Mixed Giants Ahmad／Natsir, Zhang／Zhao Thunder into the Quarters
World champions Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir and world number 1 mixed doubles pair Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei marched onto the quarters of the VICTOR China Open Superseries Premier. The two teams have been clear stand-outs in 2013, sharing all ten Superseries event wins so far this season.
Liliyana Natsir/Tontowi Ahmad
Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir reached their highest ranking at number two after a stellar year with a successful title defense at the All England Championships and claiming the victory at the BWF World Championships, plus another two in Singapore and India.
Sitting ahead of Ahmad／Natsir are Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei of China. The Olympic champs have won six titles this year, and four in a row after losing to the Indonesians at the World Championships.
Both eased through to the quarter finals after convincing wins under 40 minutes, with Ahmad／Natsir overcoming Japanese Hirokatsu Hashimoto／Miyuki Maeda 21-11 21-13, while Zhang／Zhao showing no mercy to Andrew Ellis／Lauren Smith of England with a 6 and 10 defeat.
Third seeds Chinese Xu Chen and Ma Jin and fourth-seeded Dane Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen also advanced.
Yoo Yeong Son/Lee Yong Dae
In the men’s doubles, the unseeded Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong had a 21-15 21-13 triumph over Chan Yun Lung and Lee Chun Hei from Hong Kong to set up an all-Korean clash with number six seeds Kim Ki Jung and Kim Sa Rang. Hoon Thien How and Tan Wee Kiong of Malaysia justified their first-round upset over world number 3 Mathias Boe／Carsten Mogensen with another straight-game win against Lee’s former partner Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Choel.
In the women’s singles sees China’s dominance in the home event. Five have made it to the quarters, including top seed and defending champion Li Xuerui, who will face 19-year-old compatriot Sun Yu. Sung Ji Hyun of Korea, Porntip Buranaprasertsuk and Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand take the other three spots. Chen Long, who looked to defend the title in the men’s singles, also prevailed against qualifier, Korean Son Wan Ho, 21-19 21-16.