DENMARK OPEN 2015 QF – Back toward the top for Sindhu

India’s Pusarla Venkata P. V. Sindhu beat two-time champion Wang Yihan as Denmark will see some familiar semis in Odense on Saturday. By Don Hearn.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live) Pusarla Venkata […]

India’s Pusarla Venkata P. V. Sindhu beat two-time champion Wang Yihan as Denmark will see some familiar semis in Odense on Saturday.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Pusarla Venkata Sindhu (pictured) is no stranger to semi-finals of big events but the two-time World Championship bronze medallist is making a rare appearance in the final four of a event after she ousted world #7 and two-time champion Wang Yihan of China in straight games on Friday.

Sindhu built up a healthy lead in her first game but after reaching game point at 20-11, she allowed the former World Champion to get perilously close.  Still, she played some fantastic defense and took the final, thrilling rally to nab the first game 21-18.  The Indian took another big lead in the second but from 6-13 down, Wang started chipping away at it and surged back from 15-19 to tie it up at 19-all, only to see Sindhu finish it off safely.

Sindhu thus gained entry to her first Superseries semi-final since early 2013, where her opponent is none other than reigning World Champion Carolina Marin.  The only other time these two met in Denmark was, coincidentally, in the semi-finals of the Worlds in Copenhagen last year.

The other semi-final will also be a familiar one for Danish spectators.  Sung Ji Hyun and Li Xuerui met in the final four of this event last year and Li went on to win what is still her most recent Superseries title.  However, since that loss, Sung has not only won the 2nd Superseries title of her career but she also recorded her first ever victory against Li Xuerui, after 12 consecutive losses, dating back to 2007.

Men’s game full of surprises

The men’s singles was nearly all upsets.  The most noteworthy was another implosion by the great Lin Dan.  For the second straight time, his total ineffectiveness has benefited the home favourite.  Viktor Axelsen (pictured) scored a resounding 21-8, 21-7 victory to set up a semi-final against Chen Long, who needed three games to send off the always dangerous Wei Nan of Hong Kong.

Unfortunately for the home fans, it was not all good news for Denmark.  2nd-seeded Jan Jorgensen was upset by Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto, who thus advances to his third Superseries semi-final of the year.  Chou Tien Chen (pictured bottom) of Chinese Taipei finished off the trio of upsets when he beat Kento Momota of Japan.  Chou is now in his third straight Superseries semi-final and will be hoping to proceed to his first final since he won the French Open last autumn.

Defending champs out

The biggest upset in doubles came in the mixed doubles when Ko Sung Hyun and Kim Ha Na (pictured) knocked out defending champions and third seeds Xu Chen and Ma Jin of China.  The Koreans now take on three-time champions and home favourites Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen.  This match-up will no doubt be an eagerly anticipated one as the last time these two pairs met in Denmark, they played to the maximum 30-29 in the deciding game.

The Danes advanced by winning their first encounter with the other Korean quarter-finalists.  Shin Baek Cheol and Chae Yoo Jung showed versatility and incredible reflexes but were unable to follow their shock upset of the Olympic champions with another winning performance.

Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir took care of one Chinese pair in the quarter-finals and must now face the last.  They beat out Lu/Huang in three games while Liu Cheng / Bao Yixin (pictured below) played two close ones against England’s Chris and Gabrielle Adcock.

Liu goes for two

Liu Cheng is the last shuttler still vying for two titles in Odense.  After he and Bao got their expected win, he teamed up with fellow mixed specialist and beat Russia’s towering Ivanov/Sozonov to book a semi-final date with the home favourites.

Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen blew four game points in a row against Chai Biao / Hong Wei, then one more before finally taking a one-game lead.  In the second game, it was they who erased the game points as they again beat their Chinese challengers 23-21 to advance.

The other men’s semi-final will be a repeat of last year’s final as Lee Yong Dae / Yoo Yeon Seong beat World Championship runners-up Liu/Qiu and Fu Haifeng / Zhang Nan prevailed over Lee/Tsai of Chinese Taipei.

Christinna Pedersen failed only narrowly to keep her own hopes of two titles going.  She and Kamilla Rytter Juhl (pictured) lost two close games to World Champions Tian Qing / Zhao Yunlei.  It was the first time since the London Olympics that these rivals did not play a deciding game.

Tian and Zhao will play against Ma Jin and Tang Yuanting, who beat the Luo twins in three games.  Ma and Tang will be disbanded after next week’s French Open but actually Thursday’s win put them into the Superseries top 8 and they could well cement that position with strong performances in these two European events, without which China might only be sending a single pair to Dubai.

Jung Kyung Eun and Shin Seung Chan beat their compatriots Jang Ye Na / Shin Seung Chan and will take on Kakiiwa/Maeda for a spot in the final.  The Koreans, like Tian/Zhao, harbour only a very slight hope of qualifying for Dubai.

Click here for complete quarter-final results

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @