Many expected Cheng Shao Chieh to continue her excellent recent run of form into her home event, but fellow Chinese Taipei player Pai Hsiao Ma had other ideas and stunned the top seed in the second round today.
The form player in the men’s singles is the top seed Tien Minh Nguyen, winner in Vietnam and into the last 8 this week. He was pushed to three games by Hsueh Hsuan Yi who was in inspired form playing in front of a home crowd. His opponent in the last 8 is Shon Wan Ho, the 9th sedeed Korean beat the 5th seeded Simon Santoso by the tightest of margins, taking the deciding game 25-23. Only Tommy Sugiarto remains from the seeded players in the bottom half of the draw but one the best matches of the quarter final stage will be between Muhammed Hafiz Hashim and Sony Dwi Kuncoro, with both players defeating their seeded opponents in three games to reach the last 8.
Six of the eight seeds in the women’s draw remain at the quarter final stage, with the top seeded Cheng Shao Chieh being the biggest casualty of the week so far. Gu Juan of Singpoare is the other seed to fall so far this week, losing out to Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong. Yip Pui Yin expected a quarter final match against Cheng, but instead will face another Chinese Taipei player in Pai Hsiao Ma, with the world number 51 stunning the world championship finalist in two games.
Korea dominates the men’s doubles field, with 4 of the remaining 8 pairs remaining. The top two seeds Lee and Jung as well as Ko and Yoo have progressed without the loss of a game. Ko and Yoo, seeded 2 take on the 5th seeded Fang and Lee who are the last chance of local success in the event whilst top seeded Lee and Jung take on another Korean pair in Cho and Kwon, seeded 6th this week and lost their only previous match against the top seeds in this event last year.
Only the 4th seeded pair of Vislova and Sorokina have failed to reach the last 8 from the seeded entries in the women’s doubles, losing out to Eom and Jang of Korea in the opening round. There has been little trouble for Cheng and Chien in the event with a simple progression into the last 8 stage. Cheng’s form in the mixed doubles has been very different, after the 2nd seeded pair of Chen and Cheng crashed out to Ko and Eom in their opening round match. They have not been the only seeds to crash out early, with the 5th seeded Blair and White as well as the 8th seeded Widianto and Marissa also losing out in the early rounds. Lee and Ha defeated the Indonesian 8th seeds and another unseeded Korean pair of Shin and Kim defeated the 5th seeded British pair to ensure a big Korean interest going into the latter stages this week.
If yesterday was about the shocks that took place, then today’s story was the normality of the seeds defeating their unseeded opponents. The day was not without he occasional shock result by the day belonged to the world’s elite.
Lee Chong Wei’s merciless 21-7, 21-8 defeat of Sourabh Verma only confirmed the gulf in class and why the Malaysian is considered the best player in the world by some. He takes on Hu Yun in the first of tomorrow’s semi finals, with the 8th seed from Hong Kong having his own excellent run this week. The second semi final is a somewhat anti-climactical one, with Taufik Hidayat’s loss to Park Sung Hwan making sure that the Gade – Taufik match wouldn’t take place. The 6th seed was impressive with his defeat of Hidayat, disposing of the 2nd seed in two games. Peter Gade ensured one half of the semi final that people wanted to see remained intact, with a 21-10, 21-10 victory over Takuma Ueda of Japan.
Yip Pui Yin and Bae Youn Joo will never see another opportunity like this to claim a Super Series title, with no Chinese involvement this week and the top two seeds crashing out early that leaves both seeds within two matches of a Super Series title. Porntip Buranaprasertsuk stands in Yip Pui Yin’s way whilst Japan’s Sayaka Sato takes on Bae Youn Joo in the other semi final. Only Sato out of the two unseeded players has defeated a seed this week, taking out 8th seeded Salakjit Ponsana in the second round.
The men’s doubles is the closest event that resembles some sort of normality with three seeds remaining of the top 4 at the start of the week. Koo and Tan have efficient on route to the last 4 without the loss of a game but have their toughest test of the week against Hashimoto and Hirata, seeded 4 this week. The other semi final features the 3rd seeded Chandra and Gunawan and another Indonesian pair in Saptura and Pratama, who defeated their second seed of the week in the quarter final in the 6th seeded Kawamae and Sato in two games.
The women’s doubles is a similar story to the men’s, with 3 of the top 4 seeds remaining. The top two Japanese seeds are safely into the last 4 and face a pair of south-east Asian pairs. Top seeded Maeda and Suetsuna take on the 4th seeded Jauhari and Polii, with both pairs failing to drop a game to date, whilst the 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa take on the only unseeded pair left in the draw, Poon and Tse of Hong Kong.
Indonesia have all but a stranglehold on the mixed doubles, with 3 of the 4 remaining pairs coming from Indonesia. Rijal and Susanto take on Ahmad and Natsir, who both came through their quarter final matches in three games to set up the all-Indonesian clash. The other semi final features the third Indonesia pair, 3rd seeded Kurniawan and Bernadeth taking on the 5th seeded Malaysia pair of Chan and Goh who come into the semi finals on a real high after their victory over 2nd seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam.
Day 3 Results: