A rain-shortened day in Singapore has delayed some players opening round games until Thursday such as Peter Gade but even down one court for most of the day the organisers almost completed a full days play, with several seeds crashing out throughout the day.
The unknown Chinese players in Singapore are making a name for themselves as Li Xuerui defeated 8th seeded Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong 21-4, 21-14 in just 22 minutes to explode onto the Super Series stage within the opening hour of play. 3rd seed Zhou Mi crashed out in the opening round as her terrible run of form in the 2010 Super Series continues. Saina Nehwal had no trouble in her opening round match, defeating Wong Mew Choo 21-8, 21-5 to book a 2nd round match against the European Circuit Finals champion, Ella Diehl. 4th seeded Lu Lan, who is not taking part in the World Championships in Paris after dropping out of China’s top 4 (currently China’s #6) but is still ranked inside the top 10 in the world has to wait until tomorrow to start her campaign against Ai Goto of Japan.
The biggest casualty in the men’s draw is Jan O Jorgensen, seeded 5 for the event as Dicky Palyama defeated him in three tight games. Peter Gade and Tien Minh Nguyen start their campaigns off tomorrow after the rain delay forced their matches into tomorrow’s order of play. Lee Chong Wei made hard work of his opening match against Brice Leverdez after losing the second game before recovering to take the match in three games. Joachim Persson scored an excellent victory over Marc Zwiebler of Germany in three games to set up a 2nd round match against Sony Kuncoro.
The top two seeds are into Round 2 of the Mixed Doubles, top seeded Widianto and Natsir had to come back from a game down to set up a all-Indonesian 2nd round match with Ahmad and Polii. World Champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl had no problems in progressing to round 2, where they will face the English pair of Heather Olver and Anthony Clark. There was mixed fortunes for the English contingent in Singapore as 8th seeded Robertson and Wallwork were defeated in three games by local pair Triyachart and Yao in Round 1.
With the absence of world number one Lee Chong Wei, Taufik Hidayat was billed as the top seed. However the Indonesian player failed to make it to the quarter-finals stage as he fell to Chinese Taipei’s Hsueh Hsuan Yi in two games 22-20, 21-16. Next up for Hsueh will be All England runner up Kenichi Tago who defeated Hong Kong’s Chan Yan Kit.
An upset on paper, but hardly a huge surprise was the loss of Vietnam’s Tien Minh Nguyen to Malaysia’s Hafiz Hashim. The lanky Malaysian won in three games 21-19, 14-21, 21-15 to book his place in the quarter-finals against Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana. Number 2 seed Lin Dan has yet to be pushed thus far with a quick 21-8, 21-17 win over Chou Tien Chen from Chinese Taipei.
Saina Nehwal has managed to maintain her top billing thus far with a win over Julia Pei Xian Wong 21-14, 21-16. Saina’s next round will however be more challenging where she faces Malaysia’s top player Wong Mew Choo. Hong Kong’s Yip Pui Yin failed to live up to her number 4 seeding when she lost poorly to Chinese qualifier Li Xuerui 21-13, 21-8. Another match to watch tomorrow will be the showdown between Salakajit Ponsana and Zhou Mi, however the edge surely goes to Zhou.
Japan had a bad day today in the mens doubles losing both of the teams who were seeded 8th and 2nd. Kenichi Hayakawa and Kenta Kazuno were the first to fall when they lost to Malaysia’s Mak Hee Chun and Tan Wee Kiong 21-17, 21-19. Next it was Hirokatsu Hashimoto and Noriyasu Hirata losing to yet another Malaysian pair Hoon Thien How and Ong Soon Hock 21-17, 21-18. With the exception of these two Japanese pairs all of the other seeds successfully made their way to the quarter-finals.
Similar to the mens doubles the womens doubles lacked much of it’s usual stars with Pan Pan and Tian Qing being the only notable Chinese pair in the draw. The Chinese sixth seeds easily moved past their opponents Aparna Balan and Shruti Kurlan 21-10, 21-12. They will now face second seeds from Japan Miyuki Maeda and Satoko Suetsuna.
The usually strong Chinese haven’t fared well in the mixed with only one remaining pair. Second seeds Tao Jiaming and Zhang Yawen were upset by Thailand’s Patipat Chalardchaleam and Savitree Amitapai 21-11, 12-21, 21-17. India’s top seeds did better by making their way to the quarter-finals with a solid win over Chinese Taipei’s Lee Sheng Mu and Chien Yu Chin 24-22, 21-15.
Ten games is all that was needed to determine the 2009 Super Series Final Champions, with all five finals being settled in two games. Top seeded Neilsen and Pedersen clinched the mixed doubles title 21-14, 21-18 over Indian couple Gutta and Diju V.
The number 1 seeds coming good after their group stage defeat on Wednesday and narrowly winning their second match in three games. There was no such drama for in the Women’s Singles, with Wong Mew Choo in dominating form throughout the week and clinching the women’s title in two games over Juliane Schenk 21-15, 21-7.
Just as exceptional was the Korean pair of Lee and Jung as they dominated all five of their matches to take the Men’s Doubles title without dropping a game on route to the title, with the Danish pair unable to take revenge after their Friday group match ended with victory to the Koreans also.
The Women’s doubles was a similar story, with the Malaysian pair of Chin and Wong defeating Rytter Juhl and Kristiansen for the second time in the event to claim the title without dropping a game all week, with Chin and Wong winning the final 21-17, 21-14.
The final match gave Lee Chong Wei the same opportunity as both doubles pairings, the opportunity to win all 5 matches without dropping a game. This was the closest match of the five against Park Sung Hwan, but Lee Chong Wei was never in any threat of losing this match, winning 21-17, 21-17 to claim the men’s singles title.
Finals day tomorrow promises to be a classic, with four days and four matches building up to finals day.
Lee Chong Wei (Won 4, Lost 0) vs. Park Sung Hwan (Won 3, Lost 1)
Lee Chong Wei has been in outstanding form throughout the week’s play, winning all four of his matches in two games. His semi-final win over Peter Gade 21-17, 21-16 will make him the undoubted favourite for the title. Park Sung Hwan however is also in excellent form, beating Bao Chunlai in two games to set up Sunday’s final.
Wong Mew Choo (Won 4, Lost 0) vs. Juliane Schenk (Won 3, Lost 1)
Wong Mew Choo has been the surprise of this year’s championships; she has beaten the top seed and has gone on to record three outstanding two-game victories to secure her place in the final. Juliane Schenk defeated top seed Saina Newhal in the semi final to book her place in the final and has put her only group stage defeat behind her to set up tomorrow’s final.
Carsten Mogensen / Mathias Boe (Won 3, Lost 1) vs. Jung Jae Sung / Lee Yong Dae (Won 4, Lost 0)
Mogensen and Boe defeated the Group A winners to book their place in the final after a group stage to Lee and Jung in their final match, a rematch of Friday’s group stage is set for Sunday, with the unbeaten Lee and Jung looking to secure a second win over the Danish second seeds in just three days. The Korean pair will go in as favourites, as all of their four wins have come in two-game victories.
Chin Eei Hui / Wong Pei Tty (Won 4, Lost 0) vs. Kamilla Rytter Juhl / Lena Frier Kristiansen (Won 3, Lost 1)
The women’s final has a similar scenario to the men’s final. The Danish duo had to beat the Group B winners to book their place in the final after losing one group match, to their opponents in the final Chin and Wong. The Malaysian’s have failed to drop a game en-route to the final, including a 21-19, 21-15 win over the Danes on Thursday in the group stage.
Diju V / Jwala Gutta (Won 3, Lost 1) vs. Joachim Fischer Neilsen / Christinna Pedersen (Won 3, Lost 1)
The mixed doubles final is far from the final we expected, with both group winners losing out in the semi final stage. The Indian’s defeating the unbeaten Polish pair of Mateusiak and Kostiuczyk to reach the final, who beat Pedersen and Neilsen in the group stages. Clark and Kellogg won all three of their matches, including a win over the Indian’s, but lost to Neilsen and Pedersen in the semi final round. This is probably the most difficult final to predict with both couples in excellent form after their impressive semi final wins.
The group stages have been completed and eight have been whittled down four for the knockout stages.
Lee Chong Wei (Winner Group A) vs. Peter Gade (Runner-Up Group B)
Both were expected to win their group, but Gade’s loss to Park Sung Hwan forced him into a final match decider with Boonsak Ponsana to ensure qualification, which he won in a 3-game 66-minute thriller. Lee Chong Wei has had little trouble in his progression to the last 4, winning all three matches in just two games, winning 126 points and losing just 66 en route to the semi final stage.
Park Sung Hwan (Winner Group B) vs. Bao Chunlai (Runner-Up Group A)
The Korean won the group on a head-to-head against Gade and had his place secured in two matches, however his loss to Jan Jorgensen will give Bao Chunlai hope of a victory. The Chinese player had secured his place in two matches also, but an emphatic defeat to Lee Chong Wei will be difficult to bounce back from.
Wong Mew Choo (Winner Group A) vs. Jie Yao (Runner-Up Group B)
Wong Mew Choo surprised us all with her three-game win over Saina Newhal and has gone from strength to strength with two crushing victories to top Group A convincingly. Jie Yao had to win her final match to ensure her place in the last 4, a task that was done in two games. Her two-game defeat to Juliane Schenk does leave question marks on whether she will have enough to defeat Wong Mew Choo.
Juliane Schenk (Winner Group B) vs. Saina Nehwal (Runner-Up Group A)
Juliane Schenk comes into the semi-final on the back of a three-game loss to Salakjit Ponsana, not the best preparation for a match against the top seed of the event. Her previous two matches were routine two-game wins and will need to find that form again to beat Nehwal. The Indian top seed needed a victory in her final group match to ensure her qualification, two games and 33 minutes later and her place in the last 4 was booked.
Xu Chen / Guo Zhendong (Winner Group A) vs. Carsten Mogensen / Mathias Boe (Runner-Up Group B)
Jung Jae Sung / Lee Yong Dae (Winner Group B) vs. Mohd Fairuzisuan Mohd Tazari / Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif (Runner-Up Group A)
The Chinese pair has been the surprise of the Men’s doubles draw, winning their group without losing a match, their match against the second seeded Danish duo Mogensen and Boe will probably be their biggest test to date.
The Korean pair have been fantastic in their progression to the last 4, winning all three matches in two games. They will be on a high after their two-game win over second seeded Mogensen and Boe to secure top spot.
Day 2 was a day for yesterday’s losers to play themselves back into contention and for the winners on Day 1 to secure their place in the last 4. Group A in the men’s singles has been decided with one match to spare, as Bao Chunlai and Lee Chong Wei securing their second victory and will play each other tomorrow for the top spot in the group.
Group B still has three players in contention for just two spots; Park Sung Hwan has secured his place in the last 4 with wins over Jan Jorgensen and Peter Gade today in three games. Gade and Boonsak Ponsana play tomorrow for the final qualifying place in Group B.
Wong Mew Choo has secured her progression from Group A of the women’s singles with two wins from her opening two games. Saina Newhal and Porntip Buranaprasertsuk play tomorrow with the winner taking the second place in Group A and qualification to the last 4.
Group B is a tighter affair, with three players capable of qualifying. Juliane Schenk will progress if she wins one game over Salakjit Ponsana. Jie Yao is the third player in with a chance of qualifying and needs to secure a win if Ponsana wins or a Ponsana loss secures her place in the last 4.
Group A of the women’s doubles has one confirmed qualifier in Chin and Wong of Malaysia, Rytter Juhl and Kristiansen will play Reid and Grether tomorrow with the winner taking the second qualifying spot.
Group B has been settled with a round of matches still to be played, Cheng and Chien as well as Aroonkesorn and Voravichitchaikul have both progressed to the last 4 with two wins each and will play each other to determine top spot tomorrow.
The young Dane has yet to win a Super Series title, but he has reached his third semi-final after defeating Boonsak Ponsana today in two games. The Dane commented that he wasn’t trying to push the pace against Ponsana, instead he just followed his opponent’s pace and waited for him to make errors. The final scoreline was 21-11, 21-19. Jorgensen will now play China’s Chen Jin, and while the Dane has yet to defeat a Chinese player the last time these two faced off it was a close three game battle.
World Champion Lin Dan faced recent Denmark Open champion Simon Santoso in his quarter-final match. Lin Dan said that after seeing Simon’s recent results that he was taking this match very seriously as Simon has been playing well recently, but it wasn’t enough to truly worry Lin Dan as he sailed through to the semi-finals with a 21-12, 21-12 victory. Next up Lin Dan will be playing Korea’s Park Sung Hwan.
Wong Mew Choo failed to prevent an all China semi-finals today when she lost to Wang Shixian in two games 21-10, 24-22. The only remaining Malaysian representatives in the semi-finals stage of the tournament are women’s doubles pair Wong and Chin, and men’s doubles pair Koo and Tan. For the most part the tournament has, not surprisingly, become a somewhat national competition with more than half of the remaining players coming from China.
Heading into the quarter-finals the Chinese team has secured all but one of the remaining eight places, and Malaysia’s Wong Mew Choo has managed to spoil the party by defeating the top seed Wang Yihan 21-18, 21-17. Perhaps equally surprising was the defeat of Denmark’s second seeded Tine Rasmussen at the hands of China’s Wang Xin 13-21, 21-12, 21-19 on the other side of the draw.
The men’s singles was far less dramatic with no seeded players falling, however Carl Baxter pushed Simon Santoso to the limit but failed to win the match. Santoso won in three games 14-21, 21-12, 21-18 to set up his quarter-final against Lin Dan. Lin Dan had another relatively smooth match, defeating yet another one of his teammates Chen Long 21-12, 21-15. The quarter-finals however should prove to be very exciting as there are a number of tough match ups. Of particular interest will be to see whether or not Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen is capable of going the distance, or if perhaps his big wins are restricted to the earlier rounds.
Chinese Taipei has reason to be happy with two pairings in the quarter-finals after Fang Chieh Min and Lee Sheng Mu upset third seeds Hendra Setiawan and Markis Kido in the second round. The match went the full distance with the Chinese Taipei pair winning 21-19, 11-21, 21-15. Unfortunately the two Chinese Taipei pairs must now face each other in the quarter-finals.
For full results and quarter-final line ups visit the draws below:
China Super Series 2009