Home >> News >> Sports News

Badminton: Denmark Open 2008 - Gade closer to ending Super Series drought

2008-10-27 10:28:00

26 October 2008
By Raphael Sachetat. Pix by BadmintonPhoto

The Denmark Open men’s singles event almost looked like the final of the National Championships in Odense when Peter Gade and Joachim Persson scooped their ticket for the final. Zhou Mi and Wang Lin will fight for the women’s title.

Peter Gade couldn’t be any closer to his first Super Series title, almost two years after his Malaysian Open crown, won in January 2007 for the kick off of the new Super Series Circuit.

The Dane knew after his match against Chen Jin and his quick victory that the title wasn’t that far anymore, with three shuttlers he had always beaten left in the draw. Yet his 21/17 – 21/9 win over his long time friend Kenneth Jonassen on Saturday, even if it was expected, left a bitter taste in the former European Champion’s mouth.

This victory, which was Gade’s chance to reach a first final this year, also meant that his friend was to say goodbye to his fans as this will probably be Jonassen’s last appearance in the Denmark Open as a player.

“I have mixed feelings about this victory of course. I feel bad for Kenneth’s last international tournament yet I do feel in great form and I am very happy to be able to prove that I can be counted amongst potential winners of Super Series,” said Gade.

“And the fact that the level of the tournament is not as strong as others doesn’t matter because I have still proven I could beat players like Chen Jin.”

Jonassen will play in the upcoming French Open but will soon be joining the Danish squad of coaches, mainly looking after the women’s squad in the new Danish structure of coaches when Steen Pedersen retires at the end of the year.

Gade, on his end, will be playing once more in front of his home fans, to try to scoop title he once won when it was part of the Grand Prix tournaments few years ago. Gade will play another Dane on Sunday, as he takes on Joachim Persson, the “hot” Dane at the moment after his semi final in Japan.

Persson won his first ever semi-final against Przemyslaw Wacha 21/16 – 21/15 in 31 minutes. “I am very satisfied with my game today but I will have to raise my level if I want to win tomorrow,” said the Dane.

China had an even night. They had four competitors left in the semifinals – 2 women’s singles, and 2 men’s doubles pairs. They qualified one in each.

Wang Lin was the one producing the best badminton on Saturday, and Tine Rasmussen once again bit the dust against a new Chinese – after failing against Wang Yihan in Japan and China. This time, it was Wang Lin who turned the odds around to beat the number 3 seed from Denmark, 21/17 – 13/21 – 21/18.

For Tine, this defeat was an even tougher one to take, not only because she was in front of her home crowd, but also because it may have been the last time she was coached by Steen Pedersen, Denmark’s head coach.

As for Wang, it now gives her the chance to clinch her first title since the China Masters in 2006 and her second title ever after a very good year in 2008. In order to do so, she’ll have to get pass Zhou Mi of Hong Kong, who once again looked very relaxed on court against Lu Lan to win in straight games 21/16 – 21/15.

“It was a real surprise for me to beat Lu Lan in straight games and as often, it may have been because I play quite relaxed, much more now than before when I played for China,” she said simply.

Denmark’s sadness was also seen after their top pair of Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen failed to enter the final, beaten by an inspired pair of Fu Haifeng and Ye Shen.

The home favourites had clinched the first game 21/17, but let go the second 13/21. The third game was all ups and downs on either sides but the Chinese were more focused and led most of the game, for a final 21/19 victory which seals their first Super Series final – few weeks after starting to practice together.

The Chinese will play Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan, who beat Cai Yun and Xu Chen, in three games as well.

Home supporters however will enjoy another all Danish affair in the mixed doubles after both Thomas laybourn-Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Pedersen/Fischer-Nielsen secured their spots in the final.

Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen beat David Lindley and Suzanne Rayappan while Laybourn and Juhl beat Robert Blair and Imoggen Bankier 21/14 – 21/17.

Malaysia’s Chin Eei Hui and Wong Pei Tty are one step away from their first ever success in a Super Series – just like in Japan earlier this year – after beating Indonesia’s Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Greysia Polii, but they’ll face the latter’s compatriots and friends in the name of Jo Novita and Rani Mundiasti, who beat Dutch pair Yao Jie and Judith Meulendijks in three hard fought games.

(Credit: BWF)