CHINA OPEN 2015 QF – Chai/Hong confirm, Kim/Kim sneak in

Winning their quarter-final match at the China Open, Chai Biao / Hong Wei have now bagged enough points to confirm their ticket to Dubai. Kim Ki Jung / Kim Sa […]

Winning their quarter-final match at the , Chai Biao / Hong Wei have now bagged enough points to confirm their ticket to Dubai. Kim Ki Jung / Kim Sa Rang may still be vulnerable, but they have taken a leap ahead to enter the top 8 in Dubai rankings for now. Meanwhile, Wang Shixian and Wang Yihan held onto their Finals invitations while keeping Li Xuerui at bay.

By Ooi Ee Lyn, Badzine Correspondent. Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

With the tickets to Dubai at stake, the remaining Chinese women’s singles players all fought hard to remain in the draw as the 2015 China Open Superseries Premier heads to the weekend. Fortunately for the two Wangs, they advanced and kept hold of their tickets, but Li Xuerui – who also advanced into the semi-final – will not manage to overtake her team-mates in the Dubai rankings, at least not this week.

While only one Chinese player made it into the women’s singles semi-final last year, defending champion Saina Nehwal is the sole non-Chinese to make it this far this time. Saina got the better of Nozomi Okuhara in straight games to plant her flag among the Chinese red and gold in the semi-final plot. As Wang Shixian and Li Xuerui meet tomorrow to decide who will represent their country in the final, Saina is all ready to stop Wang Yihan (pictured right) from making the show on Sunday an all-Chinese affair.

Today’s matches saw a slight overturn in the Dubai rankings for the men’s doubles. With today’s victory over Hirokatsu Hashimoto / Noriyasu Hirata, Chai Biao / Hong Wei (pictured top) have confirmed their ticket to play in the Superseries Finals. Their opponents in the semi-final will be Ko Sung Hyun / Shin Baek Cheol, who sent Li Junhui / Liu Yuchen packing in straight games.

On the other hand, Kim Ki Jung / Kim Sa Rang defeated Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen to advance further into the draw. The Koreans passed Lee/Tsai after their opening victory this week to take over the Taiwan pair’s spot in Dubai and they are now climbing the point scale to distance themselves from the quartet in the chase pack. Awaiting them in the semi-final are Hiroyuki Endo / Kenichi Hayakawa who got the better of Wang Yilu / Zhang Wen in 21-11, 21-14.

Mixed doubles pair Niclas Nohr / Sara Thygesen had a notable run in China before packing up today. The Danes ousted Sudket Prapakamol / Saralee Thoungthongkam and 8th seeds Lu Kai / Huang Yaqiong in the first and second rounds, respectively. In the quarter-final against Xu Chen / Ma Jin this evening, they pushed the world #3 as far as they could before losing the opening game 25-27. Nohr/Thygesen lost the second game after repeatedly building up leads that their opponents then erased.  Xu/Ma finally took four straight points to end the match in their favour.

China has already secured at least one spot in the mixed doubles final with Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei defeating Praveen Jordan / Debby Susanto to play against Xu/Ma on Saturday. On the other end of the draw, it’s a battle between 4th-seeded Liu Cheng / Bao Yixin (pictured bottom) and 5th-seeded Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen for a place in the final on Sunday.

Click here for complete quarter-final results

About Ee-Lyn Ooi