PHILIPPINE OPEN 2007 – Tears and Surprises

As the quarter-final stage has been reached, many upsets have occurred in Manila amongst which are those of Olympic Champion Taufik Hidayat and Bao Chunlai. Lee Chong Wei advances, while […]

ImageAs the quarter-final stage has been reached, many upsets have occurred in Manila amongst which are those of Olympic Champion Taufik Hidayat and Bao Chunlai. Lee Chong Wei advances, while newcomers have clearly made an impact on the badminton scene in the last couple of days filled with surprises, joys and tears.

Article and Photos : Ants Kong, Badzine Correspondent in Manilla

In the quarter-finals, Bao Chunlai of China was expected to win and meet up with Lee Chong Wei from Malaysia in the semi-finals. However his route was stopped by Ronald Susilo of Singapore 21-14 /21-8.

I played aggressively and attacked. I didn’t want to give him any chance to do some damage. I followed my game plan and my coach’s advice and it worked”, said Ronald.

Lee Chong Wei (pictured) had an easy match by beating Andrew Smith from England 21-12/21-16.

"Today the shuttlecock seemed to be faster and I had a better feel for it compared to the first few matches I played where the shuttles seemed to be slower. I was struggling a little and finding problems adjusting to the speed of the shuttle when I was playing against Tommy Sugiarto from Indonesia earlier. I will play my best and hope to win this tournament" said Chong Wei.

The gallant run from Malaysia’s Chan Kwong Beng – who beat Kendrick Lee earlier – ended after he was knocked out by Chen Hong from China. “I learned so much from playing Chen Hong. I played my best and I have no complaints about my performance as this tournament has been the best so far for me. I need more training and need to improve on my court coverage ability” explained Kwong Beng.

He played well, what he needs is more experience. I’m sure he will go far one day” added Misbun, regarding Chan Kwong Beng. Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Park Sung Hwan, Kenneth Jonassen, and Gong Weije are the other guests in the quarter-final stage.

Later in the day, the last match provided a surprise loss as Gunawan and Wijaya went down in straight games to China’s Xie and Guo 16-21, 16-21 while Indonesia took some comfortable seats in both the ladies’ doubles and mixed doubles before the quarter-finals.

Nightmare for Japan

Even the withdrawal of Pi Hongyan did Yonekura Kanako no good as she was beaten easily by Juliane Schenk from Germany.

I wanted to do well in this tournament, but my opponent played aggressively and well. She played and covered the court much better than me. I just lost to a better player. The only thing I can do is to improve my fitness level and learn from this loss,” explained Kanako.

The local crowd hopes of watching the Japanese Pair Ogura Kumiko/Shiota Reiko were dashed when they lost to Chou Chia Chi/Ku Pei Ting in the 1st round.

Our opponents played well. We were disappointed that we lost. I guess we put too much pressure to ourselves in hoping to win this tournament. We will do better next time”, says Reiko. The two girls were defeated in the last match of the session and stayed courtside for a long time with tears of frustration running down their cheeks. It was a bad tournament for Japan as Eriko Hirose, their top women’s singles player, injured her leg the next day, in the third round and was taken off the court on a stretcher while she was clearly in the lead in her match against Anna Rice. Hirose was probably hoping to win this tournament after the top seeds had withdrawn. And to make it worse for Park Joo-bong’s girls, Zhou Mi put an end to Kaori Mori’s run as well and Gong Weijie from China beat Shoji Sato in the men’s singles.

Meanwhile, Taufik Hidayat bowed out and shocked the crowd as he lost to Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam in 2 sets 21-18, 21-12 in the second round.

I was surprised that I won the match. In a way I felt that Taufik was not playing at his best”, said Tien Minh.

I found it hard to control the shuttle. It was too slow. I was frustrated that it went this way. However Tien Minh played well and he deserved to win,” said Taufik Hidayat.

He wasn’t the only top player to fall as Korea’s Lee Hyun Il (pictured) also lost to England’s Andrew Smith in three games.

All results HERE

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.