HONG KONG OPEN 2011 QF – No time for fairy-tales

The fairytale run of the underdogs came to a halt on quarter-finals day at the Yonex Sunrise Hong Kong Open with some mouth-watering clashes in store for the spectators tomorrow. […]

The fairytale run of the underdogs came to a halt on quarter-finals day at the Yonex Sunrise with some mouth-watering clashes in store for the spectators tomorrow.

By Gregory Chan, Badzine Correspondent.   Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

World number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei booked his place in the semi-finals with a straight game win over another Indian youngster Ajay Jayaram 21-16, 21-13, to set up a dream semi-final clash with arch-nemesis Lin Dan, who had earlier on disposed of Korea’s Shon Wan Ho, also in 2 straight games 21-15, 21-18.

Sadly, it was the end of the road for Peter Gade (photo), as he was beaten by China’s Chen Jin in 2 straight games 18-21, 13-21.  The tournament’s 5th seed now goes on to meet his team-mate and world number 2 Chen Long, who ended the good run of India’s R.M.V.  Gurusaidutt in 2 straight games 21-13, 25-23.

Of course I had hoped for a better result today but at the moment I have to accept that I’m not at my 100% percent best,” wrote Gade on his Facebook wall.  “My preparations towards the tournament was not the best because of my right foot injury and even though I’ve felt good through my matches here, there’s still some way to go. But despite a very tough first part of the season towards the Olympics, my motivation is very good and I’m working hard to get to my A-game again.

The fairytale run of mixed doubles pair Alexandr Nikolaenko / Valeri Sorokina also came to an end, as the Russians lost out to China’s Xu Chen / Ma Jin (photo) in straight games 10-21, 14-21.  Next up for the Chinese will be a grudge match against Danish pair Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen, the pair that denied them the glory in the finals of both Super Series events in the recent European tour.

Chinese Taipei’s Chen Hung Ling / Cheng Wen Hsing had a 21-13, 9-21, 21-13 win over China’s Hong Wei / Pan Pan and will face top seeds Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei next.

Defending champion out!

The tournament lost its first defending champion when 4th-seeded Saina Nehwal (photo) was beaten in straight games by the number 7th seed Tine Baun.  The Dane won in 29 minutes, 21-16, 21-15.  Next up for Tine is China’s Wang Shixian, a 21-10, 21-18 winner over Korea’s Bae Youn Joo.  At the upper half of the draw, it will be an all-Chinese affair between top seed Wang Yihan, a 22-20, 21-10 winner over Japan’s Ai Goto, and Wang Xin, who beat Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Shao Chieh.

In the men’s doubles competition, a China-Korea final is already guaranteed as both nations have 2 representatives each in the semi-finals tomorrow.  Top seeds Cai Yun / Fu Haifeng shut down the American steamroller of Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan after two big wins by their World Champion predecessors.  World #1 Cai/Fu will face team-mates Tao Jiaming / Zhang Nan tomorrow.

The all-Korean semi-final clash will be the third meeting this year between second seeds Jung Jae Sung / Lee Yong Dae and fourth seeds Ko Sung Hyun / Yoo Yeon Seong.  Like their compatriot Shon a day earlier, Ko/Yoo not only won their match, but they also temporarily put themselves in a position to qualify for the Super Series Finals next month.

In the women’s doubles, the last remaining local pair Poon Lok Yan / Tse Ying Suet were no match for top seeds Wang Xiaoli / Yu Yang from China, losing 13-21, 13-21 in just 24 minutes.  Women’s doubles provided the closest finish on quarter-finals day, as Ha Jung Eun / Kim Min Jung finally edged Chinese Taipei’s Cheng/Chien, winning the deciding game on their fifth match point opportunity.

Meanwhile, Tian Qing / Zhao Yunlei of China beat the other Korean pair, Jung/Kim, and will face Denmark’s Christinna Pedersen / Kamilla Rytter Juhl (photo), one of only three pairs to have ever beaten them.  Pedersen and Zhao are also two of three players vying for two finals appearances, the other being Zhao’s mixed partner Zhang Nan.

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