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.

Day 2 results

Bao Chunlai Retires From International Badminton

The opening round was without one of China’s golden generation as the Olympics near ever closer as he became the first of a likely series of retirements. Bao Chunlai retired from international badminton today, citing continual knee injuries as the main factor in his decision.

The men’s singles is laden with players claiming this is their final year in the sport. Both Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan have expressed their desire to retire after London 2012, this week they successfully progressed into the second round with Lin Dan needing three games to dispose of Lee Hyun Il of Korea. There were wins for Peter Gade, Chen Jin and Chen Long but the biggest casualty of the day was the 5th seeded Taufik Hidayat who lost to qualifier Chou Tien Chen in three games in easily the shock of the opening days play.

The usual Chinese contingent are still in the women’s singles, without Jiang Yanjiao whose China Masters retirement seems a genuine one  to dispel the ideas of China “fixing” matches to get the maximum amount of players to London 2012. Wang Yihan leads the charge this week, with Wang Shixian, Liu Xin and Wang Xin also present in the second round. Only one seed fell in the draw today, Cheng Shao Chieh retired in her match against Sayaka Sato to allow the Japanese player to advance to the second round.

Boe and Mogensen continue their recent run of poor form with another first round defeat to Kawamae and Sato of Japan and will take on the partnership of Lee and Ko. The 5th seeded Jung and Yoo had to retire and allow their Chinese opponents of Liu and Qiu, whilst the top seeds Cai and Fu had little trouble progressing into the second round with a two game victory and will take on qualifiers Liao and Wu.

The women’s doubles has lost the top two seeds, with Wang and Yu pulling out pre-event and the defeat of 2nd seeded Maeda and Suetsuna at the hands of Yixin and Zhong of China. 3rd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa progressed safely in the second round and the other Chinese pair left in the usual stronghold event is the 4th seeded Tian and Zhao who won in three games to reach the second round.

Seven of the eight seeds remain in the mixed doubles with the top seeded Zhang and Zhao taking on Lee and Ha in one of the matches of the second round. Ahmad and Natsir are safely into round two with a two game victory and take on the Chinese pair of Hong and Pan whilst the world championship silver medalists Adcock and Bankier are into the second round to take on the 3rd seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in the second round.

Round 1 Results

Korea took every opportunity on finals day and walked away with four titles, with Ko Sung Hyun taking two titles in the doubles.

Tommy Sugiarto was the one that stopped the Korean monopoly on the titles this week, defeating 15th seed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in three games in the longest match of the day, with Sugiarto taking the title in three games 21-15 , 15-21, 21-17. The women’s title was won by Sung Ji Hyun, the 4th seeded also defeated her Thai opponent in the final in the 3rd seeded Inthanon Ratchanok, winning 22-20, 21-14 in 44 minutes.

The doubles was a Korean whitewash, with Ko and Yoo defeating their teammates Lee and Jung in a surprise victory with the 2nd seeds winning in two games, which levels their overall head to head at 3-3. Ha and Kim lost the opening game to Jauhari and Polii, only to fight back and take the 2nd game before the Indonesia pair had to retire at 2-0 in the deciding game to award the title to the Korean pair. Ko and Eom were the story of the mixed doubles, unseeded at the start of the week but defeated two seeds on route to the final before their best performance of the week in their victory over the top seeded Ahmad and Natsir in three games to claim the mixed doubles title.

Sundays Results

The hope of a title remaining in Chinese Taipei ended today, with the defeat of Pai Hsiao Ma in the women’s singles and the top seeded Cheng and Chien crashing out of the women’s doubles.

They weren’t the only top seed to crash out, with Tien Minh Nguyen’s defeat to Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in two games and the Thai’s reward is a match with 6th seeded Tommy Sugiarto in the final. Sugiarto won the all-Indonesian semi final against Sony Dwi Kuncoro in 69 minutes and will take on the 15th seed in their first matchup for the title tomorrow.

Sung Ji Hyun ended Pai Hsiao Mai’s run at the semi final stage with a convincing two game victory, many expected an all-Korean final but Thailand’s 3rd seeded Inthanon Ratchanok defeated the 2nd seeded Bae Youn Joo in the other semi final in two games to book her place in the final against Hyun as the world number 12 and 13 do battle for the title.

There is one all-Korean final in the men’s doubles, as Lee and Jung take on Ko and Yoo. The top two seeds have progressed without much resistance this week and have quashed rumours that Lee and Ko were set to team up ahead of the Olympic Games next year. Jauhari and Polii ended the run of the top seeded Chinese Taipei pair of Cheng and Chien in one of the shortest matches of the day to set up a final against the 2nd seeded Kim and Ha who defeated the unseeded pairing of Hoo and Woon of Malaysia.

Lee and Ha’s run in the mixed doubles ended at the hands of Ahmad and Natsir, the top seeded Indonesians. However, one unseeded Korean pair did reach the final as Ko and Eom defeated their third seed of the week, this time it was the 3rd seeded Kurinawan and Bernadeth in their semi final as they continued their exceptional run this week of not losing a game to date.

Saturday’s Results

The Korean squad has a massive interest going into the semi finals on Saturday, with a potential four titles on offer for Korea this week.

The only title that the Korean’s can’t win is the men’s singles, with Tien Minh Nguyen progressing in three games over Shon Wan Ho to end Korean interest in the event. Tommy Sugiarto is Nguyen’s main rival this week and the 6th seed will take on his team mate Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the semi final after the unseeded Indonesian defeated Malaysia’s Muhammed Hafiz Hashim in three games in their quarter final.

Pai Hsiao Ma has been the revelation in the women’s singles, after her defeat of the top seeded Cheng she added another victory over a seeded player in her victory over Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong in three games to reach the semi finals. Sung Ji Hyun is the opponent for the Chinese Taipei woman, with Korea also having interest in the other semi final with the 2nd seeded Bae Youn Joo who takes on Inthanon Ratchnok, seeded 3 this week.

The doubles are dominated by Korea, with three pairs in the last 4 of the men’s doubles including Lee and Jung who are the top seeded as well as the 2nd seeded Ko and Yoo with neither pair losing a game to date this week. Chien and Cheng are sole Chinese Taipei interest in the doubles in the women’s doubles and take on the 3rd seeded Jauhari and Polii of Indonesia. The 2nd seeds of Ha and Kim take on the unseeded Malaysia pair of Hoo and Woon in the other semi final.

The mixed doubles features two unseeded Korean pairs, with Lee and Ha defeating two seeds this week already in their route to the semi final. After defeating the 8th seeded Widianto and Natsir, they went on to beat the 4th seeded Lee and Chien but face their toughest task in the semi final as they take on the top seeded Ahmad and Natsir. The other Korean pair of Ko and Eom have also been in excellent form as they also defeated two seeds to reach the semi final, after their victory over the 2nd seeded Chen and Cheng they beat the 6th seeded Rijal and Susanto in two games to reach the semi finals against Kurniawan ad Bernadeth, seeded 3rd this week.

Friday’s Results

World Title Number 4 For Lin Dan

China claimed their second straight clean sweep of the gold medals but that has not been the only story of this year’s world championships with several players and partnership stealing the headlines throughout the week.

If the match between Cai/Fu and Lee/Jung in the 2009 world championships final was the greatest match of that event, the 2011 final between Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan has to be considered the greatest match in recent memory in the men’s singles. The 81-minute match had everything you’d want from a final and the drama of the last few points only confirmed the greatness of the match. Lee Chong Wei had two chances to be world champion, only for Lin Dan to save those match points and take the title 23-21.

The main disappointment of the week was Taufik Hidayat’s early exit to Zi Liang Derek Wong of Singapore in two games, asking the question if the Indonesian will continue playing until the 2012 Olympics. For Peter Gade, his last chance of a world championship ended at the semi final stage to Lin Dan but was just six points away from the final, leading 15-14 in the third game before the 2nd seeded Lin Dan scored seven unanswered points.

Wang Yihan claimed the women’s title in one-sided final over Cheng Shao Chieh of Chinese Taipei to claim her first world title ahead of three other high seeded Chinese players. The 2nd seeded Chinese player dropped just a single set on route to the final in her 2nd round match against Inthanon Ratchnok whilst her opponent reached the final with the loss of a game including victories over Wang Shixian and Juliane Schenk.

It was yet further disappoint for Wang Shixian, whose recent run of form since winning the All England in March has been poor. Two defeats to Cheng Shao Chieh, one defeat to Tine Baun and a surprise defeat to Lu Lan in the Asian Games was far from the best preparation for this week. Wang Yihan however, came in with the best preparation with a victory in the Indonesian Premier event and with her victory this week will put behind her the poor 2010 season.

Cai and Fu claimed their 4th world title after a shaky start in the opening two rounds before hitting their best form and defeating the top two Korean pairs in the semi final and final to win their 3rd straight world title. Ko and Yoo played exceptional all week but the Chinese pair were too strong in the final and questions will now be asked over the future of the partnerships in this discipline, with Ko and Lee teaming up in the events leading up to the world championships.

Boe and Mogensen’s defeat in the quarter final compounds their recent run of poor form, since failing to win a single match in the Sudirman Cup the pairing has almost been in free fall, but there were signs ever before that in their shock defeat to Bosch and Ridder in the Swiss Open. The new pairing of Conrad-Petersen and Rasmussen had a better run this week and could be a changing of the guard in Danish badminton.

Wang and Yu played against one another in the final of this event last year, but since teaming up have been almost unstoppable. Losing just one match since combining as a partnership and were the runaway favourites for the women’s doubles title and failed to disappoint. Their 22-20, 21-11 victory over Tian and Zhao, the only pairing to ever beat them was a warning to the rest of the women’s doubles field that they are the undoubted best partnership in the world, by a long way.

Both partnerships were rarely troubled on route to the final, with both failing to drop a game in reaching the final. The Japanese pairings of Maeda and Suetsuna as well as Fujii and Kakiiwa weren’t in the same league as the two Chinese pairs and that clearly showed in their quarter and semi final matches. The best two partnerships in the world met in the final and that seems to be the way it will be for the near future.

Zhang and Zhao might have claimed the gold in the mixed doubles, but the heroics of Adcock and Bankier will be the story of the championships. The Chinese pair were the undoubted favourites coming into this week, with victory in the Asian Games and the most recent Premier event in Indonesia. Their opponents in the final defeated four seeds just to reach the final and with every victory their confidence grew, as did the emotional and physical fatigue. Zhang and Zhao needed just 7 games to reach the final whilst Adcock and Bankier needed 11 and almost a hour more on court.

For Imogen Bankier, this is not new territory as one of her previous partnerships with Robert Blair propelled them into the top 20 of the world ranking but this partnership is clearly the future of British badminton with Robertson and Wallwork’s shock defeat in their opening match this week. Tian and Jiaming as well as Ahmad and Natsir will wonder how they were defeated by the British pair in such a convincing manner, with the Olympics being held in the same arena in just a years time with Adcock and Bankier looking to go one better than in 2011.

Finals Day Results

Lee Chong Wei Looks Confident For Title

The fairytale at the start of the week was Kevin Cordon’s unlikely run to last 8 but even his heroics haven’t matched the performances of Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier this week as they are one match away from being world champions.

Lee Chong Wei defeated the current world champion in convincing style in the morning session to book his place in the final by the score of 21-13, 21-9. His opponent in the final will be the 2nd seeded Lin Dan who had to come through Peter Gade in three games, after the Dane took the opening game but Lin Dan responded in the second and reeled off seven straight points at 14-15 down in the third game to book his place against Lee Chong Wei. Their 24th meeting will be for a world title, with the pair splitting their last 4 matches but the Malaysian won their last encounter in the All England Championships in March.

Wang Yihan won the all-Chinese semi final against Wang Xin to take a 5-0 lead in their head to head matches. The 2nd seed will take on the 7th seeded Cheng Shao Chieh, who defeated Juliane Schenk in convincing fashion to continue her excellent run after defeating the top seeded Wang Shixian in the quarter final stage. Wang Yihan holds a 3-0 record against her Chinese Taipei opponent, with their most recent matchup in the Asian Games being won by Wang Yihan in two games.

The Korean pair of Ko and Yoo reached the men’s doubles final with a two game victory over Ahsan and Septano, the 7th seeded pair from Indonesia. Their opponents in tomorrow’s final will be the top seeded Cai and Fu who are looking for their 3rd straight world title after defeating the 3rd seeded pair of Lee and Jung in two games and taking the advantage in their head to head to 8-7 to the Chinese pair. Cai and Fu will go in as undoubted favourites with a 4-0 advantage in their head to head.

The women’s doubles final is an All-Chinese affair, with the top seeded Wang and Yu defeating the 3rd seeded Maeda and Suetsuna in two games to book their place in the final against the 5th seeded Tian and Zhao, who defeated the unseeded Indian pair of Gutta and Ponnappa. Wang and Yu have won every single match they have played in 2011 except one, against the pairing of Tian and Zhao in Malaysia early in the year but since then Wang and Yu have defeated their opponents in the final twice.

The mixed doubles final sees the top seeded Zhao and Zhang take on the story of the championships in the pairing of Adcock and Bankier, who defeated their 4th seeded pair this week to be their place in tomorrow’s final. Adcock and Bankier’s stunning victory over the second seeded Ahmad and Natsir booked their place in the final whilst the Chinese pair had to play just one game against the 6th seeded Xu and Ma before an ankle injury to Ma Jin cut the match short. The Chinese pair have won both their previous matches but one of their victories was a retirement and the other meeting was in 2010 that the Chinese pair won 24-22 in the deciding game.

Semi-Finals Results

leechong_mastersfinal

Lee Wins By Default

Indonesia had four chances to take home a title on finals day in Macau, but only the mixed doubles final guaranteed an Indonesian winner. The top seeds Gunawan and Marissa were surprisingly defeated by the 6th seeded Ahmad and Natsir in two games, winning 21-14, 21-18.

The women’s singles final was between two unseeded players, Li Xuerui of China and Adriyanti Firdasari of Indonesia. Both players has disposed of a top 5 seed to reach the final, but it was the Chinese player who had came through against the 2nd and 4th seed that took the title in two games, winning 21-18, 21-15 in just 33 minutes.

Cheng and Chien made it two titles in two weeks, following up their win in the US with a three game victory over Jauhari and Polii, winning 16-21, 21-18, 21-16. Indonesia’s fourth final of the day seen 3rd seeded Chandra and Gunawan loss out to the unseeded Korean duo of Ko and Yoo in two games 21-17, 21-15. Meaning Indonesia took just one title from a possible four.

The men’s singles final between Lee Chong Wei and Lee Hyun Il, who was playing his first tournament since his comeback from a two-year retirement failed to take place after the Korean pulled out with an unspecified injury that he sustained during practice earlier that day.

Sunday’s Results

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