Saturday, March 7, 2009

Rasmussen Survives in All England Semis

Defending women's singles champion Tine Rasmussen is into another All England Final - but only just.

The 29-year-old Dane was a game down and trailing 14/4 in the second to dimunitive Chinese left-hander Yanjiao Jiang, but a tremendous fightback saw her save two match points before levelling, then going on to take the third after an hour's play. Having won the Malaysian and Korean Open titles in January, Rasmussen is chasing a hat-trick of Super Series titles.

Hopes of an all-Danish final were dashed when China's second seed Yihan Wang defeated surprise package Nanna Brosolat in straight games. This is Wan's first All England, but she will be boosted by victory in last week's German Open.

In the first men's semi-final world number one Chong Wei Lee dominated the first game against an out of sorts Taufik Hidayat, and although the Indonesian improved in the second, the top-seeded Malaysian pulled clear to complete a comfortable enough passage into the final, his first All England but his third Super Series final of the year.

There he will face World and Olympic champion Lin Dan, who reached his sixth successive All England final as he put out defending champion Chen Jin. Having barely survived in his quarter-final, Chen was clearly not in the form of last year, and in the second game looked to be struggling with a back injury. At the mid-game interval he called for the tournament doctor, but without being given any treatment decided he was unable to continue and conceded the match.

The men’s doubles final will feature No 7 seeds and former champions Cai Yun & Fu Haifeng of China against unseeded Korean pair Han Sang Hoon & Hwang Ji Man, who are ranked 160 in the world.

The women’s doubles final will be be an all-China final between No 7 seeds Zhang Yawen & Zhao Tingting, who knocked out Olympic champions and 2008 All England runners-up Du Jing and Yu Yang, and unseeded Cheng Shu & Zhao Yunlei, who followed up their quarter-final dismissal of the top seeds to claim a three-game win over Korean fifth seeds Ha & Kim.

In the mixed doubles Korean qualifiers Sung Hyun Ko & Jung Eun Ha followed up their defeat of England's Clark & Kellog with a tremendous comeback win over the Chinese pair of Zheng Bo & M Jin. Having lost the first on extra points they saved a match point in the second, then took the third as the Chinese pair's frustration grew. In the final they face China's third seeds Hanbin He & Yang Yu.

Sat 7th March, SEMI-FINALS:
Men's Singles:
[1] Chong Wei Lee (Mas) bt [7] Taufik Hidayat (Ina) 21/8, 21/13 (34m)
[2] Lin Dan (Chn) bt [3] Chen Jin (Chn) 21/12, 11/6 rtd (30m)

Women's Singles:
[1] Tine Rasmussen (Den) bt Yangjiao Jiang (Chn) 22/24, 25/23, 21/15 (60m)
[2] Yihan Wang (Chn) bt [Q] Nanna Brosolat (Den) 21/11, 21/7 (26m)

Men's Doubles:
Han & Hwang (Kor) bt [6] Lee & Shin (Kor) 21/17, 21/18 (25m)
[7] Cai & Haifeng (Chn) bt [5] Boe & Mogensen (Den) 23/21, 21/14 (40m)

Women's Doubles:
Cheng & Zhao (Chn) bt Ha & Kim (Kor) 21/23, 21/15, 21/17 (68m)
[7] Zhang & Zhao (Chn) bt [4] Du & Yu (Chn) 16/21, 21/16, 21/16 (71m)

Mixed Doubles:
[3] He & Yu (Chn) bt Limpele & Russkikh (Ina/Rus) 21/12, 21/14 (36m)
[Q] Ko & Ha (Kor) bt Zheng & Ma (Chn) 20/22, 24/22, 21/12 (61m)