CHINA MASTERS 2011 QF – Gade smashes Chinese domination

As all the other men’s singles warriors were tamed by their respective Chinese opponents, Peter Gade remained the last non-Chinese standing in the division at the 2011 Li Ning China […]

As all the other men’s singles warriors were tamed by their respective Chinese opponents, Peter Gade remained the last non-Chinese standing in the division at the 2011 Li Ning , while China’s Xia Huan / Tang Jinhua are still advancing smoothly along an incredible run as the event’s biggest dark horses as they defeated veterans Cheng/Pan in the women’s doubles.

By Ooi Ee Lyn, Badzine Correspondent. Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

With the absence of world #1 Lee Chong Wei and Indonesia’s golden boy Taufik Hidayat, the quarter-finals day in Changzhou saw the local men disposing of their opponents one after another, advancing on their way to setting up a solid all-Chinese semi-final round for the second year in a row.

Coincidentally, Lee and Hidayat – who were first and second seeds in the event last year – had withdrawn before the tournament even kicked off, thus, allowing China to easily dominate all four spots in the semi-finals. They may not be on the list as well this year, but there was someone else – who skipped the event last year – standing strong and ever ready to destroy the Chinese plan this time around.

Denmark’s Peter Gade came out of the tornado created by China’s Du Pengyu after surviving three games of 17-21, 21-16, 21-13 that lasted an hour and 21 minutes, proving to be the longest match of the day thus far. The Dane is now the only ‘odd one out’ among the Chinese guns in the semi-finals. He will then meet Chen Long to continue breaking through the Chinese’s great wall, while Lin Dan and Chen Jin meet in the upper half of the draw on Saturday.

Wang Xin is gr8!

In an early replay of last year’s China Masters women’s singles final, Tine Baun met her old nemesis Wang Xin in her way today. In seven meetings, the Dane had never beaten Wang and the most one-sided match of all was at the China Masters last year, where in the second game, Baun fell 21-9 to her younger opponent.

This time, in the same event, same place, there was no luck for the Dane as it was the same outcome, as well – just earlier. Baun had once again lost the chance to strike her first win from Wang Xin, bowing in 21-16, 21-13, allowing the Chinese to lock her 8th straight win in their head-to-head meetings.

Apart from Tine Baun, the other visitors, Saina Nehwal and Juliane Schenk, also fell to their respective Chinese opponents, Wang Yihan and Wang Shixian, also in straight games. With Jiang Yanjiao ringing the victory bell in the other quarter after ousting her younger compatriot Liu Xin, the Chinese ladies then shut the doors and get ready to devour the semi-finals all by themselves.

Xia/Tang through to semis

On the other hand, Xia Huan / Tang Jinhua, who have already gained attention by upsetting two top pairs right from the beginning of the week, have earned themselves the ticket to star in the semi-finals of their biggest event ever. It took some time for the 2009 World Junior Champions to heat up their engines as they lost the first game 19-21 to their 8th-seeded opponents.

Xia/Tang then buckled down and clinched the following games 21-5, 21-12 and announced their entry into the pair’s grandest semi-finals to meet their second Japanese opponent of the week, 3rd seeded Mizuki Fujii / Reika Kakiiwa, who triumphed over Taipei’s Cheng Wen Hsing / Chien Yu Chin in quick games.

In the mixed doubles quarter-finals, Korea’s last remaining pair of Yoo Yeon Seong / Jang Ye Na grabbed the semi-final ticket from recent World Championship silver medallists Chris Adcock / Imogen Bankier by beating them 19-21, 21-15, 21-16 early in the session. Now it’s up to India’s Diju Valiyaveetil / Jwala Gutta – who defeated the other British pair Robert Blair / Gabrielle White – to decide whether the Koreans will further proceed into the finals.

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About Ee-Lyn Ooi