Three Malaysians – Lee Chong Wei, Liew Daren and Tan Chun Seang scooped their tickets for the quarter-finals of the Yonex Denmark Super Series, a first in a long time at a Super Series Premier event.
By Raphael Sachetat, Photos: Yohan Nonotte for Badmintonphoto (live)
Lee Chong Wei is usually the last man standing. Not on Thursday, where he was joined by his young guards Liew Daren and Tan Chun Seang, who both created upsets to go though to the next round. It was Tan Chun Seang first up against the man in form in the Indonesian squad – Simon Santoso, seeded fourth for this event. As often happens when two players have never met, it takes a bit of time for the favourite to adjust to his younger opponent’s game and Tan played well inside the line, fast and cleverly to take the first game 21-14.
Against all odds, the Malaysian scooped the second game as well when all seemed to be going Santoso’s way. The latter led by a clear margin 15-8 at one point of the game, but when he reached 17, Simon seemed to get stuck while Tan was starting to attack all over again. He scored 4 points in a row from 15-17 to lead 19-17, but then Santoso got even at 19-all, but it was the Malaysian who got the best of his opponent for a final 21-14, 21-19 win.
Just minutes later, it was Liew Daren’s chance to get his ticket for the week-end in Denmark – famous for its “Little mermaid”. No time for him to visit this however as he will have to stay in Odense – a city quite far away from the home of the Mermaid which is Denmark’s capital on another island. Liew faced Sho Sasaki, another player who has been very consistent in recent months, coming into the event with a 5th seed tag on his back. After three defeats to the Japanese (amongst which the last on in the Australian Grand Prix Gold with the severe score of 9-21, 9-21), the Malaysian had at heart to fare better.
This time, Liew simply led from start to finish, letting Sho in the lead during one point only – at the beginning of the second game. Apart from that 1-2 trailing position, Liew Daren was ahead the entire time and ended Sho’s nightmare in 35 minutes and 21-17, 21-14. The young Malaysian will then meet his mentor, Lee Chong Wei – who he has never beaten anywhere, whether in international or national competitions – for a spot in the semi-final.
The other quarter-finals will see Wing Ki Wong play against Jan Jorgensen of Denmark, winner over Tago, while the lower part of the draw sees Chen Long vs Sony Dwi Kuncoro, while Tan plays Du Pengyu, who prevailed over Germany’s Marc Zwiebler.
Fischer out injured
The bad news of the day for local spectators was the loss of their current Olympic bronze medallists in the mixed doubles as Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen lost to Indonesia’s Rijal/Susanto, but the main reason behind that loss was Fischer’s back injury. He had slipped and hurt himself while warming up the previous day and the pain was obviously bothering him while hitting shuttles. The Dane was to withdraw from the men’s doubles a few minutes after the end of his mixed match. Kido and Bernadet also created an upset by beating 6th seeds Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam and setting up a quarter-final tie against their compatriots Ahmad/Natsir.
There were no major upsets in the women’s singles event, despite another perilously close call for China’s Wang Shixian. All 8 seeds went through while the women’s doubles saw one upset in the name of Amitrapai and Taerattanachai beating recent Japan Open winners and 8th seeds Poon/Tse of Hong Kong 21-11, 21-8.
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