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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Badminton Predictions - French Open

The Semifinals promise some explosive encounters:

Lin Dan vs. Bao Chunlai
Lin Dan appears to be the clearcut favorite in this semifinal. Bao last beat Lin Dan last year in the China Open, and has since lost to Lin Dan for countless times, including the finals of the Danish Open last week. I am afraid that Bao will once again break his female fans hearts, and will unfortunately lose this game in 3 sets. Lin Dan is roaring to face Lee and gain revenge for the humiliating straight set defeat in the semifinals of the Japan Open in Tokyo a month ago.

Novita/Polii vs. Zhao/Yu
Novita and Polii have played the most incredible badminton yesterday, defeating the gritty Japanese girls in a match that lasted 1 hour and 47 minutes, the longest match since the adoption of the 21 point system. Novita and Polii both looked exhausted and battered after the match, and needed some medical attention during and after the match. After their gallant fight yesterday, I doubt that they have much to throw at Zhao and Yu who are fresh after obtaining a walkover from world champions Zhang/Yang. As much as I want this pair to proceed, I think Zhao and Yu will prevail in 2 sets.

Xie Xingfang vs. Wong Mew Choo
Since Wong's triumph in Kuala Lumpur, Xie has managed to regain revenge by demolishing Wong in Tokyo. Xie will be out to defeat Wong one more time, and set up a possible encounter with her nemesis Zhang Ning. To win, Wong has to learn to shorten the rallies and employ more killer shots. Unless she can pull off a miracle, I doubt that she will make it through to the finals. Xie in 2 sets.

Lee Chong Wei vs. Chen Jin
Lee Chong Wei is playing with an slight injury that however, doesn't seem to hamper his performance. Chen Jin on the other hand, after winning the Macau Open and closely losing to Bao in the Quarterfinals of the Danish Open, will look to end his losing streak to this lanky Malaysian shuttler. Lee is playing with everything he's got, to set up a possible meeting with first seed, world number one and reigning world champion Lin Dan. Lee should pull this off, with a 2 set win, with the 2nd set being the more straightforward of the two.

Zhang Ning vs. Pi Hongyan
This is the rematch of the All England semifinals, where the two battled for more than one hour, with Pi continuing Zhang's bad luck in England. Zhang Ning will be out to get revenge, and the world number 2 will be out to score a consolatory win against Pi. However, Pi, a French National, will have the full support of the Paris stadium, and will be out to please the crowd and advance to her second Super Series finals.

Ohtsuka/Masuda vs. Choong/Lee
Ohtsuka and Masuda have had a magnificent run, defeating former world number 1 and world champions Lars Paaske/Jonas Rasmussen, gritty Indonesian pair Joko/Hendra, and finally reigning world number 1 Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong. Choong and Lee would be relieved that they aren't facing teammates Koo and Tan, but this pair of experienced Japanese shuttlers are no easy meat either. Overall, I think Choong and Lee will win this in 3 tight sets.

All the best to all players!

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