BITBURGER OPEN 2006 – Xu wins home grand prix

Xu Huaiwen won her home event in Saarebrucken this weekend before flying off to Denmark where she is also seeded first. Sven Heise, Badzine correspondent in Germany, reports. Photo : […]

Image Xu Huaiwen won her home event in Saarebrucken this weekend before flying off to Denmark where she is also seeded first. Sven Heise, Badzine correspondent in Germany, reports.

Photo : Sven Heise

Raising a huge bottle of champaign on the podium was an easy task for Xu Huaiwen. A week of hard work culminated in her fourth victory at home in four years. Apart from battling tough opponents on court, she also had to appear on a morning sport program on German TV. Xu, who is already very popular in her home town, found her popularity rising further after winning her second World Championship bronze medal in Madrid a few weeks ago.

The final between Xu and Indonesia’s Maria Kristin Yulianti was an exciting one.Yulianti had earlier thrown
out Pi Hongyan and Petra Overzier. This time, she tried to tire Xu with long rallies, but the German’s routine made all the difference and she won in straight sets, 21-17, 21-17.

After the match, Xu explained why it had taken her so much effort to win: "It was very hard for me (to win) today. Yulianti is a complete player, very precise. She has excellent fitness. Today, my tactics and experience decided the match. I knew I would have to be patient to beat her."

A strong team from Singapore left the with two gold medals. In the Men’s Singles, Ronald Susilo took only twenty-five minutes – a very short match even by the standards of the new scoring system – to register a win over compatriot Kendrick Lee. The final scoreline stood at 21-11, 21-6. After receiving the medal from Peter Müller, Prime Minister of Saarland, Susilo confessed that he was very lucky to gain his first victory since taking the Japan Open title two years ago: "Winning the was very important for me. I was injured for a long time and now I’m going to prepare for Peking 2008."

Jiang Yanmei and Li Yujia won the second gold for Singapore. In the Women´s Doubles, they outplayed Indonesians Sugianti Endang and Rani Mundiasti of Indonesia 21-11, 21-19.

Robert Mateusiak had to play the in both first and last final on Sunday. The Polish player won the mixed event with Nadiezda Kostiuczyk 22-24, 21-16, 21-8 against Singapore’s Hendri Saputra/Yujia Li. Saputra’s display of skill – including various jumps and dives – may have won the admiration of fans, but were not quite enough to take the game from their experienced opponents.

Gunawan is a well known name in Saarbrücken. This year it wasn’t Tony, one-half of the World Champion winning team at Anaheim, but another Indonesian, Hendra Aprida Gunawan, who made a bid for the Men’s Doubles title with his partner Joko Ryadi. Unlike Tony last year, however, Hendra did not get the big glass of beer given to all winners. Robert Mateusiak/Michael Logosz took the second gold medal for Poland, winning 21-13, 21-13.

Right after the tournament, Frank Liedke and his team began preparations for two big events in Saarbrücken in next year – the European Junior Championships and the Bitburger Luxembourg Open 2007.

About Sven Heise