the results from tomorrow, Gade vs Hidayat. I’m betting on Hidayat, my friend Stephan is betting on Gade. I would normally agree with Stephan, but this is the only title that Hidayat has not won yet, and I think he is going to really put his everything into this event. He had a close one today against England’s Andrew Smith, but don’t underestimate Smith, he is good.
None of the other matches have the same intrigue that this one does. Joachim Persson may be able to challenge Lin Dan, but it’s unlikely. Persson has yet to have another breakthrough since his really big win over Kuan Beng Hong, and Lin Dan is looking as fierce as ever. Chen Jin will beat Sho Sasaki hands down, and Lee Chong Wei will definitely beat Ville Lang who is only at the stage he is at because Sony Dwi Kuncoro dropped out. I would say that overall today was a fairly boring, routine day, and what we saw was an example that in spite of the depth, the top 8 or even the top 5 players, are a fair bit better than the rest (or at least way more consistent). Anyway, tomorrow should be more exciting than today!
Yonex All England Open Super Series 2009 Draws
This has to be the upset of the day, Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen defeated Malaysia’s Wong Choong Han in straight games 21-13, 21-15. He didn’t just win, he won decisively, and in spite of Wong Choong Han slowly fading into the twilight of his career, this is a big win for Jorgensen. What makes this especially exciting for Jorgensen is that he now plays Joachim Persson, a player that many view as the next great Danish hope, but perhaps Jorgensen can lay claim to that title tomorrow? Elsewhere in the draw Germany’s Marc Zwiebler had a very big win as well over Boonsak Ponsana winning 22-20 in the third, and Ville Lang defeated Dicky Palyama in three games as well. These were certainly the surprises of the day.
Peter Gade has continued his strong super series performances with a clear win over Simon Santoso 21-14, 21-13, while my pick Taufik Hidayat struggled against Hsieh Yu Hsin, but managed to win in three.
Tomorrow should have some very intriguing matches, particularly amongst the the Chinese players who are all playing each other! Yes that’s right, Gong Weijie plays his juniors nemesis Chen Jin, while Lin Dan plays his juniors nemesis Bao Chunlai. These are some ridiculous matches to have in the second round, well at least the Lin Dan vs Bao Chunlai match is. I will go with the favourites in both of these matches, Lin Dan and Chen Jin will win. To top things off though, they are all in the same half, which means there will NOT be an all China final, I like that.
I’m nervous about my Taufik pick, but I’m thinking it’s just a bit of jitters, he’ll pull things back together and perhaps it’s even good for him to have an early round challenge to keep him sharp, just so long as his fitness can handle it.