INDONESIA OPEN 2011 Preview – Pointedly Premier

The 2011 Djarum Indonesia Open is the third Premier Super Series event of the year and second in terms of total tournament prize, with a whopping US$600,000. But even more […]

The 2011 Djarum is the third Premier Super Series event of the year and second in terms of total tournament prize, with a whopping US$600,000. But even more is at stake for this Premier as players will go all out to gain points that will either land themselves a seeding in the 2011 World Championships or a berth in the 2012 Olympic Games.

By Adrian Kok, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Badmintonphoto

Players and fans will be flocking to the venerable Istora in Indonesia at the end of this month for the 6th leg of the World Super Series.  The Premier Super Series is the new highest echelon of the ’s Open tournaments but this is the first one that will offer the crucial ranking points for what the badminton stars are all really after…the London Olympics.

Men’s Singles

Indonesian fans will be delighted to see their local heroes in action. Among many of them, Simon Santoso will be up against Chen Jin of China. Simon who returned form an injury early this season is eyeing for this title, in which he never won. Chen, who did not produce much result this year until winning by walkover at the Singapore Open, will not let his guard down against Simon.  Crowd favourite and six-time champion Taufik Hidayat is also on a collision course with a Chinese stalwart, his path crossing Bao Chunlai’s in the second round.

Another first round match to note which will consists of two emerging stars. Chen Long, who won the Thailand Open, will be up against Jan Jorgensen.  It might seem that the in-form Chen will get the better Jan, but the Dane will be prepared to play his best.

Of course, everyone will be all eyes and ears if Lee Chong Wei (pictured above) battles it out with his nemesis, Lin Dan, as the two men are the top two seeds and thus may meet in the final. Lee, who skipped the Singapore Open, will be fresh and ready. Lin Dan, on the other hand, handed a walkover to Chen Jin at the Singapore Open, citing an ill stomach.  Lin may have to face Chen and/or Bao again before the final stage.

First round men’s singles matches of note:
Chen Long [4] (CHN) vs Jan Jorgensen (DEN)
Nguyen Tien Minh [7] (VIE) vs. Lee Hyun Il (KOR)
Chen Jin (CHN) vs Simon Santoso (INA)
Wang Zhengming (CHN) vs. Marc Zwiebler (GER)

Mixed Doubles

The current world number one Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei of China will be up against the more experienced Indonesian pair of Nova Widianto / Vita Marissa of Indonesia. The Indonesian duo will have a lot of work to do to regain confidence from the loss at Thailand Open and first-round exit in Singapore. On the other hand, the Chinese duo too will have to work their way to the final as they might face a few top contenders before they can reach the finals.

Another hot local pair to note would the pair of Tantowi Ahmad & Lilyana Natsir, who will play the newly forged Korean pair of Lee Yong Dae & Ha Jung Eun. The Indonesian pair will be gleaming with confidence after the impressive win recently at Singapore Open, their third consecutive title which involved a win over the Koreans. However, the might of the Koreans is perhaps yet to be displayed with the current Olympic champion Lee. This is a match not to be missed.

Another of China’s chief hopes in this tournament, Tao Jiaming / Tian Qing (pictured above), will be facing Lee Sheng Mu / Chien Yu Chin of Chinese Taipei.  The Taiwan players went on a roll last summer and they had the beginnings of one in Thailand last weekend but they will be eager to show they can do the same even with China’s toughest players in the mix.

First round mixed doubles matches of note:
Tantowi Ahmad / Lilyana Natsir [4] (INA) vs. Lee Yong Dae / Ha Jung Eun (KOR)
Tao Jiaming / Tian Qing [5] (CHN) vs. Lee Sheng Mu / Chien Yu Chin (TPE)
Robert Mateusiak / Nadiezda Zieba [6] (POL) vs. Shintaro Ikeda / Reiko Shiota (JPN)

Men’s Doubles

In the men’s doubles department, the Danes will be sending their two strongest pairs.  Mathias Boe & Carsten Mogensen (pictured above) will play against the Japanese pair of Hirokatsu Hashimoto & Noriyasu Hirata. The Japanese pair has shown great form that made them champions at the India Super Series, the very first for Japan. The Danes would need to be extra cautious as the Japanese pair has a legendary coach, Park Joo Bong, who is a master tactician.

Meanwhile, the combination of Mads Conrad Petersen & Jonas Rasmussen is pitted against the upcoming men’s doubles pair, Chai Biao & Guo Zhendong. The Danes will need to continue their great form to gain an upper hand over the Chinese pair, even if they have already won their first rematch against their opponents from the Malaysia Open final this year.

Three-time world champions Cai Yun & Fu Haifeng played a superb match at the Singapore Open to win against Alvent Yulianto Chandra & Hendra Aprida Gunawan. This will be a back to back encounter for both the pairs, who will meet in the first round of the Indonesia Open.

Another pair making their post-Sudirman debut are Malaysia’s Koo Kien Keat / Tan Boon Heong. They have their work cut out for them in the bottom half along with 2010 and 2009 champions Fang/Lee and Jung/Lee respectively.

First round men’s doubles matches of note:
Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen [1] (DEN) vs. Hirokatsu Hashimoto / Noriyasu Hirata (JPN)
Chai Biao / Guo Zhendong [8] (CHN) vs Mads Conrad Petersen / Jonas Rasmussen (DEN)
Cai Yun / Fu Haifeng [3] (CHN) vs. Alvent Yulianto Chandra / Hendra Aprida Gunawan (INA)

Women’s Singles

Juliane Schenk, who created a name for herself during the group stage at the 2011 Surdiman Cup, will have an uphill task against Bae Youn Joo of Korean. The German who upset the Chinese has a lot to prove in this edition of Indonesia Open and luckily, she has shown, for the most part, a distinct advantage over the Korean ladies.

Speaking of which, Singapore Open Runner-up Tine Baun is matched up with another Korean, Sung Ji Hyun. Sung lately has not been in top form. Although not as youthful as her opponent, Tine’s vast experience should give her the advantage. However, Sung has also recently shown that she is developing the fitness she needs for her youth to be an advantage over the likes of Tine Baun.

Of course, the Koreans and Europeans are most intent on proving themselves against the Chinese armada.  Even without World Champion Wang Lin, there are 5 seeded Chinese, as well as Thailand Open champion Li Xuerui.  Also, two-time defending champion Saina Nehwal of India has been struggling since the Sudirman Cup but she will be hungry for the win in Jakarta and starts off in a mostly European quarter.

First round women’s singles matches of note:
Bae Youn Joo [5] (KOR) vs. Juliane Schenk (GER)
Jiang Yanjiao (pictured above) [6] (CHN) vs. Eriko Hirose (JPN)
Liu Xin [7] (CHN) vs. Porntip Buranaprasertsuk (THA)
Tine Baun [8] (DEN) vs. Sung Ji Hyun (KOR)
Cheng Shao Chieh (TPE) vs. Pi Hongyan (FRA)

Women’s Doubles

The second seed of Cheng Wen Hsing & Chien Yu Chin from Taipei will meet Shinta Mulia Sari & Yao Lei from Singapore in the first round. Although only ranked number 11th in the world, the Singaporean pair can pose a threat to the Taiwan pair, as they are known to pull off surprises.

Miyuki Maeda & Satoko Suetsuna of Japan – who, for the first time since Chengdu, are not the top seeds –  will be facing a relatively new opponent Jung Kyung Eun & Kim Ha Na from Korea.  Currently ranked 58th in the world, the Korean duo has proved to be worthy opponents since their partnership began this spring. On top of that, this prestigious event will grant them good points for them to gain a safe passage to the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games, though both missed out on qualifying for the 2011 Worlds.

Korea’s top pair also happens to include defending champion Kim Min Jung (pictured above) and she and Ha are fresh from a runner-up finish in Singapore, as was Kim when she arrived in Jakarta last year with then-partner Lee Hyo Jung.  This time around, however, China is here in full force and if the Koreans had troubles with Tian/Zhao in Singapore, they will have to get past the even mightier pair of Wang Xiaoli / Yu Yang  if they want to get anywhere near the podium this year.

First round women’s doubles matches of note:
Cheng Wen Hsing / Chien Yu Chin [2] (TPE) vs. Shinta Mulia Sari / Yao Lei (SIN)
Miyuki Maeda / Satoko Suetsuna [3] (JPN) vs. Jung Kyung Eun / Kim Ha Na (KOR)
Meiliana Jauhari / Greysia Polii [6] (INA) vs. Ma Jin / Pan Pan (CHN)
Vita Marissa / Melati Nadya (INA) vs. Sandra Marinello / Birgit Michels (GER)

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