ALL ENGLAND 2014 SF – Top seeds prevail at the NIA

Logic is prevailing at the 103rd Yonex All England Championships as all five first seeds and three 2nd seeds got their passes to the final. China has a chance to […]

Logic is prevailing at the 103rd Yonex Championships as all five first seeds and three 2nd seeds got their passes to the final. China has a chance to grab 4 titles after the first All England semi-finals day that, for the first time in the event’s 103-year history, was played without a single European player.

By Tarek Hafi, Badzine Correspondent, live from Birmingham.  Photos: Raphael Sachetat & Yohan Nonotte for Badmintonphoto (live).

Former partners and former Olympic champions Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan were fated to meet on different sides of the court for a shot at the biggest title neither has yet won.  Only one could emerge victorious however, and Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan (pictured left) respected their world number one status, as they blew away their compatriots, Markis Kido and Gideon Markus Fernaldi.

The former national players Kido and Fernaldi, now playing for their own club, weren’t able to counter attack their all-around opponents, who looked more than ready to take the trophy tomorrow.

Setiawan said after the match, “We’re very happy to get to the final but we must still be focused for tomorrow. Before this match we already learned how they play and today they played not at their best, so it was easier.”

He added, “We are very glad with the Indonesian crowd.  There has been great support all week and we hope it continues tomorrow. It is an important tournament so we are happy playing whoever comes through.”

The Indonesian World Champions are now onto a Japanese quest as Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa prevailed in a three-game battle with Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol.

Chen Long (pictured right) certainly had an easier match against today with compatriot Wang Zhengming, than his marathon match yesterday against Hans Kristian Vittinghus.

The top Chinese player, the only player who can beat Lee Chong Wei on a regular basis, will now have to take on the Malaysian superstar for the title.

“Every time when I play Lee Chong Wei it’s a tough match.  Every time, I try to learn from my experience playing him because he’s a great player, so tomorrow I’m just going to try and play the best I possibly can.”

He added “I think tomorrow the match is equal in terms of our level of performance and it’s really just to see who will come out the better player on the day.”

Ma Jin and Tang Yuanting (pictured right) were also granted a much easier match than they experienced yesterday against their Korean opponents, Shin Seung Chan and Lee So Hee.

The new Chinese pairing will face none other than their compatriots and favourites to win, Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang, who earlier defeated Zhao Yunlei and Tian Qing.

“Of course we’re happy for another all-China final but because the previous matches were quite tough, we were happy that this game was shorter. They [Wang Xiaoli/Yu Yang] have had some easier games so it will be a hard match tomorrow,” said Ma Jin after her semi-final.

Finals line-up
WD: Wang Xiaoli / Yu Yang (CHN) [1] vs. Ma Jin / Tang Yuanting (CHN)
MD: Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan (INA) [1] vs. Hiroyuki Endo / Kenichi Hayakawa (JPN) [2]
WS: Li Xuerui (CHN) [1] vs. Wang Shixian (CHN) [4]
MS: Lee Chong Wei (MAS) [1] vs. Chen Long (CHN) [2]
XD: Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei (CHN) [1] vs. Tontowi Ahmad / Lilyana Natsir (INA) [2]

The full results for the day can be found here.

If you are coming for the All England Championships, or whenever you visit Birmingham, try Badzine’s partner hotel, the City Nites Apartments. Offering fully serviced apartments, it is a stylish setting for long or short-term business people and visitors, and a great place to stay during the All England Championships.

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About Tarek Hafi