The best two players in the world met for the first time since the world championship final in August, and whilst that match was heralded as a classic, their most recent encounter in Hong Kong resulted in a one-sided victory for Lin Dan over Lee Chong Wei.
Lin Dan Too Strong
Much has been made of Lin Dan and of the Chinese squads withdrawals recently, but surprisingly the highly anticipated rematch between Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei took place. The match was a distinctly one-sided affair with Lin Dan winning in two games and put further doubt into the Malaysian that he can compete with the Chinese squad after a pair of losses to Chen Long in recent weeks also. However, Chen Long suffered his own disappointment in his semi final loss to Chen Jin to set up an all-Chinese final.
Baun Into Final
After a recent run of poor form in Denmark and France, few expected this sort of week from Tine Baun. Her three game victory over Wang Shixian was one of her best results of the year and sets up a final against the 3rd seeded Wang Xin, who also defeated her higher ranked opponent in Wang Yihan in just two games to set up tomorrow’s final.
Usual Suspects In Doubles
The finals of the three previous Super Series have rarely changed, with Cai and Fu set to take on Lee and Jung in the men’s doubles final for the third Super Series in a row. The same can be said of the women’s doubles as Wang and Yu look for their 7th victory over Tian and Zhao and in their third straight meeting in a Super Series final. The mixed doubles has the on form Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen taking on a Chinese pairing, this time it is the top seeded Zhang and Zhao in the final after defeating Xu and Ma at the semi final stages this week, the pair they beat in their previous two Super Series finals.
It was a mixed day for the Koreans, the Indians, the Danes and the Japanese but for the Chinese it was almost a perfect day in Hong Kong, with just two pairs losing on a day of success for the Chinese.
Gade Crashes Out
Chen Jin and Peter Gade met for the 12th time today, with Gade winning just 3 of their previous 11 matchups. Today did not add another win to that tally as the 2010 world champion defeated Gade in two games to book his place in the last 4 and inflict his 9th defeat upon the Dane. His opponent in the semi final will be Chen Long, with a guaranteed Chinese involvement in Sunday’s final.
Lee Chong Wei defeated Ajay Jayaram to book his place in the last 4, whilst Lin Dan defeated Shon Wan Ho in his quarter final to set up their dream semi final match. Question marks will loom over the match as to whether the world number 1 will take on the current world champion until the pair step onto court, with the Chinese squad looking to keep this matchup from taking place in an Olympic qualifying year.
Baun Breaks Up Chinese Monopoly
With the top three Chinese seeds all making into the last 4, only Tine Baun adds any sort of variety to what looks like a Chinese certainty in the women’s singles. Baun’s victory over Saina Nehwal was an unexpected one with the Dane’s form being up and down in the past month but it is a welcome surprise to the Danish squad after Gade’s exit from the men’s singles. Baun takes on the 2nd seeded Wang Shixian whilst the other semi final is an all-Chinese affair between Wang Yihan and Wang Xin, with the higher seeded Wang Yihan taking a 5-1 head to head lead into their 7th meeting.
Chinese Dominant In Doubles
Chinese can boast two pairs in the semi finals of each of the three doubles events. Cai and Fu as well the pairing of Zhang and Jiaming, predominantly known for their mixed doubles results are also through to the last 4 of the men’s doubles. The two Chinese pairs take on one another in the first of the semi finals whilst the other semi final is an all-Korean affair with Ko and Yoo taking on Lee and Jung for a place in Sunday’s final.
Wang and Yu continue their march to the final with another two game victory over the local pairing of Poon and Tse whilst their perennial opponents in the final also progressed into the last 4 as Tian and Zhao defeating Jung and Kim of Korea to reach the last 4. Zhao Yunlei is also into the last 4 of the mixed doubles with Zhang Nan as of both partners are set to play two semi finals matches tomorrow, Zhang and Zhao take on the Chinese Taipei pairing of Chen and Cheng in the first of tomorrow’s semi finals whilst Xu and Ma take on their nemesis of the past few weeks in Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen in the second of tomorrow’s mixed doubles semi finals.
The final match of the second day in Hong Kong gave us the first look at the present elite against the future elite as the world number 1 took on the 2010 world junior champion in the last of the second round games in the men’s singles.
Lee Chong Wei Into Last 8
For the opening portion of the match, there was little to separate the two players but Lee Chong Wei eventually progressed safely in two games against Viktor Axelsen, but there will be positives to be taken for the Dane ahead of next week’s China Open. Ajay Jayaram is the Malaysian’s quarter final opponent after the Indian’s victory over Hashim of Malaysia in three games. Lin Dan takes on Shon Wan Ho in his quarter final, with the Korean beating the 8th seeded Marc Zwiebler in his second round match.
Indian qualifier RMV Gurusaidutt has been the story of the bottom half of the draw, he impressed in qualifying and today provided the biggest victory over his career over the 7th seeded Du Pengyu of China. His reward is another Chinese player in the next round, the 2nd seeded Chen Long for a place in the semi finals. The fourth quarter final is a battle of the veterans of the game as Peter Gade takes on Chen Jin for the 11th time. Gade was forced to three games by Yamada in his second round match whilst Chen Jin disposed of Gade’s countryman Jan O Jorgensen in just two games.
Triple Threat From China
Three Chinese and three Japanese players started the last 16, only Ai Goto remains from the Japanese squad whilst all of the Chinese seeds are into the last 8. Ai Goto takes on the top seeded Wang Yihan tomorrow, with her record against the world number 1 far from stellar with just one game won in their four meetings to date. The only match not containing a Chinese player sees the 4th seeded Saina Nehwal take on Tine Baun as they meet for only the 4th time, with the Indian taking their most recent match at the Indonesia Premier event in June.
Bach and Gunawan match into quarterfinals
The 2005 world champions have managed once again to upset the worlds elite and reach the last 8 of a Super Series event. After their three game victory over Kawamae and Sato they have the unenviable task of taking on the world number 1 pairing of Cai and Fu, with the Chinese pair looking to continue their unbeaten run to 7 against the American pair. The two Korean threats of Lee and Jung as well as Ko and Yoo are on a collision course for the semi finals after both pairs won in two games to reach the last 8.
Win number 51 of the year was never in doubt for Wang And Yu, taking their streak of matches without the loss of a game to 8, dating back their semi final victory in Denmark last month. Tian and Zhao amassed their 41st win of the year and look set to meet their Chinese team-mates Wang and Yu in the final for the third straight Super Series event, who have been responsible for 6 of the 8 losses inflicted on Tian and Zhao.
Four of the remaining eight pairs in the mixed doubles are Chinese, with at least Chinese pair guaranteed in the last 4 from the all-Chinese quarter final of Zhang and Zhao against He and Yixin. The possibility of an all-Chinese semi final lies in the hands of Pan and Hong, who take on Chen and Cheng after both pairs progressed to the last 8 in two games. Ko and Eom of Korea take on the on form Danish pair of Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen whilst Valeria Sorokina’s excellent week sees her in both the women’s doubles and mixed doubles quarter finals after defeating seeds in both her second round matches. Sorokina partners Nikolaenko in her quarter final in the mixed doubles against Xu and Ma of China.
When the draw was announced last week, the possibility of Lee Chong Wei against Viktor Axelsen match in the second round was a mouthwatering prospect. With both players securing their place in the second round, the world number 1 takes on the future of Danish badminton for the first time tomorrow.
Gade and Chen Long Impress
The seeds made hard work of their opening round matches, with 6th seeded Sho Sasaki being the first of the seeds to fall at the hands of Ajay Jayaram of India in three games. Lee Chong Wei started with a two game victory over Pablo Abian of Spain whilst Viktor Axelsen defeated Hsu Jen Hao of Chinese Taipei to set up his second round match with the Malaysian. Lin Dan needed three games to beat Kashyup Parupalli of India and with a potential semi final meeting with Lee Chong Wei on the cards, the Chinese player will need to find form ahead of that match and next week’s Super Series Premier in China.
The top two seeds in the bottom half of the draw received little resistance as they powered into the second round. 2nd seeded Chen Long defeating Hsueh Hsuan Yi in two games whilst Peter Gade defeated the world championship quarter finalist Kevin Coridon 21-10, 21-5 in just 24 minutes. Gade sets up a second round match against his 2010 world championship quarter finals opponent in Kazushi Yamada, who defeated Joachim Persson to end any chance of an all-Danish match in the second round.
European hopes in the women’s singles are usually low with the strength and depth of the Chinese squad, but Juliane Schenk’s record against the Chinese but the German’s run this week ends at the first hurdle with a loss to Ai Goto of Japan in 3 games. The three Chinese seeds all progressed safely into the last 16 and are also joined by 3 Japanese players but there was a surprise defeat for Liu Xin at the hands of Yao Jie to ensure some European involvement in the second round.
There was also wins for Tine Baun and Carolina Marin, with the Spaniard set to take on the 3rd seeded Wang Xin in one of the toughest matches of her young career to date whilst Yao Jie’s reward for her opening round victory is a second round match against the 4th seeded Saina Nehwal.
Seeds Crash Out in Doubles
There was little trouble for Cai and Fu but for Lee and Jung it was different story, with the 2nd seeds needing a third game and almost a hour on court to defeat Hong and Shen of China in their opening round match. Only one seed fell in the men’s doubles, the 6th seeded Chai and Guo losing out to the American pairing of Bach and Gunawan in a relatively one-sided match.
The all-conquering Wang and Yu started their campaign in impressive fashion in their two game victory over Germany’s Marinello and Michels to set up a second round clash against Chin and Wong of Malaysia. Their main rivals this week as always are the other Chinese pairing of Tian and Zhao, who take on their team-mates Cheng and Pan in the second round. The other six seeds in the draw all progressed into the last 16, with the 5th seeded Chien and Cheng defeating the Macau pairing of Iao and Mak 21-4, 21-5 to reach the second round.
It wasn’t a good day for the seeds in the mixed doubles, with the three lowest seeded pairs all crashing out. 6th seeded Adcock and Bankier lost out to the Chinese pairing of He and Yixin in two games, whilst Mateusiak and Zieba were defeated by Malaysians Chan and Goh and the 8th seeded Ikeda and Shiota also lost out to a Chinese pairing, Hong and Pan in just two games. There was straight forward victories for the top two Chinese seeds as well as the on form Danish pair of Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen. Robertson and Wallwork claimed their opening game 30-29 before eventually progressing in three games to set up a second round match against Chen and Cheng of Chinese Taipei.