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Friday, November 2, 2007

Tournament Predictions - French Open

The semifinals of the French Open promise some interesting games.

Xie Xingfang vs. Xu Huaiwen
While Xie has struggled past her opponents (except for her magnificent third set against Tine Rasmussen which at one point, she threatened 21-0), Xu has been in punishing form, demolishing all her opponents in straightforward straight sets. However, by virtue of her reputation of one of the badminton queens, Xie is obviously the more highly regarded of the two. Can Xie shrug off her slump to defeat Xu? I believe so, but it will be in three sets again.

Lin Dan vs. Taufik Hidayat.
Oho. Clash of the titans. Battle of the giants. Face off in Paris. What ever you want to call it, it is a badminton fanatic's dream pairing. Sparks fly everytime they meet, and this long overdue rematch promises soem furious badminton. Being stopped from facing each other in the Japan Open, World Championships, Denmark Open and Sudirman Cup, these two can finally take to the courts and settle many of the debates going on. While both players are not in their top form, with Taufik barely surviving a few matchpoints in his last few matches and Lin Dan being stretched by Sony Dwi Kuncoro, it seems that the key to who will win will ultimately lie in whos form is better. Lin Dan has shown that he is in a better form, and would win it unless Taufik pulls off a miracle, which wouldn't suprise me... He is after all, the great Hidayat.

Lee Chong Wei vs. Chan Yan Kit
According to some well placed sources in Paris, Lee appears to be injured, as he has altered his playing style; limiting his jump smashes and dives. This is a remnant of his injury that saw him being defeated by Bao Chunlai. Chan Yan Kit has knocked out yoyo king Hafiz, but he will ultimately have no answers for Lee's new deceptive play. Lee in 2 sets.

Mew Choo vs. Ella Diehl
While Mew Choo pulled off a stunning defeat on Wednesday, some sources appear to be indicating that her defeat wasn't as heroic as perceived. Her more renouned opponent, Wang Chen appeared to be suffering from an injury and wasn't attacking much. However, Mew Choo has found herself in the quarterfinals of this Super Series tournament, and now faces Ella Diehl, which has gone through an equally thrilling run. Knocking out reigning world champion Zhu Lin and Judith, both ranked way higher than her, she now faces the Malaysian lass that appears to be slightly injured herself too. As to who would win, I cannot make such a prediction as both are playing badminton no one has ever seen before this.

Choong/Lee vs. Kido/Setiawan
Choong and Lee were slightly troubled by junior Chinese second stringers yesterday, and now face the off-form reigning world champions. Kido and Setiawan were also stretch, to three games yesterday. However, Kido and Setiawan play the best badminton when facing with this pair, as Choong and Lee's defensive style suits Kido's jumps. The question is whether Choong and Lee can hold their ground against the more feisty and aggresive pair, and unfortunately, I think Choong and Lee cannot. Kido/Setiawan in 3 sets.