Home2022Unseeded into Finals

Unseeded into Finals

Chinese player Wang Zhi Yi might not be able to forget yet what happened at the 2021 World Championships. Her move was stopped by An Seyoung of South Korea in the round of 16 in a tight three-game match 21-17, 20-22, 19-21 in Huelva, Spain, on December 16.


Yesterday, the two of them met again. This time in the semifinals of the women's singles of the Smart Badminton Asia Championships 2022 in Manila, Philippines. Although the rubber game happened again, it ended up differently. Wang Zhi Yi was able to avenge by winning 10-21, 21-12, 21-16.


On paper, Wang Zhi Yi, who turns 22 this year, is unseeded and currently ranked #17. Meanwhile, An Seyoung is the 2nd seed and is ranked #4 in the world. Yesterday’s result also made Wang Zhi Yi reduce her defeat to Seyoung, who had beaten her three times previously.


In the final round, a formidable opponent awaits Wang Zhi Yi. She will meet Akane Yamaguchi from Japan – the first seed who had defeated her toughest opponent, Pusarla V. Sindhu from India in a three-game match 13-21, 21-19, 21-16. This victory reduced the gap in Akane’s meeting record with Sindhu to 9-13.


Even as an unseeded player, Wang Zhi Yi has a good record against Akane Yamaguchi. She once defeated Yamaguchi at the Indonesia Masters 2020 in the round of 16.


Having unseeded players penetrating the final also occurred in the men’s doubles. The pair Pramudya Kusumawardana/Yeremia Rambitan from Indonesia defeated their senior who was seeded in fourth place Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto in a three-game match 22-20, 13-21, 21-18. This victory repeated the results in the quarter-finals of the Hylo Open 2022. At that time, Pramudya Kusumawardana/Yeremia Rambitan won two straight games 21-11, 25-23.


In the final round, the Indonesian pair will meet Malaysian representatives Aaron Chia / Soh Wooi Yik. The 5th seed defeated the 3rd seed pair Satwisairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty of India 12-21, 21-14, 21-16.


Pramudya Kusumawardana/Yeremia Rambitan and Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik have never met before. However, the Malaysian pair had defeated two of Kusumawardana/Rambitan’s seniors, Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya and Hendra Setiawan/Mohammad Ahsan, at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. As a result, Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik stood on the podium with a bronze medal.


Another interesting result came from the women's doubles. The Japanese representatives who were not included in the winning candidate, Rin Iwanaga/Kie Nakanishi, advanced to the final round. The pair, who is ranked 25th in the world, defeated their compatriot who is the 4th seed Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota in three games 16-21, 21-15, 21-19.

To become a champion, Rin Iwanaga/Kie Nakanishi need to fight really hard as they will meet the 1st seeds Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan from China who in the semifinals defeated their own teammates Du Yue/Li Wen Mei 21-12, 21-17.


China has made sure to get one title from the mixed doubles. The two representatives of the country, Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong, the 1st seed, will meet the 3rd seed Wang Li Lyu/Huang Dong Ping. In the semifinals, both pairs were still too tough for their opponents. Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong didn't have to struggle when they beat Indonesian representatives Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianto 21-8. The second game was discontinued due to Praveen's injury. Meanwhile, Wang Li Lyu/Huang Dong Ping defeated second seed Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino in a straight match 21-12, 24-22.


The meeting of Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiongdan Wang Li Lyu/Huang Dong Ping repeated the Tokyo 2020 Olympics finals. At that time, Wang Li Lyu/Huang Dong Ping won 21-17, 17-21, 21-19.


In the men's singles, Jonathan Christie qualified for the final. The 4th seed from Indonesia defeated his own partner Chico Aura Wardoyo in three games 21-9, 18-21, 21-16. This is the second victory for Jojo, Jonatan Christie's nickname, over his junior. Previously, he won at the Indonesia Open 2021.


In the final, Jojo will face the 3rd seed Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia. In the semifinals, the 2021 All England champion defeated a Chinese badminton player who passed the qualifying round, Weng Hong Yang, 21-11, 21-19. In their previous five meetings, Jojo had only lost once.


Will we get to see the unseeded players wrap their surprise perfectly today? We will see.



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