HONG KONG OPEN 2009 QF – Clashes between Compatriots

A total of seven matches today were contested between shuttlers representing the same country.  Some of these ended in logical wins for the seeded players, while other duels resulted in […]

A total of seven matches today were contested between shuttlers representing the same country.  Some of these ended in logical wins for the seeded players, while other duels resulted in unexpected victories for the underdog, not least of all in the men’s doubles, where the two top seeds were shown the exit by some fellow citizens.

By Elm Vandevorst, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: BadmintonPhoto (live from Hong Kong)

Defending champions Jung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dae will certainly be very pleased with the outcome of the men’s doubles quarter-finals, not only with their own victory, but also with the defeat of the top two seeds.   Indonesians Chandra/Gunawan already proved earlier this year, at the Malaysian Open, that they could overcome their compatriots Markis Kido / Hendra Setiawan .  But today they crushed their rivals in just 21 minutes, cruising to a comfortable 21-11, 21-18 victory.  Their success means they also were able to take revenge for their defeat in the semis of the Japan Open.  Meanwhile, Hendra Aprida Gunawan advanced to the semi-finals in two categories for the fourth time this year as he and Vita Marissa (pictured) beat another pair of compatriots in their mixed doubles quarter-final.

Additionally there was another match to look forward to as experienced Malaysian pairs Lee Wan Wah / Choong Tan Fook and Koo Kien Keat / Tan Boon Heong met each other for the second time this year.  This time, in comparison to the Macau Open final, it was Wah and Fook who took the upper hand and they finished with a 21-12, 21-17 win.

And there were some other Malaysians put together by the draw.  Lee Chong Wei had to erase 5 match points from compatriot Muhammad Hafiz Hashim, before he was certain of a place in the semi-final.  The world number one will now meet Bao Chunlai, who was too strong for Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka.

After a slow start of the year, things are going better and better for Kenichi Tago (pictured).  After his silver medal at the World Juniors in 2007, the 20-year old Tago was tipped to be the future star for Japan in men’s singles.  He already won some smaller tournaments, but is now able to perform at the Super Series.  Tago lost the first game to local hero Chan Yan Kit, but had few problems in the other games and won 19-21, 21-9, 21-12.  But the big test will come tomorrow when Peter Gade will be his opponent.

In comparison to the very diverse field in the men’s singles and doubles, the Chinese women are in total control with an all-Chinese semi-final round in the singles and three representatives left in the doubles.  The last two non-Chinese players failed to progress in singles as Pi Hongyan of France lost to Wang Xin (pictured below) and Korea’s Bae Seung Hee was outplayed by top seed Wang Lin.  But the most appealing quarter-final, at least on paper, was the clash between French Open champion Wang Yihan and world champion Lu Lan.  However, Wang Yihan controlled the rallies from the very beginning, never giving her adversary the chance to get into the match.

The Chinese dominance was almost as big in the women’s doubles with only Malaysian twosome Chin Eei Hui and Wong Pei Tty left to resist the supremacy of the Chinese shuttlers.  They got the better of Chien Yu Chin / Wang Pei Rong with 21-17, 21-15.  In their semi-final they’ll meet Du Jing and Yu Yang.  The other semi-final will be a repeat of the French Open Chinese challenge final as the winners in Paris, Ma Jin / Wang Xiaoli, again take on last year’s runners-up Zhao Yunlei and Cheng Shu.

Mixed doubles will be without a Chinese challenger, however, as Nova Widianto / Lilyana Natsir came back from a game down to beat All England champions He/Yu in three while Fang Chieh Min and new partner Wang Pei Rong bested Chinese qualifiers Qiu/Tian to reach the semis in their first ever tournament together.

For complete quarter-final results from the 2009 Yonex-Sunrise Super Series, CLICK HERE

For live results and a selection of the week’s best photos from BadmintonPhoto, CLICK HERE


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About Elm Vandevorst