Gade Returns, Shock for Former World Champ
The top seed, who skipped last week’s Denmark Open with a back injury, showed no ill effects as he beat England’s Carl Baxter 21-11, 21-6 to reach the second round, where he will meet compatriot Christian Lind Thomsen. Thomsen reached the second round by beating France’s Matthieu Lo Ying Ping 21-16, 21-13.
Like wine, Gade has improved with age. He turns 34 on Dec 14 but has not shown any signs of slowing down. This season alone he has reached one Super Series final (Korea Open) and five other Super Series semi-finals – in Malaysia, England, Switzerland, Singapore and Japan.
The Dane also reached the semi-finals of the World Championships, which was held in the same venue two months ago.
The top eight players/pairs based on the Super Series Standings qualify for the Finals.
The only thing lacking is a title to his name this season but if he keeps up this form, that drought may end here in Paris.
One person who will be out to stop Gade is Taufik Hidayat. Like his arch rival, Hidayat is himself a former world No. 1. The Indonesian had no problems booking his passage to the next round, beating China’s Wang Zhengming 21-18, 21-12.
Hidayat has been playing well and last week reached the Denmark Open final. He was also a finalist in the World Championships and will be seeking to add the French Open title to his impressive trophy cabinet.
He should have any problem getting past Germany’s Marcel Reuter in the second round. Reuter defeated Dmytro Zavadsky of Ukraine 21-13, 19-21, 21-19 in the first round.
Jan O Jorgensen, the fourth seeded Dane, who many see as the successor to Gade, struggled before getting the better of Poland’s Przemyslaw Wacha, winning 21-18, 13-21, 21-13.
Jorgensen, who fulfilled a boyhood ambition when he won the Denmark Open last week – his first ever Super Series title – looked a little sluggish but had enough quality to pull through. He will now face China’s Du Pengyu, who defeated Viktor Axelsen of Denmark 21-11, 21-11.
Meanwhile, all the top seeds in the women’s singles easily reached the second round, although there was a shock for a former world champion.
China’s Wang Yihan, the defending champion, easily defeated qualifier Marie Maunoury of France 21-11, 21-7. She will next play another qualifier in Sabrina Jaquet. The Swiss lass overcame a first game deficit to beat Poland’s Malgorzata Kurdelska 14-21, 21-17, 21-10.
Wang was in dominant form in Odense, dropping just two games as she wrapped up the Denmark Open title with a comprehensive 21-14, 21-12 victory over compatriot Liu Xin. Wang was just as assertive against Maunoury as she sent out her intent to retain the title she won so convincingly last year.
Denmark’s Tine Baun, who failed to defend her title last week after losing to Thailand’s Salakjit Ponsana in the second round, easily defeated Elena Prus of Ukraine 21-10, 21-10.
The second seed avoided a potential banana skin as 2007 world champion Zhu Lin of China was stunned 21-17, 13-21, 21-17 by Switzerland’s Jeanine Cicognini.
The four-time Swiss national champion, who is currently based in Germany, showed no respect to her opponent as she won through to set up a meeting with Baun.
Local hope, Pi Hongyan, who is seeded third, should have no problems reaching the quarter-finals as she is due to face Elizabeth Cann of England in today’s second round. Pi defeated Taipeh’s Tai Tzu Ying 21-16, 12-21, 21-13 while Cann edged Bulgarian Linda Zechiri 21-11, 17-21, 21-15.
For full results log on to http://www.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/matches.aspx?id=B1ACFCEE-A1A7-478F-ACEA-DDCE3A759085&d=20101103
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