Finals day had it’s share of surprises on offer, with several Chinese players deciding to play to increase their chances of making the Olympic squad as well as past world champions all featuring on Sunday.
Mixed Day For Chinese
Hans-Kristian Vittinghus unlikely victory over Wang Zhengming is a clear message to anyone that forgot about him in this Olympic year, with Gade’s pending retirement and the arrival of Viktor Axelsen. The 21-18, 21-10 victory was enough for the Dane to claim the men’s singles title. Li Xuerui ensured at least one title for the Chinese this week, with a fantastic 21-8, 21-9 victory over Yao Jie after her impressive victory over Juliane Schenk in the semi final stage.
Doubles Shocks For Seeds
The Thai pairing of Issara and Jongjit have undoubtably been the story of the week, after their win over the 8th seeded Bosch and Ridder, they have systematically defeated every opponent in the shortest time possible. Their victory over the 2nd seeded Conrad-Petersen and Rasmussen was a real shock, but they defeated Adcock and Ellis in the semi final to ensure a third victory over seeded pairs this week before completing their stunning week with a two game victory over Liu and Qiu of China, their fourth victory over a seeded pair this week.
Fujii and Kakiiwa secured the women’s doubles title with a straight forward two game victory over Wengberg and Lennartsson and claiming the title without the loss of a game this week. Goh and Chan completed a day of surprises with a victory in the tightest of circumstances over the 2009 world champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl. The Malaysians secured the victory in a 73-minute match that saw them save four match points before converting on their third opportunity.
Denmark and China will be pleased with the performance of their players, whilst several nations like England and Germany suffered a number of defeats to reduce their chances of a title going into the weekend.
Zwiebler and Schenk Through
Despite all of the poor results for the German squad today, they have two excellent chances of winning the singles titles on home turf. Marc Zwiebler defeated Andre Tedjono in a lengthy two game match and takes on Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus for a place in Sunday’s final. The other semi final sees Wang Zhengming of China take on Eric Pang of Holland, with the 3rd seeded Chinese player impressing in his two game victory over Rajiv Ouseph in his quarter final.
Juliane Schenk progressed to the last 4 with a victory over Petya Nedelcheva in two games and takes on the 4th seeded Li Xuerui, with the German player holding an excellent record against Chinese players this year. Yao Jie defeated Tine Baun in her quarter final match to compound the recent run of poor form for the Dane, the Dutch 7th seed takes on Sayaka Sato in her semi final match after she defeated Linda Zechiri in two games.
China and Denmark Impressive In Doubles
Boe and Mogensen’s walkover allowed them to rest ahead of their semi final against Liu and Qiu of China, seeded 6. The Chinese pair ended the run of Germany’s Kindervater and Schoettler and there was another shock in the bottom half of the draw as Rasmussen and Conrad-Petersen crashed out to the unseeded Thai pairing of Issara and Jongjit in two games. The unseeded Thai’s take on Adcock and Ellis, who were the player or pair to win for England today.
The top two seeds in the women’s doubles progressed safely into the last 4 with a pair of easy victories whilst in the mixed doubles, several seeds crashed out such as Robertson and Wallwork to the unseeded pair of Liu and Cheng. He and Yixin ensure a double involvement in the semi finals day with a tight three game victory to set up a semi final against Laybourn and Rytter Juhl, who defeated the 6th seeded and world silver medalist pairing of Adcock and Bankier in a tight two game victory.
The hope of a local title lay with 6 dutch men and women going into the weekend, come finals day it was down to just the 2nd seeded Yao Jie who delivered on local soil in Almere.
Hsueh Hsuan Yi claimed the men’s singles title in an all-Chinese Taipei final, defeating Chen Chou Tien in a three-game, 66 minute final The all-Thai mixed doubles final went the way of the 2nd seeded Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul as they defeated the top seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in two games. Voravichitchaikul claimed a second title in the women’s doubles, partnering Aroonkesorn as the top seeds defeated the 2nd seeded Yao and Sari of Singapore in two games.
The men’s doubles was won by the 3rd seeded Cwalina and Logosz after they defeated the top seeded German pair of Kindervater and Schoettler in a tight three game match but the story of the day was the victory of Yao Jie in the women’s singles. The 2nd seed defeated the unseeded Sindhu of India in two games, but it was a week that could have been so different after saving a match point in her opening round match against Chiang Pei Hsin of Chinese Taipei.
Four events still hold Dutch interest going into the weekend whilst several seeded players crashed out to boost the belief of at least one Dutch title this week.
Eric Pang’s victory in three games over 2nd seeded Ajay Jayaram was the story of the men’s singles today , but just as significant was Hsueh Hsuan Yi’s victory over Przemyslaw Wacha in the other half of the draw means that two unseeded players remain going into the semi finals tomorrow, with Pang taking on Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei for a place in Sunday’s final.
Yao Jie disposed of Ireland’s Chloe Magee in two games to set up her semi final match against Denmark’s Karina Jorgensen, who defeated Kristina Gavnholt in her quarter final match. Top seeded Porntip Buranaprasertsuk is also safely into the last 4 after defeating Pai Hsiao Ma of Chinese Taipei in her quarter final.
Bosch and Ridder set up their semi final clash with German’s Kindervater and Schoettler with both pairs winning in two games to reach the last 4. 2nd seeds Ivanov and Sozonov crashed out to the Danish pair of Skovgaard and Pieler Kolding to set up the other semi final against Poland’s Cwalina and Logosz. The women’s doubles sees the top four seeds in the semi finals, with the Dutch pairing of Jonathans and Van Dooremalen taking on the top seeded Thai pairing of Aroonkesorn and Voravitcitchaikul, after both claim two game victories in the quarter finals. The other Dutch pair in the last 8 of Severien and Verheul were defeated in two games by the second seeded Sari and Yao of Singapore.
The top two pairs from Thailand both successfully reached the last 4, joined by two German pairs. The 3rd seeded Fuchs and Michels received a walkover in the quarter finals whilst the unseeded pair of Kaesbauer and Goliszewski beat the Chinese Taipei pairing of Lu and Wu in three games to book their place in the last 4.
Even though some big-name withdrawals have weakened some of the draws, there is an excellent field in Almere, headlined by the 2nd seeded Yao Jie.
Boonsak Ponsana was set to be the top seed to play himself into form ahead of the Danish and French Super Series but pulled out pre-event to allow the unseeded Rasmus Fladberg to reach the last 8 from Ponsana’s part of the draw. 2nd seeded Ajay Jayaram has progressed into the quarter finals without the loss of a game and takes on the 5th seeded Dutchman Eric Pang for a place in the semi finals. Przemyslaw Wacha is the highest seed left in the top half of the draw and takes on the 7th seeded Hsueh Hsuan Yi of Chinese Taipei for place in the last 4.
Yao Jie is the big hope of a title this week for the Dutch and after surviving a nervy three game match in her opening round eventually winning 22-20 in the deciding game, there were little problems reaching the last 8 today with a routine two game victory over Sabrina Jacquet to set up a quarter final with Ireland’s Chloe Magee, who won the all-British match in the second round against Elizabeth Cann. The only other seed remain in the entire draw is the top seeded Thai Porntip Buranaprasertsuk who has progressed safely into the last 8 without the loss of a game to date and takes on Chinese Taipei’s Pai Hsiao Ma in the quarter finals.
All three doubles events have been hit with walkovers and withdrawals but there is still an excellent field in the last 8 of all the events. The top 4 seeds remain in the men’s doubles, with 4th seeded Bosch and Ridder looking to keep the title on Dutch soil but will face a tough task with a likely semi final encounter with German top seeds Kindervater and Schoettler. Jonathans and Van Dooremalen are seeded 4 in the women’s doubles whilst unseeded Dutch pair of Severien and Verheul are also through to the last 8, taking on the 2nd seeded Sari and Yao of Singapore in their quarter final.
The two Thai pairs are the main contenders this week, with both pairs coming through their second round matches without much resistance. The top seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam take on the Danish pair of Delbo Larsen and Grebak in their quarter final whilst 2nd seeded Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul take on the Singapore pairing of Chrisnanta and Neo for a place in the last 4.
The story of the day didn’t come from China, Indonesia, Malaysia of Denmark. It came from Guatemala’s Kevin Cordon as he gave us the first major shock in this years world championships in his three game victory over Chen Long, seeded 5.
His stunning upset could potentially aid the top seeded Lee Chong Wei, who was far from his best in his opening round victory but progressed in two games regardless. It was a day that seen Kenichi Tago and Hu Yun, seeded 15 and 16 also crash out, but today’s story in the men’s singles was Cordon’s victory. Current world champion Chen Jin progressed safely in two games, as did the 4th seeded Taufik Hidayat and the 14th seeded Marc Zwiebler, whose quarter of the top half of the draw has been made all the more easier with Chen Long’s absence. Park Sung Hwan set up an all-Korean second round clash with Shon Wan Ho and Ville Lang has the unenviable task of taking on Lee Chong Wei in the second round on Wednesday.
There were no seeds on show in the women’s singles, only 32 women looking for a chance to face a seed in round 2. Linda Zechiri of Bulgaria will take on the top seeded Wang Shixian in round 2, whilst Elizabeth Cann and Susan Egelstaff’s dreams to represent Great Britain the 2012 Olympics could top the balance to the English woman with the results today, with Cann progressing into round and Egelstaff’s losing to Michelle Li of Canada in two games. Spain’s Carolina Marin was the star in the opening round, with her two game victory over Yao Jie of the Netherlands and a place in the second round against the 15th seeded Eriko Hirose.
The 2005 world champions dream ended at the first hurdle, with Bach and Gunawan losing to Malaysia’s Abdul Latif and Hoon in two games, who take on the 10th seeded Fang and Lee in the second round. Markus Kido’s withdrawal means that Hong and Shen receive a walkover over the 6th seeded Indonesian, before taking on the winners of the Fang/Lee and Abdul Latif/Hoon matchup. Russia’s Ivanov and Sozonov take on the top seeded Cai and Fu in the second round, defeating the English pair of Ellis and Mills. There was English success in the opening round, Clark and Langridge are into round 2 and take on the 3rd seeded Lee and Jung whilst the other English pair in the last 32, Adcock and Ellis also have a tough take in the second round against the 4th seeded Ko and Yoo of Korea.
English wild card pairing of Langley and Smith progressed into the second round of the women’s doubles, making them the last English pair left in the competition and take on the 11th seeded Poon and Tse. There was further bad news for Korea with the withdrawal of the 6th seeded Ha and Kim meaning the Dutch pair of Piek and Tabeling receive a second round bye. India’s Gutta and Ponnappa progressed into the second round to take on the 2nd seeded Chein and Cheng whilst the Malaysia pair of Chin and Wong defeated England’s Wallwork and White to book a place in the second round against the 4th seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa of Japan.
Fujii partnered Hashimoto in the mixed doubles and progressed into round 2 with victory over Liu and Ko of Canada to set up a second round clash with the 7th seeded Chen and Cheng of Chinese Taipei. England’s only seeded pair, Robertson and Wallwork take on the Malaysian pair of Chan and Goh in the second round after the Malaysian’s defeated Munoz and Gonzalez of Mexico in their opening round match whilst Selena Piek received another walkover, this time in the mixed doubles and will take on Xu and Ma of China in the second round with partner Jacco Arends.
The 17th meeting between Peter Gade and Lin Dan went the way of the Chinese 2nd seed, for the 14th time in their long standing rivalry. Peter Gade will take positives from the match after taking the opening game 22-20.
Lin Dan’s response to losing the opening game to Peter Gade was everything you’d expect from the current Olympic champion as he levelled the match at 1-1 before completing his comeback in a 75-minute match, winning 20-22, 21-17, 21-15. His opponent in tomorrow’s final is the current world champion Chen Jin, who came into this week unseeded but has been in excellent form especially in his 21-17, 21-11 victory over his Chinese team mate Wang Zhengming.
Baun Stuns Wang
The week of shocks in the women’s singles continued as 6th seeded Tine Baun knocked out the top seeded Wang Shixian in convincing fashion to book her place in the final, winning 21-15, 21-16. The chance of an all-European final however, was not to be as Yao Jie lost out to the 3rd seeded Wang Xin in a one sided match that the Chinese woman won 21-13, 21-11.
Cai and Fu Progress
The last match of the day seen Cai and Fu even their head-to-head with Lee and Jung at 7-7 with their two game victory over the Korean pair, winning 21-16, 23-21.However another all-Chinese final was not on the cards as the unseeded Chandra and Gunawan stunned the 7th seeded Chai and Guo in the second semi final to progress to the final after their three-game, 72-minute victory that the Indonesian’s took 21-19, 24-26, 21-19.
Japanese Crash Out
The possibility of the top two Japanese seeds meeting in the final loomed large, but it was a nightmare scenario that took place for the duos. Fujii and Kakiiwa lost to the 6th seeded Ha and Kim in two games whilst later in the day Naito and Matsuo lost out to the 5th seeded Tian and Zhao in the second semi final in two games also to ensure a China – Korea final.
Zhao and Zhang Fall
The top seeded Zhao and Zhang were widely expected to win this week with the poor performances of the other seeds, but they lost out to the last remaining seed in the draw in Ahmad and Natsir in just two games, losing 21-23, 16-21. There was a guaranteed unseeded pair in the final from the second semi final, with Robertson and Wallwork taking on Chen and Cheng. It was the Chinese Taipei pairing that progressed into the final, defeating the English pair 21-12, 21-15.
Semi Final Results:
The Chinese domination of recent years continued in Singapore this week, with chance to take all five titles this week looming large.
Lin Dan and Gade meet for 17th time
The top two seeds safely progressed into the last 4, with Lin Dan progressing by the narrowest of margins against Simon Santoso of Indonesia. The match latest one hour with the 2nd seed winning the deciding game 22-20, with Santoso saving five match points to reach 20-20. Peter Gade had less of a problem reaching the last 4, his 21-15, 21-15 victory over Du Pengyu is his third victory in two games this week as the Dane rolls back the years once again. The other semi final is an all-Chinese affair, with world champion Chen Jin defeating Lee Hyun Il in convincing fashion and takes on Wang Zhengming who defeated the second Danish player left in the event, 17-year old Viktor Axelsen in two games.
Dutch Delight For Yao Jie
The big surprise in the women’s singles is Yao Jie’s victory over the 2nd seeded Wang Yihan. The three game match took exactly an hour with the Dutch world number 18 taking the match 21-17, 16-21, 21-15. Her victory sets up another Chinese clash, this time with 3rd seeded Wang Xin who came through her quarter final with Gu Juan in straight forward fashion. The other semi final features the top seeded Wang Shixian, who needed 83 minutes to take her revenge on Juliane Schenk after the German defeated her in the Sudirman last month. Schenk had three chances to win the match in the deciding game at 20-17 only for the top seeded Chinese woman to string five points together to complete her unlikely and unbelievable victory. Her opponent in the semi final is Denmark’s Tine Baun, seeded 6 this week and had her own marathon match today against Cheng Shao Chieh before winning the match 22-24, 21-17, 21-13 to reach the semi final.
Top Two Meet In Semis
The long standing rivalry between Lee and Jung of Korea and Cai and Fu of China renews itself for a 14th time tomorrow, with both pairs progressing to the last 4 without dropping a game in either quarter final match or any match this week. The 2nd seeded Korean’s hold a 7-6 head to head advantage of the Chinese pair and have won their previous three encounters. The other semi final sees the unseeded Indonesian’s of Chandra and Gunawan take on the 7th seeded Chai and Guo of China, who ended the run of German’s Kindervater and Schoettler in their 21-15, 21-10 victory.
Top Seeds Tumble
Maeda and Suetsuna crashed out at the quarter final stage after being defeated by the 5th seeded Tian and Zhao of China in two games, there was success for Japan even with the top seeds loss as 4th seeded Naito and Matsuo cruised into the last 4 to face the Chinese pair who defeated their team mates. The other semi final has Japanese interest too in the 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa, who take on the 6th seeded Ha and Kim of Korea, who defeated 3rd seeded Jauhari and Polii in three games to progress into the semi finals.
Third Time Lucky
The 2nd seeded Thai pair finally came undone against a British pair in the mixed doubles, with Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam defeating two British pairs to reach the last 8 but were defeated in two games by Robertson and Wallwork, who set up a semi final clash with the unseeded Chinese Taipei pairing of Chen and Cheng. The other semi final sees the top seeded Zhang and Zhao through by the narrowest of margins in an all-Chinese quarter final against He and Yu after saving six match points at 20-14 down to go on a run of eight points to clinch the deciding game 22-20. They take on 4th seeded Ahmad and Natsir who ended the run of Lee and Ha in the quarter final stage in two games to reach the semi final.
Quarter Final Results:
Axelsen Playing Wang
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