Jacco Arends and Selena Piek were one point away from a World Superseries semi-final but capitulated in a thriller at the Yonex French Open 2014 yesterday.
The Dutch Mixed Doubles pair, winners of the Yonex Belgian International last month, had two match points against Chris and Gabrielle Adcock (featured image), but the English duo denied them at both moments. Arends and Piek had leads of 17-14 and 20-18; nevertheless, the Adcocks stayed in the hunt and picked off five points in a row when they were match point down, to win 15-21 21-15 22-20.
It will be an all-European semi-final as the Adcocks face Denmark’s Mads Pieler Kolding/Kamilla Rytter Juhl, who enjoyed a comfortable 21-13 21-15 verdict over Germany’s Michael Fuchs/Birgit Michels.
The second semi-final will pit Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir against China’s Xu Chen/Ma Jin, in a rematch of the recent Denmark Open final which the Chinese won.
It will be up to Ratchanok Intanon to prevent an all-China Women’s Singles final. The Thai posted her second straight win over Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi, 22-20 21-17, and will take on top seed Li Xuerui next. China’s Li is on the threshold of making her 10th final in ten tournaments this year. Li breezed past Ireland’s Chloe Magee 21-19 21-13, while in the other quarter-final matches, compatriots Wang Yihan and Wang Shixian won in contrasting styles.
USA’s Beiwen Zhang gave a good account of herself against Wang Yihan, with significant leads in the first game, but once Wang caught up at 18, she held firm from that point. The second game was a no-contest with Wang dominating from the start.
On the other hand, Wang Shixian was very nearly shown the door by long-time rival Saina
Nehwal. The Indian was in command in their decider, with her pace and attack denting Wang’s confidence. Nehwal had a 14-7 but suffered a meltdown at this point. The Indian got increasingly desperate as Wang reeled one point after another; incredibly, the Chinese picked off 14 of the next 15 points to author one of the most unusual defeats in Nehwal’s career.
All the Men’s Singles quarter-final matches went the distance. Japan’s Kento Momota prevailed over Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 21-17 15-21 21-17 in a battle of left-handers; awaiting him in the semi-final is China’s Wang Zhengming, who outlasted India’s Kashyap Parupalli 21-15 13-21 21-13.
Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto and Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen got the better of Danish opponents Hans-Kristian Vittinghus and Viktor Axelsen respectively.
Men’s Doubles: Defending champions Markis Kido/Gideon Markus Fernaldi crashed out to compatriots Hendra Aprida Gunawan/Andrei Adistia 21-15 21-13; the Indonesians take on top
seeds Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen in the semi-final. The other semi-final will feature No.2 seeds Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa (Japan) against Chinese Taipei’s Lee Sheng Mu/Tsai Chia Hsin.
Women’s Doubles: Japan’s Shizuka Matsuo/Mami Naito are the only non-Chinese pair in the last-four of Women’s Doubles. Matsuo/Naito outplayed compatriots Miyuki Maeda/Reika Kakiiwa 21-12 21-12. No.5 seeds Ma Jin/Tang Yuanting won a three-game battle over another Japanese pair, Ayaka Takahashi/Misaki Matsutomo, 19-21 21-15 21-16. Yu Yang/Wang Xiaoli and Luo Ying/Luo Yu made the other semi-final in straight games.