Beiwen Zhang’s impressive season continued into the Yonex French Open 2014 as she made the Women’s Singles quarter-finals yesterday.
The American, winner of four tournaments this year (Peru International, US Open, Brasil Grand Prix and Dutch Open), destroyed the challenge of Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in just 30 minutes in the second round. Buranaprasertsuk, who had earlier beaten India’s PV Sindhu, had no answers to Zhang as she went down 21-16 21-9.
Having taken eventual winner Li Xuerui (China) to three games at the Denmark Open last week, Zhang will be treated with caution by quarter-final opponent Wang Yihan, who had no problems in disposing off compatriot Liu Xin (21-13 21-13).
Meanwhile, another Chinese, Wang Shixian, set up her 10th meeting with long-time rival Saina Nehwal (India) after a three-game result over Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi. Nehwal, who leads their head-to-head 5-4, eased past Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour 21-19 21-16. In the other quarter-finals, top seed Li will take on Ireland’s Chloe Magee (19-21 22-20 21-8 winner over Switzerland’s Sabrina Jaquet), while Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon faces Japanese qualifier Akane Yamaguchi. Magee pulled off a near-miraculous win over Jaquet. Trailing by a game and with deficits of 8-14, 12-17 and three match points down at 17-20, Magee (featured image) still found the mental reserves to hang in and eventually turn it around: 19-21 22-20 21-8.
Chinese Women’s Doubles top seeds Bao Yixin/Tang Jinhua, who were near-perfect during a dream spell late last year and early this year, crashed out early yet again, this time to Japan’s Shizuka Matsuo/Mami Naito (left). The Japanese maintained their composure despite facing three consecutive match points and edged through 16-21 21-7 23-21. Matsuo/Naito face compatriots Miyuki Maeda/Reika Kakiiwa. Another Japanese pair, Ayaka Takahashi/Misaki Matsutomo take on No.5 seeds Ma Jin/Tang Yuanting (China).
Two Danes made the Men’s Singles quarter-finals. No.6 seed Hans-Kristian Vittinghus overcame a tough challenge from India’s K Srikanth in the first game before cruising through 22-20 21-14, while Viktor Axelsen had it easier against Japan’s Takuma Ueda, 21-11 21-10. Vittinghus faces No.4 seed Tommy Sugiarto (Indonesia), who was pushed to three games by Chinese qualifier Chen Yuekun: 15-21 21-16 21-15.
Kashyap Parupalli prevailed in a tight match against China’s Tian Houwei (21-19 21-18). Next up for the Indian is another Chinese, Wang Zhengming, who held off a late comeback from Germany’s Marc Zwiebler, 21-19 14-21 21-19, in 67 minutes. Japan’s Kento Momota also won a three-game match, over Hong Kong’s Hu Yun, and will play Thai Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk next.
Men’s Doubles: Danes Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen reversed their recent record (two losses) against Russians Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov and booked their quarter-final place against China’s Hong Wei/Chai Biao. Malaysia’s Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong were nearly sent crashing out by Jacco Arends/Jelle Maas (Netherlands) and had to scramble back from match point down to make the quarter-finals: 22-20 8-21 22-20.
Mixed Doubles: Jacco Arends however stayed in contention in Mixed Doubles, ensuring a quarter-final place with Selena Piek after upsetting No.6 seeds Sudket Prapakamol/Saralee Thoungthongkam (Thailand) 21-16 17-21 21-15. China’s Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong also won a three-game battle, over Russian-Indian pair Vladimir Ivanov/Ashwini Ponnappa, 21-8 18-21 21-9.