Peter Gade was hoping to earn his second victory over Lee Chong Wei in their 14th meeting, only for it to turn into his biggest defeat to the world number 1 ever.
Lee Claims Second Premier Title
The on-form Lee Chong Wei’s performance this week will undoubtably make him the favourite in London in just over 6 weeks time. The 21-11, 21-7 win over Peter Gade will be one of the standout performances of this year, purely for the dominating nature and the ease that he won the title this week. Wang Yihan claimed her first Premier Series title with a three game victory over Saina Nehwal, where she saved a match point in the second game before coming through 12-21, 23-21, 21-14 in 65 minutes.
Doubles Delight For China
The Chinese monopoly on the doubles events loomed large this week, with the all-Chinese men’s doubles final being won by Cai and Fu over Chai and Guo in a straightforward 21-13, 21-12 victory for the 3rd seeds. The women’s doubles final was also a very one-sided affair as the top seeds and world championship favourites Wang and Yu defeated Indonesia’s Marissa and Melati 21-12, 21-10 to claim China’s 3rd title. The mixed doubles title was also won by the top seeded Chinese pair of Zhang and Zhao, who defeated the Indonesian pair of Ahmad and Natsir in three games after dropping the opening game and battling back to win 20-22, 21-14, 21-9.
It was the final that few people expected with Lin Dan returning, but few people will begrudge Gade a place in the final.
The world number 1 has been relentless in his route through to the final, his two game victory over Chen Long was his longest match of the week but was never in threat of dropping even a single game in his 21-17, 21-18 victory. Gade defeated the on-form Sho Sasaki who has beaten Lin Dan and Chen Jin on route to the semi final, but Dane has been been in excellent form this week and won with his biggest margin of victory of the week, winning 21-11, 21-14 to reach the final.
Saina Pushed To The Brink
Saina Nehwal’s recent events have been littered with tough openers, but this week she was given the chance to play her way into form and has delivered with a place in the final. Her toughest match was her semi final against Cheng Shao Chieh, who herself put out a pair of Chinese seeds to reach the semi final, but the Indian 4th seed was too strong, winning 21-14, 14-21, 21-17. Her opponent in tomorrow’s final is the 3rd seeded Wang Yihan of China, who has been very impressive this week in her route to the final. The Chinese player hasn’t dropped a game this week and defeated her team-mate Jiang Yanjiao in outstanding fashion in her semi final, winning 21-13, 21-12.
Indonesia’s Pair Of Chances
The men’s doubles will be an all-Chinese affair between Cai and Fu, seeded 3 against Chai and Guo, seeded 8. Both pairs came through their Indonesian opponents, with Cai and Fu defeating Kido and Setiawan in two games whilst the pair of Chai and Guo were pushed to the limit by Ahsan and Septano before winning in three games.
The unseeded Marissa and Melati booked their place in the women’s doubles final with a two game victory over Fujii and Kakiiwa in an impressive 21-12, 21-12 victory. They take on the top seeded Wang and Yu in the final, who were equally impressive in their 21-10, 21-12 victory over Pedersen and Rytter Juhl in the over semi final.
Ahmad and Natsir are also through to the mixed doubles final after beating the 2009 world champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl in two games but also face the top seeded Chinese pair in the final. Zhang and Zhao defeated Chen and Cheng 21-17, 21-17 to book their place in the final, without the loss of a game this week.
Day 2 in New Delhi provided one of the unexpected days in the history of the Super Series as countless seeds fell in almost every event today, from top seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in the mixed doubles to Tine Baun in the women’s singles.
The top three seeds in the men’s singles all survived their second round matches in two games to progress into the last 8, with Lee Chong Wei taking on Indian qualifier Sourabh Verma who defeated the 7th seeded Kenichi Tago in three games to reach the quarter final. Peter Gade takes on his 3rd Japanese player this week in Takuma Ueda in tomorrow’s quarter final, with Gade’s victory over Sho Sasaki in his second round match. Taufik Hidayat takes on the 6th seeded Park Sung Hwan in his quarter final match after the 2nd seed won his second match in two games to reach the last 8.
Tine Baun’s chance to claim victory after Saina Nehwal’s early departure lasted just one day as the 2nd seed lost out to Singapore’s Chen Jiayuan in two games, who goes on to play Sayaka Sato of Japan in the quarter final. Bae Youn Joo of Korea becomes the highest seeded player left in the draw and faces a tough task in the quarter final against Yao Jie, seeded 7th this week. The top half of the draw has been decimated to just one seed in Yip Pui Yin as 5th seeded Eriko Hirose and 6th Sung Ji Hyun both crashed out today to unseeded players.
The men’s doubles has faired well in comparison to other events with 6 of the 8 seeds making the quarter final stage, with the biggest name to crash out to day being the 2nd seeded Ahsan and Septano losing to team-mates Septura and Pratama. Indian hopes also ended with 8th seeded Thomas and Kumar losing out to another unseeded Indonesian pair in Sugiarto and Wirawan to reach the last 8. Top seeded Koo and Tan started off with a routine two game victory, but their biggest test to date will be in the last 8 against Cho and Kwon of Korea.
Just three seeds remain the women’s doubles event as the second round claimed it’s share of casualties today, with the exception of the top two seedings from Japan. Maeda and Suetsuna safely progressed in two games to set up a quarter final against unseeded Koreans Jang and Kim whilst 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa were just as clinical to set up match against Jung and Kim, also of Korea. 4th seeded Jauhari and Polii are the only other seed left in the draw and take on the Malaysian pair of Chin and Wong in their quarter final match.
Sato and Matsuo claimed the biggest shock of the mixed doubles this week with their two game victory over top seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam to reach the last 8. Widianto and Marissa are rolling back the years this week to reach the last 8 where they will take on their Indonesian counterparts, 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir for a chance to reach the last 4. Second seeded Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul safely reached the last 8 with a two game victory and will take on the 5th seeded Chan and Goh of Malaysia who needed three games to defeat their unseeded Indian opponents Dewalkar and Gadre to reach the quarter finals.
Day 2 Results:
India’s main chance of success in their first Super Series event took a massive dent on the opening day of play with top seeded Saina Nehwal crashing out in the last match of the day to Ai Goto of Japan.
There were shocks in the men’s singles also, with 4th seeded Boonsak Ponsana crashing out as well as 5th seeded Simon Santoso being losing out on the opening day of play. There were no such problems for Lee Chong Wei who progressed in two tight games against Ajay Jayaram whilst Taufik Hidayat had little problems in reaching round 2. Peter Gade struggled through in three games against Kazushi Yamada and takes another Japanese player in Sho Sasaki in the second round.
The weight of a nation lay on Saina Newhal for the second time in less than a year but this time it was far from the fairytale ending with her 21-17, 21-19 loss to Ai Goto stunning the crowd at the end of play this evening. The seven other seeds progressed with varying results, with 2nd seeded Tine Baun needing three games to defeat Xing Aiying of Singapore. Yip Pui Yin and Eriko Hirose are the main beneficiaries of Nehwal’s early departure, with the top half of the draw opening up.
There was limited action in the doubles events on the opening day, with Sato and Matsuo setting up their second round match against Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in the mixed doubles. Marissa and Widianto are also through to the second round in the mixed doubles after defeating Fujii and Hashimoto of Japan.
Day 1 Results:
The question marks over the 2008 Olympic champions Lee and Lee making the World Championships were still unanswered as little as 3 weeks ago as Lee Hyo Jung pulled out of Macau just as Lee Yong Dae returned from his own injury layoff, however they are here in Paris. The Chinese squad come here without a seed in the top 5 and will look for an exceptional performance from one of three seeded pairings.
The top seeds are Widianto and Natsir and after their first round bye, they will play another Indonesia pair of Kurniawan and Bernadet ranked 14th in the world but not seeded for the world championships. The 11th seeded Chen and Chou is the other seeds in the section and play against Germany’s Schottler and Marinello for a place in the second round, the other match in the section is between Australian pair Raj and Renuga Veeran and Yoo and Kim of Korea.
Zheng and Ma are the 8th seeds, even though they are provisionally ranked 35th in the world and have failed to live up to the hype surrounding them for the past few years, could this year be their year? They begin their campaign against Zavadsky and Diptan of Ukraine, ranked 91st in the world. Also in this section is the 14th seeds, Thailand’s Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam who begin their campaign against Croatia’s Durkinjak and Poznanovic, the world number 58. The other match in the section is between Wong and Chau of Hong Kong, the world number 62 against the world number 52 pairing of Sam and Chloe Magee.
Poland’s Mateusiak and Kostiuczyk are seeded 3 for the event and have a tough opening match in the second round against the world number 27 duo of Triyachart and Yao of Singapore. This section will clearly be one of the toughest to progress through as the 9th seeded Diju V and Jwala Gutta take on the world number 21 pairing of Adcock and White of England. The final match of the section sees Chan and Goh of Malaysia take on the Belgian pair of Gillis and Corvillain.
The 5th seeded Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen are another high seeding with a tough opening match, against the 23rd ranked Sorokina and Nikolaenko of Russia in their second round match. The 12th seeded Ko and Ha from Korea have an easier start than the other seeds in the section, taking on Jacquet and Dumartharay of Switzerland. The first of the French pairings are in this section also, Careme and Choinet take on the Japanese pairing of Hashimoto and Fujii, who are both seeded in their level doubles events and could be a pairing to watch this week.
Lee and Lee are seeded 7 for the event, even thought they have a world ranking of 5. Perhaps there are still concerns of Lee Yong Dae’s injury, but the 7th seeds take on Larsen and Schjoett-Kristiansen of Denmark, ranked 32nd in the world and will test the Korean’s credentials in their opening game. The 16th seeded Lee and Chien have a tough match to start out also, against Russia’s Durkin and Vislova, ranked 31 in the world. The final match in the section sees Wiratama and Tse of Hong Kong take on Vietnam’s Duc and Ham, ranked 112 in the world.
The 4th seeds are another Indonesia pair in Gunawan and Marissa who begin their campaign against James and Edwards of South Africa, ranked 97th in the world. The 10th seeds Jiaming and Yawen take on France’s Rasadi and Labar in one of the weaker sections of the draw, with the final match of the section between world number 25 Ng and Gao against Hirata and Miyuki of Japan, ranked 34 in the world being easily the most competitive match in the section.
The big Chinese hope is in the 6th seeded He and Yu, who are ranked below Jiamind and Yawen but received a higher seeding. He and Yu begin their campaign against the Spanish pair of Longo and Ojeda. The 13th seeded Anugrtiayawon and Voravichitchalkul from Thailand take on the German duo of Overzier and Kindervater, ranked 67th in the world. The final match of the section sees Misha and Svetlana Zilberman of Israel take on Zirnwald and Prustch of Austria.
The final section sees the 2nd seeded and current World Champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl take on the Polish pair of Szkudiarczyk and Wojtkowska in the second round after their first round byes. The other seed in the section is the 15th seeds, Wallwork and Robertson of England who begin their campaign with a first round match against Prus and Atrashchenkov of Ukraine. The final match in the section is between the Bulgarian pair of Makarski and Dimova and Dutch pairing of Khoabux and Barning in an excellent matchup between the world number 36 and 39 in the world.
The 2009 World Championships runners-up are looking to go one better than last year, Lee Yong Dae missed most of the last 4 months with injury but Lee and Jung are the form partnership going into this months World Championships after a convincing 21-10, 21-16 victory over fellow Korean’s Cho and Kwon, the 6th seeds. The Korean success story continued in the women’s doubles, as Lee Hyo Jung put her injury scare in Macau behind her as she took the title with partner Kim Min Jung, defeating another unseeded Korean pair of Lee and Yoo, winning 21-14, 22-20.
Top seeds Hendra Gunawan and Vita Marissa claimed the mixed doubles title in an all-Indonesian final, taking the title in three tight games against the 5th seeded Ahmad and Natsir and claiming revenge for their two game loss to Ahmad and Natsir in Macau just last week, winning 22-20, 14-21, 22-20. Title number two for Indonesia came in the men’s singles with 3rd seeded Simon Santoso defeating the unseeded Korean Shon Wan Ho in a impressive two game victory to boost his confidence ahead of the World Championships in Paris later this month.
The local support had their own reasons to celebrate as Cheng Shao Chieh took the women’s singles title, defeating 3rd seeded Bae Sueng Hee of Korea. Cheng defeated the 8th, 4th and 3rd seed to take the title after a 78 minute marathon, winning 21-11, 24-26, 21-17.
Day three brought swift endings to many as only one of the 20 scheduled games lasted over the hour mark as many of the unseeded players found the quality of the seeded players too much to overcome in their quest to make the last 4. Robert Blair and Gabrielle White lasted just 28 minutes on court with the 3rd seeded Gunawan and Marissa of Indonesia in the opening mixed doubles quarter final of the day.
Laybourn and Rytter Juhl were equally impressive in their victory over their Indian opponents Valiyaveetil and Gutta, seeded 6. Top seeded Widianto and Natsir had to come from a game down against Bonde and Pedersen of Denmark, before booking their place in the last 4. Boonsak Ponsana was brutally harsh on Dicky Palyama in their singles encounter, winning 21-14, 21-5 in just 27 minutes to set up a semi final clash with Peter Gade, who came from a game behind against Simon Santoso to book his match against the Thai 4th seed.
The big shock of the day came in the final match of the day with Lee Chong Wei losing in three games to Sony Kuncoro, the top seeded Malaysia was far from dominant this week and his loss to the Indonesian 7th seeded was not as big a shock as it could have been with Lee Chong Wei clearly out of sorts this week. The other top seeded singles player, Saina Nehwal had little trouble defeating her unseeded Chinese opponent Li Xuerui, setting up another match against Chinese opposition in Lu Lan, the 4th seed.
The women’s doubles lost it top seeded pair still in the draw with 3rd seeded Nedelcheva and Russkikh crashing out to 5th seeded Kim and Lee of Korea. The men’s doubles lost its 3rd seeded pair in Boe and Mogensen as they lost out to Fang and Lee of Chinese Taipei.