Friday, November 20, 2009

Songpol/Kuchala Challenges Top Seeds

Thailand's Japan Open winners, Songpol Anukritayawan/Kuchala Worawichitchaikul, will challenge Korea's world number one pair of Korea, Lee Yong-dae and Lee Hyo-jung, after subduing Chen Hong-Ling/Chou Chia-Chi in tough three sets, 11-21, 21-17. and 21-16.

Yong-dae and Hyo-jung cruise to the semi-final with a straight-set 21-18, 21-15 win over China's Tao Jiaming/Tian Qing in 41 minutes. 2008 Olympic gold medalists are looking for their third title of this year.

Local players Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei and world number three Zheng Bo/Ma Jin also progress to the semi-final. Zhang/Zhao beat Indonesian tough new pair Lilyana Natsir/Devin Lahardi 21-14, 14-21, and 21-14 while Zheng/Ma defeated Taiwan's Lee Sheng-Mu/Chien Yu-Chin 21-12, 21-16. Lilyana used to be Nova Widhianto's partner and Devin was Lita Nurlita's.

Yong-dae Fabulous He Lee Yong-dae

As usual, 21-year-old Lee Yong-dae has a good stamina and wonderful performance that he is able to reach two semi-finals. In the men's doubles, Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung (27) overpowered home players, Guo Zhendong/Xu Chen 21-14 and 21- to compete against fourth seeds, Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen.

However, Yong-dae/Jae-sung's success is not followed by countrymen Shin Baek-cheol/Cho Gun-woo. Baek-cheol and Gun-woo, both of whom had been Yong-dae's partners, bowed down to Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong after giving a tough fight. Kien Keat and Boon Heong struggled hard before winning the match 15-21, 21-18, 21-18.

Singles' Semi-final-Ticket Bookers

In the men's singles another Korean player, Park Sung-hwan, has the opportunity to meet one of the world's best badminton players, Lin Dan. Sixth-seeded Park needed to pay the semi-final ticket with a marathon match against China's Du Pengyu, 23-21, 18-21, and 21-14, in an hour and 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, world champion Lin Dan just needed 37 minute to humble Indonesian Simon Santoso in a comfortable 21-12, 21-12 win. In the top half, Lin Dan's teammate Chen Jin defeated Simon's teammate, Sony Dwi Kuncoro, 21-16, 15-21, and 21-12, to take on Danish Jan O Jorgensen.

O Jorgensen, who shocked top seed Lee Chong Wei by giving Lee a first round exit, continued his success to the last four after prevailing over Thailand's number one Boonsak Ponsana 21-11, 21-19.

In the women's singles, Wong Mew Choo failed to prevent all-Chinese semi-final by surrendering to China's Wang Shixian 10-21, 22-24. Mew Choo, the China Open 2007 winner, led 11-7 in the second set and left Wang 20-19 and 22-21. Nonetheless, she could not maintain her position and let Wang equalized the score 22 all and then won 24-22.

Wang will play the only seeded player, Jiang Yanjiao, in the semi-final. In the bottom half, qualifier Li Xuerui stunned world champion Lu Lan in only two sets, 21-17, 21-19, to face Wang Xin in the semi-final.

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