PHILIPPINE OPEN 2007 – Top seeds advance

Lee Chong Wei and Chen Hong in opposing halves of the draw advanced to the semi-final of the event in Manila on Friday. Park Sung-hwan stunned Kenneth Jonassen and Sony […]

ImageLee Chong Wei and Chen Hong in opposing halves of the draw advanced to the semi-final of the event in Manila on Friday. Park Sung-hwan stunned Kenneth Jonassen and Sony also secured his ticket to the semis.

Article and photos : Ants Kong, Badzine Correspondent.

The day was good to the “Pinoys”, as they say in the Philippines. The Bingo Bonanza Philippine Open was very crowded during the quarter-finals on Friday. Many enjoyed very high level matches.

The day started off with the mixed doubles. The results showed that only the best were to win as there were no upsets in this event. Top seeds Lilyana Natsir and Nova Widianto beat their counterparts Lita Nurlita/Devin Lahardi 21-17, 21-17.

However the Thai pair of Kunchala/Songphon had to slog it out to win over a Russian pair in 3 games before finally winning 21-23, 21-11, 21-17. “It was hard to play against the Russians, but we managed to wrap up the crucial points,” said Songphon. “We will be looking forward to playing against the 1st seeds tomorrow.”

ImageChen Hong and Chong Wei one step closer

The most exciting matches were expected to be played in the men’s singles where Chen Hong is on the collision course with Lee Chong Wei (pictured on top) of Malaysia. However Chen Hong’s job on Friday wasn’t easy as he was stretched to three games by Vietnamese star Nguyen Tien Minh, who had beaten Taufik earlier in the week.  Chen finally finished it out 21-17, 19-21, 21-13.

“He was fast and he has definitely improved a lot. The crowd was supportive as well. It will not be an easy task from now on,”
said Chen Hong.

Lee Chong Wei showed his form by beating Gong WeiJie in 2 games 23-21, 21-11. “In the first set I was testing him out as I’ve never played him before. However he didn’t want to give me any opportunity to attack, either. He made me work hard. But during the break I told myself to keep creating opportunities. I focused and managed to wrap up the match,” said Chong Wei.

It was nice playing Chong Wei. Too bad I lost. However I’m looking forward to our next match-up and I hope I will be more prepared by then” said the Chinese player.

ImagePark Sung Hwan upset Kenneth Jonassen (pictured) in two tight games 21-19, 22-20. He will be facing Chen Hong in the semis on Saturday. “I didn’t grab the opportunity to finish it off and let him control the shots. I’m disappointed with my play today. So near yet so close,” regretted the Dane.

Juliane sole European left

In the women’s singles department, Indonesia’s Adriyanti Firdasari looked and played like a player who wants to win the tournament. She beat Wang Yihan from China convincingly in 2 games 21-14, 21-16 and sent the Chinese player sprawling around the court with her dazzling array of techniques and offense. “I felt good today and I don’t have any problems with my movement on court. I managed to read her shots. I’m happy with my play. I’m taking one match at a time. Hope I can win tomorrow too”, she said after her match. She’s scheduled to play against another upcoming Chinese player Zhu Jingjing, who beat Anna Rice 21-10, 21-13.

Juliane Schenk upset 4th seed Yip Pui Yin from Hong Kong 21-17, 19-21, 21-13 and will be the only European player left in the draw on Saturday. “She was very aggressive. We went head to head. However I guess I was a little slow on court,” admitted Yip.

Meanwhile, Juliane was more than satisfied with her own performance and thanked the audience. “I’m very happy.  The crowd kept me going and I managed to find that second wind.  Yip was a tough player to beat,” said the German.

Greysia Polii and Jo Novita pulled a stunning upset by beating Yang Wei and Zhao Ting Ting 25-23, 24-22. The match was one of the most exciting of the day as both pairs put on a brilliant display of tactical play and accuracy. But in the end Indonesians pair prevailed. “We couldn’t wish for more as we managed to beat the Chinese pair. We were inspired by the performances of our teammates Natsir/Marissa in the China Masters as they beat ZhaoTingTing/Yang Wei. We were thinking if they can beat them so can we and that is what we did tonight. I was ecstatic. It was like winning a final. We are looking forward to tomorrow’s match against the Taiwanese. It won’t be easy,” said Greysia.

The night ended with men’s doubles as the crowds went OOhhh! AHHhh! over the spectacular performance by the Asian Champions Koo/Tan. They showed the crowd that they are for real when they massacred the Indonesians Rian/Yonathan (pictured) in 20 minutess with a score of 21-12, 21-5. “They were too fast in their defense and attacks. We just couldn’t cope with them”, said a disappointed Rian after the match.

All results HERE

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.