Wednesday, 22 May 2024

BWF News

World No. 5 Wang Shixian’s Performance Continues to Struggle

China’s Wang Shixian, currently ranked 5th in the world, faced another setback in her recent run of poor form. In the Yonex French Open Women’s Singles, she was defeated by Japan’s Eriko Hirose in a closely contested match.

Despite her previous success as a consistent finalist and semi-finalist in 2010 and 2011, Wang has struggled against opponents ranked below her this year. This time, it was Hirose, ranked 16th in the world, who emerged as the victor with a score of 13-21 21-18 22-20.

It’s worth noting that Wang displayed incredible determination throughout the match. Even when facing a 14-18 and 17-19 disadvantage in the deciding game, she fought back and even had a match point at 20-19. However, Hirose managed to secure the next three points, ultimately clinching the victory.

The Women’s Singles quarter-finals will now feature one remaining Chinese challenger, Chen Xiao Jia, who will face Juliane Schenk. Schenk, the fourth seed from Germany, has had a successful run against Chinese opponents and continued her winning streak by defeating Liu Xin with a score of 19-21 21-11 21-16.

The other quarter-finalists include top seed Saina Nehwal from India, Ratchanok Intanon from Thailand (seeded 7th), Tine Baun from Denmark (seeded 3rd), Minatsu Mitani from Japan, and Tsz Ka Chan from Hong Kong.

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Saina Nehwal, in particular, showcased her exceptional form by defeating Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand in just 38 minutes, with a score of 21-16 21-13. Nehwal will now face Intanon for a chance to secure a place in the semi-finals.

In the Men’s Singles, similar to the Women’s Singles, only one Chinese player has reached the quarter-finals. Eighth seed Wang Zhengming faced no difficulties in countering Hsu Jen Hao from Chinese Taipei, registering a convincing victory with a score of 21-11 21-9. He will now face Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen, setting the stage for a battle between former World Junior champions.

Denmark had a successful day overall, with Jan O Jorgensen (seeded 6th) and Peter Gade (seeded 3rd) joining Axelsen in the quarter-finals. Gade faced some challenges in his match against India’s Ajay Jayaram, losing the first game but recovering to win the next two with a score of 18-21 21-17 21-14. Jorgensen, on the other hand, cruised past Thai veteran Boonsak Ponsana with a score of 21-10 21-15. However, only one of the two Danish players will advance to the semi-finals as they face each other in the quarter-finals.

The Men’s Singles quarter-finals will feature the following matches: Axelsen against Wang Zhengming, Wong Wing Ki from Hong Kong against Kenichi Tago from Japan (seeded 5th), Jorgensen against Peter Gade, and Daren Liew from Malaysia against Sho Sasaki from Japan (seeded 2nd).

In contrast to the singles events, China has maintained a strong presence in the doubles competitions. Of the ten Chinese doubles combinations, only one was eliminated. This means that China will have four pairs in the Mixed Doubles quarter-finals, three pairs in the Women’s Doubles quarter-finals, and two pairs in the Men’s Doubles quarter-finals. The only Chinese pair to be defeated was Tao Jiaming and Tang Jinhua in the Mixed Doubles, losing in a close match against Shin Baek Choel and Eom Hye Won of Korea.

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Considering that the Olympic gold medalists Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei, as well as the silver medalists Xu Chen and Ma Jin, are on opposite sides of the draw, it will be challenging for other pairs to dethrone China and claim the Mixed Doubles title.

Written by Dev Sukumar | BadmintonPhoto