DENMARK OPEN 2014 R16 – Twice as nice for Brice

The highly anticipated match between Jan O Jorgensen and Lin Dan was not to be, with Super Dan withdrawing from the Denmark Open with a right leg injury to allow […]

The highly anticipated match between Jan O Jorgensen and Lin Dan was not to be, with Super Dan withdrawing from the with a right leg injury to allow the Danish #1 a night off from competition. Instead, another European stole the limelight in the men’s singles – toppled Hans-Kristian Vittinghus yesterday and progressed into the quarter-finals with a two-game victory over Chen Yuekun of China.

By Eddie Smith. Photos: Yohan Nonotte for Badmintonphoto (live)

Brice Leverdez (photo) will be a massive underdog against the current World Champion Chen Long tomorrow, with the winner taking on either the Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap or European Champion Jan O Jorgensen for a place in Sunday’s final. Lin Dan, who gave a short press conference after his withdrawal, mentioned that he would leave straight away for China and skip the French Open.

Double European Champion Christinna Pedersen (photo) safely booked her place into two quarter-finals, including a match-up against former world number 1 pairing of Wang and Yu in the women’s doubles but she and Kamilla Rytter Juhl will go into the match confident, having won their last match against the Chinese pair in late 2013.

The Olympic gold medal pairing of Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng are back to playing apart, after their brief reunion at the Asian Games, but Fu will look to avenge his former partner against the second seeds of Ahsan and Setiawan who defeated Cai and Lu Kai in two games. Fu and new partner Zhang Nan will take on the second-seeded Indonesians in the last 8 after defeating Lee Sheng Mu and Tsai Chia Hsian, the 6th seeds from Chinese Taipei.

Zhang Beiwen (photo) has been a multiple winner in 2014, most recently winning the Dutch Open in her rise to 15 in the world rankings. Tomorrow, she takes on the world number 1 Li Xuerui for the first time – with the American coming off only her second career win against a top 10 opponent when she beat Tai Tzu Ying on Wednesday.  Her first such success was against Bae Yeon Ju of Korea in the Japan Open in June.

It was far from a good day for the Japanese players on Thursday, with the 3rd seeded Matsutomo and Takahashi as well as the sixth seeded Kakiiwa and Maeda recording the only two victories of ten potentially. Mitani, Hirose, Yamaguchi and Takahashi were all defeated in the women’s singles whilst the biggest casualty was the 4th seeded men’s doubles pairing Endo and Hayakawa, who lost out to Liu and Qiu of China, ending Japan’s representation in that discipline as well.

With seeds toppling in the early rounds, there is no clear favourite in any of the five disciplines going into the latter stages.

Click here for complete Round of 16 results

About Eddie Smith