Chong Wei Ends Gades Run

Chong Wei Takes Out Gade

Gade Crashes Out

Gade’s last run at a Denmark Open ends at the hands of the world number 1, with the Dane being competitive throughout the match unlike his previous few matches that have resulted in crushing defeats. Gade himself said he should have taken the second game in his post-match interview, after having four attempts to win the game. Chen Long is the other finalist tomorrow after defeating Sho Sasaki in a one-sided semi final that sets up a rematch of the Japan Open, that the Chinese 3rd seed won.

Chinese Dominance In Women’s Singles

Inthanon Ratchanok was the only player capable of stopping an all-Chinese final, but her resistance lasted just 36 minutes as world number 1 Wang Yihan defeated the unseeded Thai in two games to reach the final. The other semi final seen Wang Xin defeat Wang Shixian in another surprise loss for the world number 2, whose form has been hit and miss since the Sudirman Cup and her loss to Juliane Schenk in that event earlier this year.

Danish Delight In Mixed

The neutral’s dream final in the men’s doubles will take place tomorrow, much to the disappointment of the hometown fans who seen their 3rd seeded pair of Boe and Mogensen lose out to the top seeded Chinese pair of Cai and Fu in two games. Their opponents in tomorrow’s final are the Korean pair of Lee and Jung, who defeated Kido and Setiawan in three games to set up their 17th meeting between the world’s top two pairs.

The Chinese monopoly on the women’s doubles continues as Wang And Yu face off against Tian and Zhao, with the 2nd seeded pair mercilessly thumping the Danish pair of Kruse and Roepke 21-12, 21-5 to book their place against the world number 1 pairing who surprisingly dropped a game against 6th seeded Ha and Kim of Korea before progressing into tomorrow’s final.

The success story for Denmark came in the mixed doubles as Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen fed off the partizan crowd to inflict a stunning defeat on the top seeded pair of Zhang and Zhao after saving a match point at 20-19 in the third game before winning three consecutive points to complete their remarkable comeback. Their opponents in the final are another Chinese pair, the 5th seeded Ma and Xu who ended the run of Lee and Ha of Korea in a two game victory to reach the final and experience the same partisan Danish crowd that their team mates faced in tomorrow’s mixed doubles final.…

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Taufik Stands In Lee Chong Wei’s Path

Taufik Stands In Lee Chong Wei’s Path

The Chinese dominance has been the main talking point in Malaysia this week, but the local world number 1 has been quietly conducting his business under the radar this week. There may be 7 Chinese players or pairs in the final tomorrow, but the top seed in the mens singles will be the undoubted main attraction on finals day.

Lee Chong Wei’s 21-9, 21-9 victory over the 3rd seeded Chen Long was a statement of intent for 2011 as he edges ever close to his first title of 2011. His opponent in tomorrow’s final is the 2nd seeded Taufik Hidayat who won his all-Indonesian clash with Simon Santoso in two games also. Their 17th meeting tomorrow is a real barometer for the year ahead to see if Taufik has narrowed the gap to the elite two or if Lee Chong Wei domination continues into 2011.

Wang Yihan continued her streak over the top seeded Wang Xin to 4 matches in their semi final, with the 3rd seeded winning the first of the all-Chinese semi finals. Jiang Yanjiao couldn’t make it a pair of upsets in the second semi final, losing to the 2nd seeded Wang Shixian in two tight games. The final will be the 4th meeting between the two, with Wang Yihan leading the head-to-head 2-1.

The mens doubles boasts the last of the European interest this week, with the unseeded Conrad-Petersen and Rasmussen defeating their Japanese opponents, Kawamae and Sato in two games to book their place in the final. They will take on the 5th seeded Chai and Guo in the final after their win over the 6th seeded Ahsan and Septano of Indonesia in two games.

The women’s doubles sees 4 Chinese pairs come down to 2 for the final tomorrow, such is the strength and depth in this event. Ex-partners Ma and Jin battled, with the latter taking the victory with partner Yu in two tight games. The 6th seeds will take on the 8th seeded Zhao and Tian after their win over the 5th seeded Pan and Du in another tight two game match.

Tian would also reach the mixed doubles final with partner Jiaming after their two game victory over the British pair of White and Blair in one of the more comfortable victories of the day, winning 21-11, 21-15. They will take on another Chinese pair in Ma and He who were a game and 17-14 up in the second when the 6th seeded Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen were forced to retire.…

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Top Seeds Dominate Play

Top Seeds Dominate Play

Saturday’s play begun with top seeds Robin Middleton and Mariana Agathangelou in quarterfinal action against Christian John Skovgard and Maria Heisbol, 21 minutes and two games later, the top seeds booked their place in the semi finals later that day, winning 21-12, 21-10. They were joined the semi finals by another English pair, Marcus Ellis and Heather Olver who beat 2nd seeds Dave Khodabux and Samantha Barning 23-21, 21-19.

Both English couples secured semi final victories to make the Mixed Doubles final an all-English affair, both coming through in three games. Middleton and Agathanegelou beating Tim Dettman of Germany and Emelie Lennartsson of Sweden, whilst Olver and Ellis defeated Indian duo K. Tarun and Shruti Kurian.

Top seed in the Women’s Singles, Juliane Schenk made light work of her two matches today to secure a place in Sunday’s final, first defeating Patty Stolzenbach 21-14, 21-4 in the quarter finals, then beat 3rd seed Anu Nieminen 21-13, 21-13. Her opponent in tomorrow’s final is another Dutch woman, 4th seeded Rachel Van Cutsen, who defeated Karina Jorgensen in the quarterfinals and 2nd seed Larisa Griga in the semi finals, both in two games.

The final of the Men’s Singles is a battle of the top two seeds; Marc Zweibler was in dominant form as he disposed of 7th seeded Henri Hurskainen in the quarterfinals, then 3rd seeded Christian Lind Thomsen in the semi finals. Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, seeded 2 also had little trouble booking his place in tomorrow’s final. Defeating unseeded Magnus Sahlberg in the quarterfinals and then Estonia’s 4th seed Raul Must in the semi finals. With all four matches won by the top two seeds being won in two games.

The top seeds in the Women’s Doubles, Helle Neilsen and Marie Ropke are also through, after defeating England’s Heather Olver and Scotland’s Emma Mason in the semi final in two tight games, 23-21 and 24-22, they will play unseeded Samantha Barning and Eefje Muskens of Holland in tomorrows final.…

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The Breakout Stars of 2011

The Breakout Stars of 2011

2011 seen the emergence of Sho Sasaki, Lee Hyun Il, Simon Santoso and Marc Zwiebler into the top 16 players in the world. 29-year old Sho Sasaki has been grinding away a career that seen him ranked as low as 40 in June of this year after a string of opening round losses to start 2011. He then reached the semi finals in the Indonesian Super Series Premier and followed that with a win in the US Open in July. An excellent run to the last 8 of the world championships boosted his ranking into the top 10 and finishes the year with his highest ever world ranking of 7. A lot is expected of Sasaki in 2012 with impressive victories over Lin Dan and Du Pengyu in 2011 but has to ensure no opening round upsets that marred his 2011 season.

Lee Hyun Il ended his career after the Beijing Olympics, only to be talked back into playing competitively just 20 months ago. Ranked 196th in May of 2010, he has returned to the world’s top 10 going into 2012, winning his last two events of 2011. A former world number 1 in 2004, his return to the top 10 is nothing short of stunning with victories over Chen Jin, Wang Zhengming , Du Pengyu and Simon Santoso confirming his top 10 status. He will benefit in 2012 with being seeded for most of the early Super Series events of the year to bolster his place in the top 10.

Simon Santoso was touted to overtake Taufik Hidayat as Indonesia’s number 1 in the summer after Hidayat’s poor run in the US and Canada Open. He entered the world championships ranked 19th but his run to the semi finals in China and Macau, that featured a victory over Peter Gade seen Santoso become the top ranked Indonesian player and ensured his place in the top 10 in December. His victory over Hidayat in the China Masters saw the passing of the guard to the 26-year old.

Marc Zwiebler has cemented his place as Europe’s number 2 behind Peter Gade, but his double victory over Taufik Hidayat has pushed him into the spotlight. Ranked as high as 11 earlier in the year, he has levelled out within the 15-17 ranking in the later half of the year following his Canada Open success. Big things are expected of Zwiebler in 2012 as he is set to take on the mantle of Europe’s #1 after the Olympics.…

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Lee Chong Wei Wins In Korea

Lee Chong Wei Wins In Korea

Men’s Singles

The top two seeds met in the final, with Peter Gade taking on Lee Chong Wei for the first Super Series title of 2010. This was the dream final for the event, but it didn’t live up to the billing. The defending champion Peter Gade lost his first final ever in Korea as Lee Chong Wei was in dominating form and took the match in two games, 21-12, 21-11 in 34 minutes.  From the very start of the match the Dane looked uneasy and struggled to keep up with Lee’s pace.  Upon entering the final Gade had played 90 minutes more badminton than Lee.

Women’s Singles

Local favourite Sung Ji Hyun faced Chinese 6th seed Wang Shixian in the women’s singles final. Sung defeated the top seed and the 7th seed to reach the final but was unable to beat another seed and win the title. She did however have 3 game points in the second game before losing the game and the match to Wang Shixian 21-10, 25-23.

Men’s Doubles:

The rematch of the 2009 World Championship final turned into another sensational match as Lee and Jung took on Cai and Fu in the final. Arguably the best two partnerships in the world played some fantastically long rallies with incredible defense to share the opening two games, just like in India in August at the World Championships. Lee Yong Dae was without a doubt the star of the match, dominating the front court in a manner reminiscent of Tony Gunawan.  This time it was the Korean’s turn to win a tight third game and the match 21-11, 14-21, 21-18.

Women’s Doubles:

The top two seeds met in the women’s doubles final, with the on-form Cheng and Zhao not losing a single game on route to the final to justify their top seeding. Fujii and Kakiiwa had to come through two 3 game matches to reach the final, but where unable to compete at the high level of the Chinese top seeds as Cheng and Zhao won their fourth match in two games to claim the title 21-16, 21-15.

Mixed Doubles:

Mixed Doubles

Could Tao and Zhang be the shock story of the week and defeat their third seeded pair to claim the Korean title? 3rd seeded He and Yu stood in their way. The two partnerships had only lost one game between them on route to the final (He and Yu) but Tao and Zhang’s run came to an end at the final hurdle, with the 3rd seeds winning 21-15, 21-16 to secure the title.…

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2012 Olympics signals

2012 Olympics signals

The 2012 Olympics signals the end of four legendary careers, with the hope of a last great battle between Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan for the Olympic gold on August 5, 2012. August of this year provided with perhaps the greatest advertisement for the game that there has ever been as Lee Chong Wei took on Lin Dan for the 2011 World Championship.

Malaysia expected as Lee Chong Wei had two match points to claim his first world title, only for Lin Dan to break a nations heart with his refusal to be beaten. A nation distraught as China claimed a clean sweep in London as Lin Dan ripped off his top in celebration after his historic victory. It was the defining image of 2011, that the Chinese were still the nation to beat and that Lin Dan will still the man to beat.

As much as the Chinese tactics are questionable on how they get so many players to qualify, there is little doubting they are the nation to beat going into next years Olympics. Malaysia and Lee Chong Wei’s last chance waits in London once more, in the arena that robbed him of a world title 12 months previously.

From the stunning mistake by Lin Dan at 19-19 in the third game, to his net play and smashes that saved the two match points before his precise pushes into Lee Chong Wei’s forehand that forced the errors that led to the match point and the eventual winning point, it was an absolute master class on the greatest stage by both players. They simply are the best two players in the world and the only two men capable of winning gold in London.…

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Dutch Dominance Continues

Dutch Dominance Continues

The opportunity of two all-Dutch finals was on the cards on Saturday morning; by the start of the evening they had their first. Eric Pang played Rajiv Ouseph started the Dutch interest on Saturday, with the first men’s singles semi final. Hope were high when Pang took the opening game 23-21 after trailing most of the latter half of the game, but the higher seeded Ouseph levelled the match by taking the second game 21-12.

Pang was forced to respond, which he did in front of his home crowd. He never led Ouseph take the lead in the final game and comfortably won the third game 21-7 to book his place in Sunday’s final.

Next game on court was Judith Meulendijks, against unseeded German Carola Boot. The second seed defeated Carola Bott in two games to claim her place in the final, the 21-13, 21-16 score line secured the first women’s single finalist for the home fans. Jie Yao had the chance to give the Dutch fans their first all-Dutch final on Sunday if she defeated Olga Koron in her semi final.

A dominant display in the opening game give the Dutch fourth seed a one game lead with a 21-8 scoreline. Koron responded well in the opening part of Game 2 but Jie Yao’s class prevailed and she took the second game 21-17 to complete the all-Dutch women’s singles final.

Dicky Palyama had the opportunity to complete the clean sweep of Dutch success on Saturday, playing second seed Chetan Anand of India. Palyama started well in the opening game, but the Indian responded with several runs of 2 and 3 points and clinched the opening game 21-14. The second game failed to change the outlook of the match, with Chetan Anand winning seven points in a row at 2-1 to take a dominating lead that he never lost, winning the second game 21-6.

Nina Vislova and Valeria Sorokina will pair up in the women’s doubles final first on finals day before playing against one another in the mixed doubles final. Vislova and Sorokina playing unseeded German pair Sandra Marinello and Birgit Overzier. Vislova was partner Vitalij Durkin as top seeds against Alexandr Nikolaenko and Valeria Sorokina.

The men’s doubles final is an all-German affair, with sixth seeded Krisoff Hopp and Johannes Schoettler playing fourth-seeded Michael Fuchs and Ingo Kindervater.…

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