Two unlikely names have reached the final on Sunday, one in the men’s and the other in the women’s singles as the seeds continued to crash out on Day 2 in Poland.
Pablo Abian defeated his Spanish compatriot to set up a semi final clash with top seed Joachim Persson, with the Danish player not dropping a game to this point in the tournament. After a stunning opening game went 21-10 the way of the Spanish player, another shock was on in a week filled with them. The second game was tight in the opening part then Abian pulled out a lead and never released it, winning the second game 21-16 to book his place in the final.
Abian’s opponent in the final is Hiroyuki Saeki, an unseeded qualifier from Japan who had to play 3 matches just to make it into the main draw. Sunday’s final will be his 8th singles match in just 4 days. He defeated Christian Lind Thomsen in the second round and has never looked back, defeating another Japanese player Shuhei Hayasaki to book his place in the final.
There is a second qualifer from Japan in a final tomorrow, Kana Ito battled through two rounds of qualifying and defeated 3rd seed Rachel Van Cutsen in the second round, then another two victories today means that her 7th match of the week will be in tomorrow’s final.
Ito will play Chan Tsz Ka of Hong Kong in tomorrow’s final, the 4th seed’s route has been an easier affair that Ito’s but had to survive a 66 minute battle with Russia’s Olga Golovanova in the quarterfinal to progress, winning the match 21-23, 24-22, 21-19. The 4th seed will also take part in tomorrow’s women’s doubles final too.
Poland’s chances of a finalist lay in the hands of three potential partnerships, Wojtkowska and Szkudiarcyzk in the mixed doubles, seeded 4. They lost out in the quarterfinals after tamely losing to Triyachart and Yao of Singapore 21-9, 21-16. Cwalina and Moren had better luck in the men’s doubles, beating 4th seeded Chrisnanta and Triyachart in the quarterfinals, setting up a match against 2nd seeded Russian pair, Ivanoc and Sozonov. After taking the first game 21-9, expectations were high, only for the Russians to fight back and take the next two games and secure a place in the tomorrow’s final.
Wojtkowska paired up with her women’s doubles partner, Natalia Poczotowiak and defeated Choo and Wilson-Smith of New Zealand to book their place in the semi finals, they came up against the Hong Kong pairing of Chan and Chau, the 4th seeds and after leading most of the first game, let a 17-15 lead slip and lost the opening game 21-19. They never recovered from that and lost the second game 21-10 and ending Poland’s local interest in the event for another year.
The fields have been shortened to just 8, but countless seeds have fallen before the weekend’s play has even begun. 5 seeds have fallen in the men’s singles and the women’s singles, as well as the top seeds in the mixed.
One seed that is safely through to the last 8 is top seeded Joachim Persson, who defeated Magnus Sahlberg in Round 1 and Alex Pang of Canada in Round 2, both in two games to book his place against Petr Koukal, the 7th seed from the Czech Republic. Koukal is through to the last 8 without the loss of a game either.
The next quarterfinal is an all-Spanish matchup, as Pablo Abian overcame 4th seed Peter Mikkelsen, who pulled out in the 3rd game with injury. Indra Bagus Ade Chandra of Spain is also through; defeating 6th seeded Wong Wing Ki 21-19, 23-21 to book his place in tomorrow’s quarterfinal.
Singapore’s Robin Gonansa is through to the last 8, after Stephan Wojcikiewicz pulled out before the match after the Canadian beat 5th seed Dmytro Zavadsky in the opening round. Gonansa will play Hiroyuki Saeki of Japan, who defeated the 3rd seeded Christian Lind Thomsen 22-20, 21-17 to book his place in the last 8. Another Japanese player, Shuhei Hayasaki defeated Vladimir Malkov, the 8th seed from Russian to set up a quarterfinal match against Poland’s 2nd seed Przemyslaw Wacha.
Beiwin Zhang, the top seed from Singapore is through to the last 8 with two convincing victories to this stage, she will play Wang Lin Lang of Indonesia in the last 8 after the Indonesian defeated 7th seed Tatjana Bibik of Russia 23-21, 21-8 to progress.
Unseeded Japanese player, Kana Ito defeated 3rd seeded Rachel Van Cutsen to book her place in tomorrow’s quarterfinal against Austria’s Simone Prutsch, she defeated Rachel Howard who beat the 8th seed Elena Prus in the opening round. Olga Golovanova is through to the last 8 after a 21-17, 21-17 victory over Maja Tvrdy, the 6th seed from Slovenia. She will play the 4th seed Chan Tsz Ka of Hong Kong for a place in the semi final.
Anastasia Prokopenko is the 5th unseeded player in the last 8, after beating Larisa Griga 21-11, 21-14 in the second round. She will play the 2nd seed Judith Meulendijks in the quarters, with the Dutch seed coming through both her matches easily in 2 games.
In an event that promised so much for the Polish crowd, they have seen their chances in this event shortened to just one pair. Top seeded Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Kostiuczyk crashed out in the opening match to Hong Kong suo Wong and Chau in three games. Polish qualifiers Ociepa and Rudolf crashed out in the second round to Pang and Li of Canada.
The 4th seeds, Szkudiarczyk and Wotjtkowsa are Poland’s last hope in the competition; they will play Singapore pairing of Triyachart and Yao for a place in the last 4. Another Polish couple Moren and Pocztowiak crashed out in round 2 to Neo and Chrisnanta of Singapore.
The only other seed left in the draw is the 2nd seeds, Atrashchenkov and Prus of Ukraine, who came through a tight 3 game match with Wilson-Smith and Warfe of New Zealand 13-21, 21-13, 21-19.
This week’s event in Poland is one of the last events before the European Championships in Manchester next month and has attracted some of the big names in European badminton to play themselves into form ahead of next month’s European Championships.
The top seed is Joachim Persson who is coming off a poor 2-week run in the Super Series, losing out to Kenichi Tago in Round 2 in the All England and another second round defeat to Chen Jin in Switzerland last week. His campaign this week begins against the Swede Magnus Sahlberg before a potential 2nd round encounter with Ville Lang of Finland.
Christian Lind Thomsen (Seeded 3) and Peter Mikkelsen (Seeded 4) lead a strong Danish squad looking for success in the men’s singles draw. Przemyslaw Wacha is the local hope in the competition, seeded 2 but there is also threats from the Ukranian Dmtyro Zavadsky, seeded 5 and Petr Koukal of the Czech Republic, seeded 7. Vladimir Malkov of Russia is another threat, seeded 8.
Singapore’s top seed Zhang Beiwen starts her campaign against rising Belgian starlet Lianne Tan, hoping to past her semi final defeat to Gu Juan in last week’s event behind her. The other potential winners of the event coming from the Netherlands and Ukraine, with Judith Meulendijks and Rachel Van Cutsen leading the Dutch charge. Larisa Griga and Elena Prus are the big Ukrainan hopes.
Poland’s best chance of success lie with Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Kostiuczyk, however with their withdrawal at the semi final stage last week in Switzerland, questions will be asked if they are 100% fit to attempt to win on their home soil. Should they fail to deliver, two other Polish pairings are seeded. 3rd seeded Cwalina and Kurdieska and 4th seeded Szkudiarczyk and Motjkowska.