DAY 4 WRAP – Quarter-final clash of the champions

In a day filled with tight games and courageous comebacks, it was the final match of the night between China’s Chen Long and Lin Dan that stole the show.

Men’s Singles

The much anticipated match between Olympic champions Chen Long and Lin Dan in the men’s singles quarter-finals certainly did not disappoint.

After going point for point for much of the opening set, Long opened up a small lead and ran with it, with Dan getting more and more frustrated at each missed point. Long took the first set 21-16 and went into the second with all the momentum but couldn’t sustain it, with Dan dominating to take the set 21-12. Nothing separated the two athletes in the final set but it was the young champion Chen Long who won in the end 23-21.

“We have been competitors many times before,” Long said of their meeting. “When I beat Lin Dan I feel different every time. But it is just one match of eight and it is not the most important yet.”

He will now face Lee Hyun II of Korea in tomorrow’s semi-final after he defeated Tian Houwei of China in three sets (21-17 15-21 18-21).

The all-Indian quarter-final between Srikanth Kidambi and Sai Praneeth B started the day with a bang, with the first game stretching to 25-23 in Kidambi’s favour. He took the second with a lot more ease, 21-17, to win through to a semi-finals berth.

Defending Australian Open champion Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus was in form heading into today’s quarter-final after beating the seventh seed yesterday, but he could not muster enough to progress with his title defence. Shi Yuqi of China proved too strong for the Dane, taking him down 21-17 21-12. Yuqi will now face Kidambi in tomorrow’s semi-final.

Women’s Singles

The marquee women’s singles event played out between Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei and Pursala V Sindhu of India, ending in a three-set thriller in Ying’s favour (10-21 22-20 21-16).

Sindhu easily took out the first game, with Ying showing signs of fatigue from the lingering illness which affected her Indonesian Open campaign. In the second game however she fought back from being down to win 22-20. In the third and deciding game, Ying again fought back from being down to completely dominate the court and finish off the match.

“My rival was playing very well today,” Ying said.

“All I could do was keep working hard, especially in the second half. Sindhu had a few lucky shots so I just focused on working hard.”

Ying will now face Akane Yamaguchi of Japan who had a breezy quarter-final match against Chen Yufei of China (21-15 21-14).

China’s Sun Yu and Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal went set for set in their match, sending it into a decider which was as close a game as you could hope for. Neither athlete was willing to give an inch and it was 1 hour and 19 minutes before Yu finally emerged victorious (21-17 10-21 21-17).

Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara defeated her compatriot Sayaka Takahashi in a close two-game set 21-12 23-21.

Men’s Doubles

Japans Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda had close but definitive win over their opponents Chen Hung Ling and Wang Chi-Lin of Chinese Taipei (21-18 21-19).

They will now face Chinese Taipei’s Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han in the semi-final after their 21-16 21-18 victory over Korea’s Choi Solgyu and Kim Dukyoung.

The combination of Hendra Setiawan () and Boon Heong Tan (MAL) proved too good for Japan’s Takuto Inoue and Yuki Kaneko, winning 21-14 21-12 to progress in the tournament.

They will meet Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan of China in tomorrow’s semi-final after beating Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi of Malaysia (14-21 21-12 21-15).

Women’s Doubles

Denmark’s Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen have progressed to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles, although they were made to work for their win after dropping the second set to Korea’s Hye Rin Kim and Yoo Hae Won and fought right to the end of the third (21-11 15-21 23-21).

“We expected it [to be tough],” Pedersen said.

“We were really struggling after winning the first set. Maybe they also stepped up and made it really difficult for us. And it was difficult for us to find the right length in our defense, especially in the second set. It made it uncomfortable for us and when you are not feeling good in defense against these strong Koreans then it is difficult. They really want to attack and they have a good attack game.”

“We talked about that in the end when it is close, the Koreans always want to play the front court and not stay in defense,” Juhl added.

“We knew we had to move forward and try to find the attack and Christinna made some really good rushes at the net and then I had some good smashes at the end. I think the Koreans could feel the victory right in front of them – it would be a good result for them to reach the s-f and we talked about that, that they might get a little nervous so be close in the score and we could do it in the end.”

The 2016 Olympic silver medallists will now face Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota in the semi-final after the Japanese pulled off the comeback of the tournament so far. The Japanese, who are ranked 10th in the world, lost the first set 10-21 before coming back in the second to win 26-24. They were too good in the third and took it out 21-16 to progress to the semis.

The second semi-final will play out between Japan’s Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi, and China’s Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan.

Mixed Doubles

Despite fighting hard for a win, Chris and Gabby Adcock were not quite able to do enough to win their mixed doubles quarter-final, going down in straight games to China’s Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping. The English duo pushed hard in the first game, taking it to 22-20 but conceded the second 21-15 to end their Australian Open campaign.

Wang and Huang will now head into the semi-final where they will meet their Chinese counterparts Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen who defeated Japan’s Yugo Kobayashi and Misaki Matsumoto.

The second semi-final will feature Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto of Indonesia taking on Kim Dukyoung and Kim Ha Na of Korea.

Competition continues tomorrow, Saturday 24 June, with the semi-finals. For all the schedule, draw and results, go to: http://www.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/tournament.aspx?id=F0D1C54B-EF2E-4ED7-8E0F-2139EF1FB98E