CHINA OPEN 2014 QF – Even fewer seeds planted in semis

Just like the previous days, the quarter-finals of the Thaihot China Open Superseries Premier has once again been shrouded by fallen stars. As a result, the semi-finals line-up will boast […]

Just like the previous days, the quarter-finals of the Thaihot Premier has once again been shrouded by fallen stars. As a result, the semi-finals line-up will boast an impressive list of underdogs as the likes of Xu Chen / Ma Jin and Wang Yihan joined other homeground favourites in making early exits.

By Serla Rusli, Badzine Correspondent. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Slowly but surely: that is how Korea’s Yoo Yeon Seong / Eom Hye Won (pictured above) seem to be moving in this tournament. Having had to fight their way from the qualifying rounds, Eom sealed her ticket to the semi-finals in her first Superseries outing in 7 months.  In one of the biggest upsets for the day, Eom and Yoo beat world #2 Xu Chen / Ma Jin 21-19, 20-22, 21-15.

The mixed doubles win makes it double for Yoo Yeon Seong as he, together with Lee Yong Dae, beat another homeground opponent Liu Xiaolong / Qiu Zihan in the men’s doubles quarter-finals.

As Cai Yun / Lu Kai was also shunned by another Korean top duo Ko Sung Hyun / Shin Baek Cheol, 8th seeds Chai Biao / Hong Wei (pictured) saved the day for Chinese men’s doubles as they survived a scare from the resilient unseeded Japanese Hirokatsu Hashimoto / Noriyasu Hirata 15-21, 25-23, 26-24.

Women’s doubles were probably the only event that seemed rather smooth sailing for the seeded players. With the exception of a minor upset where 5th-seeded Wang Xiaoli / Yu Yang won almost too easily against fourth seeds Christinna Pedersen / Kamilla Rytter Juhl in a quick 21-15, 21-9 finish, the rest of the favourites on paper cruised to the semi-finals.

Third seed Wang Yihan joined the long list of seeded players who had exited the tournament prematurely. Having lost to Wang in their last three encounters, Bae Yeon Ju (pictured) finally managed to turn the table around and again tasted the sweet victory after a thrilling 18-21, 21-19, 21-19.

Two-time defending World Junior Champion Akane Yamaguchi continued her winning streak in the quarter-finals after her sensational win over world #2 and home favourite Wang Shixian. She beat yet another Chinese player, beating Sun Yu 21-18, 21-14.

The women’s singles title is now up for grabs with the absence of the Chinese top players. Unseeded Liu Xin, who has won 3 of the last four international tournaments on Chinese soil, will again have to bear the responsibility to keep the flag flying for the host. She will face Indian heroine Saina Nehwal, who advanced to the semi-finals after beating Suo Di 21-13, 17-21, 21-5.

The coveted men’s singles event becomes one where no seeded players made it through to the semi-finals. Hu Yun, seeded 7th, was the last one standing and he was ousted by Chou Tien Chen from Chinese Taipei. Chou will face none other than Lin Dan who, though unseeded and sure to be absent from the Superseries Finals in Dubai, is still the Super Dan and is definitely eyeing nothing less than the title. Lin Dan narrowly escaped Sho Sasaki’s threat and won the match by an inch, 21-18, 26-24.

The other side of the men’s singles draw will see the clash between Marc Zwiebler and Kidambi Srikanth (pictured).  Marc continued his impressive performance by beating Srikanth’s compatriot Parupalli Kashyap 18-21, 21-18, 21-13. This win means he still has a glimpse at a spot in the Superseries Finals in Dubai in December.

Click here for complete quarter-final results

About Serla Rusli