The first post-World Championships Super Series in China was a perfect way for the host nation to bolster it’s place at the top of world badminton and to an extent they did, but one shock defeat leaves a bittersweet taste on a successful day for the host nation.
World Champion Lin Dan progressed safely into round 2 and was followed by Chen Jin, Zhou Wenlong, Chen Long, Du Pengyu and Wang Zhengming. Only Peter Gade and Kazushi Yamada were able to defeat Chinese opponents in the opening round as the European interest in the men’s singles shrunk to just two after the opening round. Hans-Kristian Vittinghus and Peter Gade are Europe’s sole hopes this week with early exits for Rajiv Ouseph, Jan O Jorgensen and Marc Zwiebler.
Wang Shixian needed the full distance to reach the second round against Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, eventually coming through 30-29 in the final game in 71 minutes and saving eleven match points. There is a massive Chinese involvement in round 2 as expected, with Wang Yihan, Wang Xin, Jiang Yanjiao, Liu Xin and Yao Xue making up six of the sixteen remaining players. Tine Baun and Juliane Schenk will be Europe’s main hopes of an unlikely victory on Chinese soil.
The men’s doubles has but just 3 pairs from China, but the top seeded Cai and Fu will be the pair to watch. Hashimoto and Hirata defeated the 8th seeded Chandra and Gunawan to book their place in the last 16 but there were little surprises in the other matches in the opening round. The women’s doubles will be another event to watch for the all-conquering world champions Wang and Yu whilst Europe has it’s entire hope placed solely on Rytter Juhl and Pedersen’s shoulders for success.
The mixed doubles seen the biggest shock of the day as China’s 2nd seeds Jiaming and Ting to unseeded Indian pair Gutta and Valiyaveeti in three games. Their reward is a match against Lee and Ha of Korea, a pair that easily beat them in Switzerland earlier in the year. Last week’s winners Ko and Eom have the toughest task in round 2 as they take on the world champions and top seeded Zhang and Zhao for a place in the quarter final.
At this week’s Philippines Grand Prix, China is absolutely dominating with several players remaining in all five events. Few of their players in this tournament are big names that you’ll recognize which shows that China is still producing lots of strong players.
In the mens singles Zhou Wenlong, Chen Long, and Du Pengyu remain at the semi final stage. The only non Chinese player is Hong Kong’s Hu Yun who managed a big upset over Vietnam’s Tien Minh Nguyen winning in three games 21-12, 17-21, 21-17. With his strong performance last week, Chen Long is probably the man to pick for this week’s tournament.
In the womens singles it’s a similar situation, the only non Chinese player left is Hong Kong’s Zhou Mi who has been relatively unchallenged so far this tournament. That will likely change as she meets China’s Jiang Yanjiao in the semi-finals. On the other side of the draw we have Wang Xin earning a place after going through qualifying, playing her teammate Wang Shixian.
For full results check out the draw link posted below:
After a good run at last week’s Indonesia Super Series Taufik Hidayat was upset by Chen Long, a young Chinese upstart. Chen won the match in 3 close games, 21-14, 20-22, 21-19. Following his win over Hidayat, Chen then defeated India’s Arvind Bhat very quickly 21-5, 21-11.
Elsewhere in the draw it seems another Chinese youngster, Zhou Wenlong, was unable to emulate Chen Long’s success as he was easily defeated by Lee Chong Wei 21-18, 21-4. Lee seems to have an ability to absolutely destroy even the best of players on his good days.
Also of note is Lee’s teammate Wong Choong Han who has also made it to the quarter-final stage, but he has yet to truly be tested. He knocked out another Malaysian, Kuan Beng Hong, 21-19, 21-16. Now he plays the Chinese qualifier Gao Huan who will no doubt be tired after playing extra rounds.
In the women’s singles India’s Saina Nehwal fresh off of her win last week dodged a bullet against Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand winning in 3 close games to book her place in the quarter finals against a Chinese qualifier Wang Xin.
Something I have noticed in the women’s singles is now that Zhang Ning has retired it seems as though this event is much more open to other competitors. No doubt this will make the event much more interesting to the fans.
In the men’s doubles there are 5 out of 8 pairs representing Malaysia. Good results for Malaysia, but it probably has more to do with the small numbers of big names in contention here.
Stay Tuned for more updates from the Yonex Sunrise Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold 2009.