Natsir and Widianto Top The Draw

The question marks over the 2008 Olympic champions Lee and Lee making the World Championships were still unanswered as little as 3 weeks ago as Lee Hyo Jung pulled out of Macau just as Lee Yong Dae returned from his own injury layoff, however they are here in Paris. The Chinese squad come here without a seed in the top 5 and will look for an exceptional performance from one of three seeded pairings.

The top seeds are Widianto and Natsir and after their first round bye, they will play another Indonesia pair of Kurniawan and Bernadet ranked 14th in the world but not seeded for the world championships. The 11th seeded Chen and Chou is the other seeds in the section and play against Germany’s Schottler and Marinello for a place in the second round, the other match in the section is between Australian pair Raj and Renuga Veeran and Yoo and Kim of Korea.

Zheng and Ma are the 8th seeds, even though they are provisionally ranked 35th in the world and have failed to live up to the hype surrounding them for the past few years, could this year be their year? They begin their campaign against Zavadsky and Diptan of Ukraine, ranked 91st in the world. Also in this section is the 14th seeds, Thailand’s Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam who begin their campaign against Croatia’s Durkinjak and Poznanovic, the world number 58. The other match in the section is between Wong and Chau of Hong Kong, the world number 62 against the world number 52 pairing of Sam and Chloe Magee.

Poland’s Mateusiak and Kostiuczyk are seeded 3 for the event and have a tough opening match in the second round against the world number 27 duo of Triyachart and Yao of Singapore. This section will clearly be one of the toughest to progress through as the 9th seeded Diju V and Jwala Gutta take on the world number 21 pairing of Adcock and White of England. The final match of the section sees Chan and Goh of Malaysia take on the Belgian pair of Gillis and Corvillain.

The 5th seeded Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen are another high seeding with a tough opening match, against the 23rd ranked Sorokina and Nikolaenko of Russia in their second round match. The 12th seeded Ko and Ha from Korea have an easier start than the other seeds in the section, taking on Jacquet and Dumartharay of Switzerland. The first of the French pairings are in this section also, Careme and Choinet take on the Japanese pairing of Hashimoto and Fujii, who are both seeded in their level doubles events and could be a pairing to watch this week.

Lee and Lee are seeded 7 for the event, even thought they have a world ranking of 5. Perhaps there are still concerns of Lee Yong Dae’s injury, but the 7th seeds take on Larsen and Schjoett-Kristiansen of Denmark, ranked 32nd in the world and will test the Korean’s credentials in their opening game. The 16th seeded Lee and Chien have a tough match to start out also, against Russia’s Durkin and Vislova, ranked 31 in the world. The final match in the section sees Wiratama and Tse of Hong Kong take on Vietnam’s Duc and Ham, ranked 112 in the world.

The 4th seeds are another Indonesia pair in Gunawan and Marissa who begin their campaign against James and Edwards of South Africa, ranked 97th in the world. The 10th seeds Jiaming and Yawen take on France’s Rasadi and Labar in one of the weaker sections of the draw, with the final match of the section between world number 25 Ng and Gao against Hirata and Miyuki of Japan, ranked 34 in the world being easily the most competitive match in the section.

The big Chinese hope is in the 6th seeded He and Yu, who are ranked below Jiamind and Yawen but received a higher seeding. He and Yu begin their campaign against the Spanish pair of Longo and Ojeda. The 13th seeded Anugrtiayawon and Voravichitchalkul from Thailand take on the German duo of Overzier and Kindervater, ranked 67th in the world. The final match of the section sees Misha and Svetlana Zilberman of Israel take on Zirnwald and Prustch of Austria.

The final section sees the 2nd seeded and current World Champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl take on the Polish pair of Szkudiarczyk and Wojtkowska in the second round after their first round byes. The other seed in the section is the 15th seeds, Wallwork and Robertson of England who begin their campaign with a first round match against Prus and Atrashchenkov of Ukraine. The final match in the section is between the Bulgarian pair of Makarski and Dimova and Dutch pairing of Khoabux and Barning in an excellent matchup between the world number 36 and 39 in the world.

Mixed Doubles Draw

wang_lin

Wang Lin Falls to Schenk

Heading into the finals tomorrow China has secured themselves finalists in all of the finals with the exception of the mixed doubles event.  Perhaps the strongest challenge to China’s dominance in the finals tomorrow is home town favourite Juliane Schenk who upset top seeded Wang Lin today in three close games 17-21, 21-15, 21-16.  The German proved that she is one of the few Europeans capable of challenging the Chinese in the women’s singles event, but she will have to do it again tomorrow against second seeded Wang Xin if she wants to take home the title.

In the mixed doubles it was England’s Robert Blair and Scotland’s Imogen Bankier that prevented China from having a pair in the finals when they defeated Tao Jiaming and Zhang Yawen in two games 21-17, 21-19.  While the British pair may not have been seeded, Blair has a history of winning some big matches, like appearance in the 2006 World Championships finals in the men’s doubles, so it’s best not to underestimate this pair tomorrow when they face Hong Kong’s Yohan Hadikusumo Wiramata and Tse Ying Suet.

As is so often the case, China has already secured themselves a top finish in both the women’s doubles and the men’s singles.  In the women’s doubles the top two seeded pairs are facing off after Cheng Shu and Zhao Yunlei sailed passed Russia’s Valeria Sorokina and Nina Vislova, and they will play Ma Jin and Wang Xiaoli in the finals.

The men’s singles featured two Chinese players facing off against two Malaysians.  First it was Chen Long up against Hafiz Hashim.  Hafiz has been trying to regain his top form, and while this tournament was an improvement for the lanky Malaysian, Chen Long was the better player winning in two straight games 21-15, 21-19.  Next up it was Bao Chunlai against Wong Choong Han.  Similar to Hashim, Wong has had a fairly good run in Germany this week, but Bao was much stronger winning 21-18, 21-13.

Finally in the mens doubles we can look forward to up and coming Chinese pair Chai Biao and Zhang Nan taking to the courts against Chinese Taipei’s Chung Hun Lin and Lin Yu Lang.

German Open 2010 Semi-Final Results

leechong_mastersfinal

Lee Chong Wei Dominates Field

In another demonstration of his superior abilities Lee Chong Wei has won back to back super series titles today as he disposed of Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana in two straight games 21-13, 21-7. While Lin Dan may take the big titles out of Lee Chong Wei’s hands, even the Chinese star cannot match Lee’s consistency and prolific winning.

Lee wasn’t the only hometown hero on the day however. Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong did well to take the men’s doubles title after defeating not one, not two, but three Chinese pairs. In the final they defeated Guo Zhendong and Xu Chen in three games 21-15, 17-21, 21-16.

The women’s singles final provided some drama and speculation after Bae Youn Joo withdrew during the final against Wang Xin. There appeared to be some confusion between Bae and the chair umpire as Bae requested to place a strap on her ankle, but was refused because she did not indicate to the umpire what was wrong and did not request the tournament doctor. Later there was speculation that it was either an ankle injury, or even potentially more serious issues like a heart problem. We have no verification on either report at this time.

Throughout the tournament Du Jing and Yu Yang managed to go relatively untested, and won the women’s doubles title without dropping a single game. The second seeded pair defeated their compatriots Ma Jin and Wang Xiaoli 21-16, 21-12 in only 34 minutes.

While it was a good comeback tournament for the Danish World Champions Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl they didn’t have what it took to go all the way in Malaysia this week. After a great run they fell in the final to China’s Tao Jiaming and Zhang Yawen 19-21, 21-18, 21-15. Nonetheless Laybourn has to be happy with his first super series event after injuring himself at the end of 2009.

Visit the draws below for full results
Malaysia Super Series 2010 Draws

Chen Jin

Chen Jin

The story of the second half of the 2009 season has been the rising star Jan O Jorgensen’s growing list of conquests.  Recently he upset Peter Gade, and now in China he has upset world number one Lee Chong Wei, Boonsak Ponsana, and today he defeated his first Chinese national team member when he won a marathon match against fourth seed Chen Jin.  Jorgensen was off to a slow start in the first game when he lost 11-21.  However, Jorgensen equalized when he won the second game 21-18 to force a third and final game.  The final game went the distance with Jorgensen winning in extra points 22-20 after an hour and seven minutes.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn3EDYAxGNE[/youtube]

Tomorrow Jorgensen will have to pull off the ultimate upset against World Champion Lin Dan if he is to win his first ever Super Series title.  Lin Dan had a much smoother semi-final match against Korea’s Park Sung Hwan winning in two straight games 21-10, 21-11.  In spite of a good run here so far, the odds are certainly stacked against Jorgensen tomorrow.

Korea’s Lee Yong Dae will be a busy man tomorrow as he will be featured in both the men’s doubles and mixed doubles finals.  First he partnered with Lee Hyo Jung to defeat Thailand’s Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul in the mixed doubles and then with Jung Jae Sung in the men’s doubles they won an incredibly close match against Denmark’s Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen 21-16, 19-21, 23-21.  Their opponents for the finals will be Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong in the men’s doubles and Zheng Bo and Ma Jin in the mixed doubles.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-e1I3Yi41fY[/youtube]

The women’s events have been overwhelmingly dominated by the Chinese.  Tomorrow’s women’s singles and doubles finals will be all Chinese showdowns with Tian Qing and Zhang Yawen against their teammates Du Jing and Yu Yang in the doubles and then Jiang Yanjiao against Wang Xin in the singles.

China Super Series 2009 Draws

With a combined total of five hours and twenty eight minutes, today’s finals were a treat for the spectators. A tiring affair, but certainly everyone got their money’s worth. The day got started with the women’s doubles between China’s Pan Pan and Zhang Yawen against the home grown favourites Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Lena Frier Kristiansen. Clocking in at an hour and six minutes the Chinese pair took the title with a final scoreline of 22-20, 18-21, 21-12. Kamilla and Lena discuss the match below:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbiAgEa_WGU[/youtube]

Following that match was another China vs Denmark match up featuring Wang Yihan and Tine Rasmussen, the first and second seeds respectively. Another marathon match, but this time it was a different story as Denmark managed to clinch their first title of the day as Rasmussen won this match 21-18, 19-21, 21-14 in an hour and four minutes. Rasmussen quoted her positive mental outlook as the key to her success on the day:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVRUcYw5Qi8[/youtube]

The day’s longest match of the day came next in the mixed doubles between Denmark’s Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christina Pedersen and England’s Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg. After an hour and twenty two minutes the defending champions Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen were the victors once again with a score of 21-16, 25-27, 21-17. Fischer Nielsen credits their will and determination to win as the reason that they came through after this long match:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1r7L00BlXY[/youtube]

In spite of their stellar performance in the tournament, Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen will have to settle for second best today as Malaysia’s Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong were too strong for the Danes. Boe and Mogensen took the lead initially with a 20-22 win in the first game, but the Malaysian’s stormed back to take the second 21-14 and the third 21-17. The popular Koo had the following to say after their match:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kb-_W1tbSJ0[/youtube]

The last match of the day was unfortunately the worst. After such a spectacular run this week Marc Zwiebler’s magic touch seemed to have run out, or perhaps the string of upsets was too much for his legs. Either way, today was Santoso’s day as the young Indonesian won in two quick games 21-14, 21-6 in thirty eight minutes. Regardless of the poor performance in the finals today Zwiebler played a fantastic tournament and will likely be enjoying some new found confidence against the world’s top players.

For full results and draws visit the link below:
Denmark Open Super Series 2009 Draws

Another year and another World Championships is over, new World Champions have been crowned whilst some continue their domination of the sport. It was a tournament full of surprises, from England’s withdrawal on the eve of the Championships to seeing Lin Dan seeded a mere fifth.

The Winners:

He might have been seeded fifth, but Lin Dan is still the best player in the world. He almost eased into the tournament with three simple wins in under 90 minutes, and then hit top form when it mattered against Peter Gade, Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Chen Jin to win his third straight World Championship.

Lu Lan came in as China’s 4th best player, but now she is World Champion. Beating four of the top ten seeds on her way to the world title without losing a set is a remarkable achievement for the 22-year old. She defeated Xie Xingfang and Wang Lin on her way to the world title to declare herself as the number one player in China and in the world.

Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng’s lack of tournament experience this year did little to hinder their progress at this years world championship, but had to come through the most remarkable match of the Championships in the final against Lee and Jung where they had a to save two Championship points at before taking the title at their sixth match point, winning 28-26 in the third game in a 75 minute epic.

Zhao and Zhang came in as China 4th best women’s doubles partnership but they showed the depth and quality of the nation by defeating two higher Chinese seeds on their way to their first World title. Their stunning win over Ha and Kim in the quarterfinal will live long in the memory.

The only non-Chinese winner and a first gold for Denmark since 2003 as Laybourn and Rytter Juhl take the mixed doubles title, beating the top three seeds on their way to the title. It is an event that the Chinese haven’t won since 2001 and a result that will boost the game as a whole in Europe that the Asian stranglehold can be broken.

The Surprises:

Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan rolled back the years at this years World Championship, unseeded and unfancied at the start of the week they went on a run that turned them from no-hopers to contenders for the title. Only a narrow defeat in the quarterfinal robbed them of another run at the world title.

Jan O Jorgensen’s run to the quarterfinals could be the first look into the future of Danish badminton and to continue the legacy of outstanding men’s singles players. The 21-year old gave Taufik Hidayat a real scare in the last 8 before narrowly losing out, but don’t count out another run by Jorgensen next year.

The Disappointments:

Paaske and Rasmussen’s shock round 2 defeat was one of the big disappointments of the opening three days of action. Their half of the draw opened up with the withdrawal of Kido and Setiawan but the 2005 World Championships fell at the first hurdle.

There was a lot of harsh criticism of Lee Chong Wei’s defeat to Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the quarterfinal stage on the live-blog that was onsite during the World Championships, but that is not my reason for putting him down as a disappointment. I think he was the only genuine contender to Lin Dan this year and we were almost robbed on their potential semi-final encounter, a victory over Lee Chong Wei would have made Lin Dan’s three-peat all the more impressive.

What next for the world’s best? Macau next week.

Finals Matches

After a week of hard work the finals are here and China looks primed for domination. With only one event out of their reach, China has 3 guaranteed golds and a chance at the fourth. Mens singles, womens singles, and womens doubles are all in the bag now for China, and Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng will certainly do their best to capture a fourth for the day, and their second for their careers.

BVM Coverage – World Badminton Championships Finlas

Finals day in Singapore with only a few seeds contesting for the title, 5th Seeded women’s doubles Zhao Tingting and Zhang Yawen played unseeded Greysia Polii and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari in the opening match of the day. The Chinese couple disposed of the unseeded pair in just under an hour to win their second title of the year following their All-England triumph in March.

Top seeded Zhou Mi was in fantastic form going into the final against Xie Xingfang. After the pair exchanged in the first two games, Zhou Mi took the deciding set dead on the hour mark to end Wang Yihan’s run of Super Series singles wins.

Perhaps the biggest shock of the day was in the men’s doubles as unseeded pair of Anthony Clark and Nathan Robertson defeated top seeds Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan. The English duo’s clinical win over the Olympic Champions in two sets makes them a pair of to watch in next weeks Indonesian Super Series if they recapture this form as they disposed of their Indonesian opponents in under 30 minutes in two games.

The Mixed Doubles was an all-Chinese affair as 5th seeded Zheng Bo and Ma Jin played 6th seeded pair Xie Zhengbo and Zhang Yawen. After sharing two tight games, the younger pair of Zheng Bo and Jin Ma won six points in the middle of the third game to take the initiative and went on to clinch their first title since the Swiss Super Series in March. For Zhang Yawen it wasn’t to be a double victory in the mixed doubles and ladies doubles.

The Final match of the day had two unseeded players looking to win the Mens Singles title. Both had disposed of a seeded player to make the final. Chunlai Bo took the opening set after taking an early 4-0 led and never lost the lead in the opening game. The second set was a tighter affair, with both players have a good run of points early on, but the Thai player strung together five points at 13-13 to take the match into a deciding game. The third game started with Ponsana taking a 10-6 lead before Chunlai Bo won nine consecutive points to swing the match is his favour. A strong fightback from his opponent wasn’t enough and Chunlai Bo took the third set and his first Super Series win this year.

The Results:

MS Chunlai Bo bt Boonsak Ponsana (21-19, 16-21, 21-15)
LS Zhou Mi bt Xie Xingfang (21-19, 18-21, 21-10)
MD Clark / Robertson bt Kido / Setiawan (21-12, 21-11)
LD Tingting / Yawen bt Polii / Maheswari (21-14, 21-13)
XD Ma / Bo bt Yawen / Zhongbo (19-21, 21-19, 21-21)

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