JAPAN OPEN 2014 QF – Jorgensen ousts Lin Dan, Chen falls short

Jan Jorgensen’s superb performance cut short the Superseries comeback of superstar Lin Dan, effectively crushing fans’ hopes of a possible Lin Dan–Lee Chong Wei final showdown.  In another disappointing result […]

Jan Jorgensen’s superb performance cut short the comeback of superstar Lin Dan, effectively crushing fans’ hopes of a possible Lin Dan–Lee Chong Wei final showdown.  In another disappointing result for powerhouse China, number 2 seed Chen Long bowed down for the first time to the 8th seed Hu Yun of Hong Kong.

By Emzi Regala and Miyuki Komiya, Badzine Correspondents live in Tokyo.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

China’s men yet again find themselves in unfamiliar territory.  After disappointing results at the recently concluded Thomas Cup, the Chinese have failed to re-assert their authority on court, with every man but Zhang Nan in mixed doubles failing to progress beyond the quarter-finals of the Japan Yonex Open Superseries.  In a rarity, China finds itself without a medal prospect in both the men’s singles and doubles categories, as well as in women’s doubles.

Lin Dan (pictured) has been continuously bothered by the arena’s draught and found the wind blowing unfavourably against him again in his quarter-final against Denmark’s Jan O. Jorgensen.

“I lost today but I am continuing to compete in tournaments so this means that I will have another day to fight and win”, said the visibly upset superstar, who also praised his opponent’s superb play and assured his fans that his retirement will not be at the losing end.

In an earlier match, Hong Kong’s Hu Yun (pictured) delivered the first blow to China when he came from behind to take the last 2 games to earn his first career win against the world #2 Chen Long.  Chen started on the right track by taking the first game 21-18 but dropped the next two 19-21, 15-21.  Chen pointed to the fact that he made too many mistakes that contributed to his poor performance.

“Going into the match, I knew that Chen Long was stronger than me, so I did not expect to win but somehow I was able to preserve my stamina until the end so I was able to deliver good results”, says the ecstatic Hu.

In fact, Hu Yun’s first major final was played against Chen Long and that occasion, the 2009 Philippine Open Grand Prix Gold, also turned out to be Chen’s first senior international title.

The two upset orchestrators Jorgensen and Hu will face off in the semi-finals.  At the other end of the draw, World#1 Lee Chong Wei faces local hero Kenichi Tago.

Lee Yong Dae and partner Yoo Yeon Seong eradicated China’s last remaining male entry with their win against Wang Yilu / Zhang Wen in straight games 21-18 21-13.  They now take on Indonesia’s Angga Pratama / Ryan Agung Saputra (pictured), the pair who stopped Lee and Yoo in their last international tournament.

Zhang Nan is the only remaining Chinese male shuttler advancing to the semi-finals. Zhang and his mixed doubles partner Zhao Yunlei will go up against locals Hayakawa/Matsutomo in the semi-finals.

In the women’s singles, Sayaka Takahashi failed to duplicate her incredible feat the previous day against Wang Yihan when she pulled out of competition midway in the second game citing pain in her back.  Her retirement gifted Tai Tzu Ying (pictured) the ticket to the semi-finals.

Tai will try to hold off opposition from Liu Xin, who herself was able to register an early upset by dispatching the reigning world champion Ratchanok Intanon in the first round.  World #1 Li Xuerui remains steady as she faces Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun in the other semi-final match.

Click here for complete quarter-final results

Miyuki Komiya

About Miyuki Komiya

Miyuki Komiya is Badzine's correspondent in Japan. She joined the Badzine team in 2008 to provide coverage of the Japanese badminton scene. She has played badminton for more than 30 years and has been a witness to the modern history of Japanese badminton, both watching players become stronger on court and hearing the players comment on their increasing success over the years. Contact her at: miyuki @ badzine.net