CHINA MASTERS 2011 R16 – China’s young masters school Japan

The Japanese women’s doubles seeds had a bad day Thursday against young Chinese pairs at the Li Ning China Masters. In the evening, 6th seeds Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito […]

The Japanese women’s doubles seeds had a bad day Thursday against young Chinese pairs at the Li Ning . In the evening, 6th seeds Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito became the second Japanese pair to fall helpless before Chinese youngsters. Meanwhile, Saina Nehwal salvaged her very own narrow victory, comparable to that of Wang Shixian on Wednesday, by beating Japan’s Ayane Kurihara.

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

Bao Yixin was a World Junior Champion in 2010, in both the girls’ and mixed doubles. She has had several different partners in both disciplines since then, and one of them was Zhong Qianxin, with whom she made it into the semi-finals of the Asian Championships last April, and who was her World Junior predecessor, the 2007 girls’ doubles champion.

After the tournament’s second seeds were sent packing by Xia/Tang earlier in the day at Xincheng Gymnasium, Bao/Zhong continued to send bad news to the Japanese by ousting 6th seed Shizuka Matsuo / Mami Naito in straight games. It was the second major upset of the day involving the Japanese ladies. Fortunately for the Japanese, however, their remaining pair of Mizuki Fujii / Reika Kakiiwa survived the attack by Indonesia’s Vita Marissa / Nadya Melati, winning in 22-20, 21-14, to meet Taipei’s Cheng/Chien tomorrow.

Bao/Zhong now look forward to entering their second semi-final, but to do that, they will have to beat compatriots Tian Qing / Zhao Yunlei, who got the better of Denmark’s Christinna Pedersen / Kamilla Rytter Juhl. With Cheng Shu / Pan Pan successfully advancing into the quarter-finals to meet Xia/Tang, two quarters on Friday will see women’s doubles matchups solely between Chinese pairs.

Saina survives Japanese bullets

In the women’s singles division, India’s Saina Nehwal hardly survived the bullets from Japan’s Ayane Kurihara. Similar to Wang Shixian’s narrow escape from Tai Tzu Ying yesterday, Saina took the first game from Kurihara and missed the second. The deciding game then saw the both deucing all the way up to 27-25, fortunately in Saina’s favour. In fact, the previous meeting between these two was – just like Wang and Tai’s – in the Malaysia Open early this year, when Kurihara’s play – akin to Tai’s – wasn’t as threatening as it was today. Saina’s opponent in the quarter-finals will be first seed Wang Yihan of China.

On the other hand, Germany’s Juliane Schenk finally managed to take revenge for her loss in the semi-finals of the World Championships by silencing Taipei’s Cheng Shao Chieh after battling for close to an hour. Not only had the German taken revenge, she had also taken a step closer to equalling her winning stats against Cheng, noting her third victory out of eight meetings. This is the second time since last week in Taipei Cheng has left the ground in the mere second round.

A delighted Schenk will now play against China’s Wang Shixian, who took her match from Singapore’s Fu Mingtian without much sweat.  Schenk, of course, beat Wang at this year’s Sudirman Cup before losing a nailbiter at the Singapore Open a few weeks later.

While the men’s doubles matches were about to see the remaining seeds safely through to the quarter-finals, China’s unseeded pair of Hong Wei / Shen Ye broke the train and pulled 7th seeded Olympic gold medallists Markis Kido / Hendra Setiawan out of the quarters. The pairs could have had their first meeting in the first round of the World Championships in London, but Hong / Shen had then benefitted a walkover from the Indonesian’s sudden withdrawal.

It was the Chinese pair who signed the first victory at their meeting today, winning the game 19-21, 21-16, 21-11 from their nicely decorated opponents, to meet the fourth seeded Koreans Ko Sung Hyun / Yoo Yeong Seong in the quarters tomorrow.

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About Ee-Lyn Ooi