LONDON GPG 2013 QF – Houwei last man standing for China

Only Tian Houwei remains for China, as Xue Song, Wang Xin and Du/Xiong all went out at the quarter-final stage. Also flying the only flag for her country is Busanan […]

Only Tian Houwei remains for China, as Xue Song, Wang Xin and Du/Xiong all went out at the quarter-final stage. Also flying the only flag for her country is Busanan Ongbamrungphan who continued her run at the Adidas London Gold.

By Michael Burke, Badzine Correspondent, live from London.  Photos: Raphael Sachetat for Badmintonphoto (live).

First seed Busanan Ongbamrungphan (pictured left) remains as the last light for Thailand after an inauspicious outing from the Thai women in London. She came up against promising young Chinese player Deng Xuan.

In the first game, Busanan had many tight exchanges with the Chinese player, with the youngster only lacking only the final shot, as the right- vs left-handed matchup resulted in many hard straight clears.

Ongbamrungphan took the first game, but the second saw sloppy exchanges from both players as they changed ends, with many unforced errors and some surprisingly wide clears. The attritional defensive game that resulted favoured the Thai player as she came through to take the match in two.

The men’s doubles saw some indiscipline, as Wahyu Nayaka Arya Pankarynira was yellow carded for disputing a service fault call and then walking off court during play. Despite this, the Indonesian pair came through 21-18, 21-19 against Huang Jo Pui and Lu Ching Yao of Chinese Taipei in 38 minutes.

China had a mixed day as their promising young women’s doubles pair of Du Peng / Xiong Mengjing lost out in three to third-seeded Shinta Mulia Sari / Lei Yao (pictured right) of Singapore.

The Chinese pair went out hard, looking to smash their way through Sari/Yao, but the Singaporeans remained calm and used placement to wrest back the advantage and held firm to take the first game 21-18.

Du/Xiong fought back at the change of ends and looked to have the better of the attack, often leaving their opponents on the floor, and forced the deciding rubber, taking the second game 21-17.  The Singaporeans proved their mettle however as they eventually won in 75 minutes, taking the final game 21-14.

Chinese men’s singles player Tian Houwei (pictured left) came through despite a first game scare against Zi Liang Derek Wong. The 2013 Australian Open champion fought hard after losing the first game 21-14 to reverse the score and then hurry through taking the deciding game 21-10.

His compatriot Xue Song fell on the wrong side of a very close match against Viktor Axelsen. Xue again showed the promise that has seen him play two Grand Prix finals this year after being the World Junior Championship runner-up, but the Dane had the better control and temperament as he took the match in two.

Wang Xin, former world number 1, also lost today – ousted by Czech Republic player Kristina Gavnholt (pictured right). Wang offered little resistance in the first game as the Czech controlled the game, taking the end 21-14.

The Chinese player fared better in the second, with the momentum at 19-17 up, but Gavnholt took four straight points to power past and take the game.

Speaking afterwards, Gavnholt said “Yeah I’m really happy, it was great to win. I tried to focus on every point, playing my own game and to keep attack. Perhaps she was a little tired, but yes, very pleased.”

She was upbeat about her chances in the semi-final matchup against home favourite Gilmour, “I’m ready to fight. I just need to get ready for the match tomorrow and get rested. I’ll give it my best shot.”

The full results for the day can be found here


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