The finals tomorrow have a sense of deja vu about them, with all three doubles finals being a repeat from last week’s Super Series Premier in Odense but there were still surprises today, none more than Lin Dan’s stunning retirement just 3 points from victory.

All England 2011 Rematch

Lee Chong Wei broke his recent run of poor results against Chen Long today, but took all of the world #1′s ability as well as 77 grueling minutes to ensure his place in tomorrow’s final. Few could have predicted the other semi final result, with the crowd already confused to the Chinese tactics going into this week as well as Chen Jin and Lin Dan only truly playing for one game yesterday. Lin Dan took the opening game 23-21 and was 18-15 up before retiring just three points from reaching the final. The question marks over this “retirement” will last long after this event as it seems like Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei are set now to meet until the 2012 Olympics.

All Chinese Final

Despite all the shocks and all the top seeded Chinese players crashing out, there is still an all-Chinese final in the women’s singles between Wang Xin and Li Xuerui. The unseeded Li Xuerui booked her place in a straight forward victory over Porntip Buranaprasertsuk whilst the 3rd seeded Wang Xin needed three games to defeat Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei. The opening game was won by the Chinese Taipei player but Wang Xin faught back in stunning style to take the next two games to the loss of just 11 points and complete the turnaround in double quick time to spent just 35 minutes on court.

Odense Rematches

The best two pairs in the world go at it again tomorrow as Cai and Fu take on Lee and Jung for the 18th time in their remarkable rivalry, with the world number 1 pair looking to put last week’s defeat to the Korean’s behind them and even up the series at 9-9. Cai and Fu needed three games to defeat the Japanese pairing of Hirata and Hashimoto whilst Lee and Jung defeated the resurgent Boe and Mogensen in two games, with both pairs almost spending the same time on court on route to the final.

The top two pairs also go at it in the women’s doubles final, with Tian and Zhao still the only pair this year to defeat the world number 1 pairing of Wang and Yu, who came through the only semi final played in the event today against the 3rd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa. The two game victory was much closer than the one sided match that took place at the All Englands earlier in the year, with the Chinese pair winning 21-8, 22-20.

Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen completed a famous double over the world number 1 pairing of Zhang and Zhao in a 72 minute match which seen the Danes save a match point at 20-19 in the deciding game before taking the next three points and booking a rematch against Ma and Xu of China. The 2nd seeded Chinese pair battled back from a game down to defeat Ahmad and Natsir and set up a rematch of the final in Odense 7 days previously.

Semi Final Results

The main topic of conversation going into today’s play was the whether the two all-Chinese quarter finals would take place, by the first hour of play, we had one of the answers.

Lin Dan Defeats Chen Jin

The prospect of Lin Dan taking to the court today was unlikely, what was even more unlikely was a Lin Dan win over his team-mate Chen Jin but that is exactly what happened in their 85-minute encounter that almost seemed counterproductive in the recent walkovers that these two players have dished out in recent encounters. Kenichi Tago is Lin Dan’s opponent in the semi final after his own 77-minute victory over Hu Yun to book his place in the last 4.

The match of the day tomorrow will be the second semi final, as Chen Long looks to claim his third victory over Lee Chong Wei in the past 3 events. Chen Long will be well rested after his walkover against Wang Zhengming, which happened before the Lin Dan – Chen Jin match to further question the motives of the Chinese squad to let one match be decided by walkover and another to be decided in an 85-minute marathon. Lee Chong Wei progressed safely with a two game victory over Shon Wan Ho in just 32 minutes to reach the last 4.

Wang Yihan Out

The poor week for China’s ladies singles players continues with the defeat of Wang Yihan to Ti Tzu Ying in a tame two game loss, taking the number of Chinese players left in the draw down to just two. Li Xuerui will take on Ying in the first of tomorrow’s semi finals whilst Wang Xin is the last seed left in the draw after taking out Juliane Schenk in her quarter final match to set up her semi final against Porntip Buranaprasertsuk who defeated Sung Ji Hyun in her quarter final match.

No Troubles For Top Seeds

The three top seeds in the doubles all progressed without the loss of a game to ensure a relatively successful day for the Chinese squad. Cai and Fu defeated Ahsan and Septano to set up a semi final against the unseeded Japanese pair of Hashimoto and Hirata whilst the other semi final sees the other two remaining seeds fight it out for a place in Sunday’s final as Lee and Jung take on Boe and Mogensen, with the Danish pair narrowly beat their team-mates Conrad-Petersen and Rasmussen in three games.

Wang and Yu provided their best performance of the week to date in reaching the semi finals with a merciless thumping of Melati and Marissa. They take on the 3rd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa in the semi final for the first time since their humiliating defeating in the All England final earlier this year. The other semi final sees the 2nd seeded Tian and Zhao take on the 6th seeded Ha and Kim, with both pairings registering two game victories to reach the last 4.

The top 4 seeds remain in the mixed doubles, with Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen hoping for the same result against Zhang and Zhao as last week as the two meet in the semi finals for the second time in two weeks. Ahmad and Natsir take on the Chinese pair of Ma and Xu after the 2nd seeds came from a game down in their quarter final match against Widianto and Marissa to progress in 57 minutes after taking the next two games.

Quarter Final Results

Peter Gade’s final run at the French Open title came undone at the second round stage with a surprise defeat to Hu Yun, but he wasn’t the only seed to crash out today.

Gade says farewell to Stade De Coubertin

Gade was frank in his report of his own play after his second round loss to Hu Yun, claiming that his conditioning wasn’t correct going into the week but didn’t expect to lose so early in the week. He wasn’t the only seed to lose in the second round, Du Pengyu also crashed out to Kenichi Tago of Japan but there is still a massive Chinese attendance in the quarter final stage, with two all-Chinese quarter finals taking place tomorrow.

Lee Chong Wei had little trouble defeating Brice Leverdez to end any hopes of a French victory this week, whilst the Malaysian takes on Shon Wan Ho of Korea in the last 8 after his victory over Tien Minh Nguyen in the second round. Lin Dan and Chen Jin both won in two games to set up their quarter final matchup, with question marks looming over whether the match will actually take place.

3 seeds remain in women’s singles

Sain Nehwal was the latest big name seed to crash out this week as the unseeded Li Xuerui beat the 4th seeded Indian in two tight games to ensure three Chinese players in the last 8. Wang Yihan was impressive in her victory over Gu Juan whilst 3rd seeded Wang Xin was pushed in two tight games before defeating Petya Nedelcheva to set up her quarter final matchup against the 6th seeded Juliane Schenk in the last 8.

Seeds crash out in doubles

Whilst the best two pairs in the men’s singles progressed in efficient style, there were some seeds that didn’t fare as well in the second round. 5th seeded Koo and Tan lost to the Danish pair of Conrad-Petersen and Rasmussen whilst the 7th seeded Kido and Setiawan lost to the English pairing of Ellis and Adcock whilst the 3rd seeded pair of Boe and Mogensen were the fortunate pair after Kim and Shin pulled out of the event before their second round encounter.

Wins 46 and 38 respectively for the top two pairs in the women’s doubles as Wang and Yu defeated Marinello and Michels of Germany to reach the quarter finals and a match against Marissa and Melati. Tian and Zhao were given a walkover against their Chinese team-mates Pan and Cheng and take on the 7th seeded Japanese pairing of Matsuo and Naito, who defeated the Russian pairing of Vislova and Sorokina to reach the quarter finals. Pedersen and Rytter Juhl had to retire in the second game of their second round match, allowing the 4th seeded Maeda and Suetsuna to advance into the last 8.

Zhang and Zhao were taken to three games by the Korean qualifiers Ko and Eom before eventually progressing to take on Yoo and Jang in the quarter finals tomorrow. The second seeded Ma and Jin progressed into two games against the world silver medalists Adcock and Bankier and take on the Indonesian pair of Widianto and Marissa in the last 8. Last week’s winners Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen progressed into the last 8 with a victory over Jongjit and Amitapal and will take on the Korean pair of Lee and Ha who beat the 5th seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in three games to reach the quarter finals.

Thursday’s Results

It was a day littered with retirements, shock results and the potential downfall to Taufik Hidayat’s stellar career. The day began with a Chinese victory in the mixed but there was little to celebrate for the Chinese camp tonight.

Taufik Out

Many expected the 5th seeded Hidayat to struggle against the unseeded Wang Zhengming with the Indonesian’s play and overall desire being questioned with every tournament. He won the event in 2010 here, but a two-game defeat to Wang Zhengming almost certainly concludes Taufik’s reign in the top 10 of the world after losing his runner-up ranking points in Denmark last week and his first round exit this week in France.

The remaining 7 seeds progressed without much resistance, with all seven seeds needing just two games to advance. Lee Chong Wei takes on France’s own Brice Leverdez whilst the match of the second round sees Joachim Persson taking on Lin Dan for a place in the quarter finals.

Chinese Casualties

Six Chinese players started in the women’s singles draw, just three remain in a draw that has been decimated by retirements and upsets. Wang Yihan benefitted from Susan Egelstaff’s retirement pre-event but Liu Xin and Jiang Yanjiao both had to retire early into their first round to cut the Chinese involvement in the event. Their involvement was cut further with the surprise defeat Wang Shixian to Sung Ji Hyun, as the second seed run of poor form continues.

Tine Baun suffered her second early exit in two weeks with a first round defeat to Tai Tzu Ying, cutting the European involvement down to just two players with victories for Juliane Schenk and Petya Nedelcheva, with the Bulgarian taking on the 3rd seeded Wang Xin who beat Linda Zechiri in the first round today.

European Interest Throughout In Doubles

Whilst there is a massive Asian contingent in the doubles, there is a few European pairs who have reached the second round impressively to ensure they are taken seriously this week. The top two seeds in the men’s doubles progressed without much hassle, as did the 3rd seeded Boe and Mogensen who have regained their form in the past two events, however there was a surprise loss for the 4th seeded Ko and Yoo against the Chinese pair of Hong and Chen in three games. There is a few European pairs left in the men’s doubles draw, with the Danish pair of Conrad-Petersen and Rasmussen as well as the English pairing of Adcock and Ellis reaching the last 16.

Wang and Yu won their 45th match of the year in their opening round victory over Chin and Wong whilst the 2nd seeded Tian and Zhao won their 37th match of 2011 in three games. The 3rd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa defeated the Danish pair of Heisbol and Skelbaek to take on the English pairing of Olver and Agathangelou who progressed in a 93-minute classic against the Canadian pair of Reid and Grether to reach the second round.

Zhang and Zhao as well as Ma and Jin have started this week with victories, with varying degrees of difficulty. The top seeded Zhang and Zhao needed three games to progress against Lee and Chien whilst Ma and Jin defeated Hashimoto and Fujii in two games. The 2nd seeded pair take on the world silver medalist pair of Adcock and Bankier in the second round, who are also joined in the second round by Blair and White after their victory over the 7th seeded Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul and will take on the Korean pair of Yoo and Jang in their second round match.

Wednesday’s Results

The second consecutive week of Super Series action puts the players fitness to the ultimate test as well as allowing the form players from last weeks Denmark Open a chance to continue to maintain their run of good results.

Taufik’s final chance to perform

This is a massive week for Taufik Hidayat, defending his title as well as the ranking points that goes with it. His defeat to Viktor Axelsen in the second round only compounded the pressure to perform this week and his campaign starts with one of the toughest draws imaginable against Wang Zhengming of China. A first round defeat almost guarantees his fall out of the seedings for the remaining Super Series events for the reminder of 2011.

Lee Chong Wei will went to put the final in Odense on Sunday behind him as he takes on Marc Zwiebler of Germany in a potentially tricky opening round match this week. Lin Dan’s opener against Lee Hyun Il is another tricky match for the seeded players this week. Chen Long starts this week as a real favourite to make it two weeks in a row with his team-mate Lin Dan out of form and his double victory over Lee Chong Wei recently, he starts with a match against Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand. Peter Gade is another seed with a tough test in his opening round, taking on last week’s semi finalist Sho Sasaki.

Chinese battle for #1

Wang Xin’s victory over Wang Yihan has reopened the question over who is China’s number 1 player, with 6 players capable of winning their event from within the Chinese squad alone. Wang Yihan starts with an opening round walkover with Susan Egelstaff withdrawing with injury whilst 2nd seeded Wang Shixian takes on Sung Ji Hyun of Korea before a potential second round match against world championship silver medalist Cheng Shao Chieh.

Wang Xin, Jiang Yanjiao, Liu Xin and Li Xuerui are the other four Chinese players capable of winning this week. The three non-Chinese seeds will hope for better weeks than last week in Odense where they all crashed out early. 4th seeded Saina Nehwal starts with a tough match against Yao Jie and then a potential second round match against Li Xuerui. Juliane Schenk starts her campaign against Canadian qualifier Michelle Li before the winner takes on another qualifier in the second round. 8th seeded Tine Baun will hope that without the pressure of a home crowd that it will be a more successful week in Paris, she starts this week with a match against Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei

Chinese take top seeds in doubles

The three top seeds in the doubles are the current world champions, but only one pair come into this week with a victory in Odense. Cai and Fu will hope to go one better than their defeat in the final against Lee and Jung, with both pairs seeded to meet in the final once against this week. Cai and Fu start against Cho and Kwon of Korea whilst Lee and Jung start against the Malaysian pair of Gan and Tan. Boe and Mogensen will hope to continue their form from last week into this week as they start their campaign in Paris with a tough opener against Chandra and Gunawan of Indonesia.

Wang and Yu will go into this event as clear favourites once again in the women’s doubles and they look to claim another title in a stunning year for the world number 1 pairing. They start this week against the Malaysian pair of Chin and Wong whilst their main rivals this week will be their team mates Tian and Zhao, the only pair in the draw to inflict a defeat upon Wang and Yu. the 2nd seeds start with a match against the Japanese pairing of Matsutomo and Takahashi with a potential meeting against Cheng and Pan in the second round.

Zhang and Zhao will want to go one better than last week when they lost to Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen in Odense at the semi final stage, they start this week against Lee and Chien of Chinese Taipei. The 2nd seeded pair of Ma and Xu have similar aspirations after they lost to the Danish pair in the final, they take on the dangerous Japanese pair of Hashimoto and Fujii with a potential second round match against world silver medalists Adcock and Bankier waiting should they beat their first round qualifiers. Last week’s winners start against the Singapore pairing of Triyachart and Yao whilst their team mates Laybourn and Rytter Juhl start against Widianto and Marissa in the pick on the opening round matches in Paris on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s Order of Play

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