SPANISH OPEN 2008 – Bumper Day for Indonesia

Finals day in Madrid saw Indonesia win four of the five titles up for grabs but it was India’s Chetan Anand who won the blue riband men’s singles event with […]
ImageFinals day in Madrid saw Indonesia win four of the five titles up for grabs but it was India’s Chetan Anand who won the blue riband men’s singles event with a comfortable win over Sweden’s Henri Hurskainen in two straight games. Elsewhere, the fairly tale story of unseeded and unranked Neha Pandit ended as she was beaten in a one-sided final by #6 seed Maria Elfira Christina 21-16, 21-4.

By: Mark Phelan. Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

In a day that saw Indonesia win every final they contested, it was Chetan Anand (photo) who proved to the rest of the European tour that his win earlier in the year at the Kenyan International was no fluke when he beat the surprise packet of the tournament Henri Hurskainin 23-21, 19-21, 21-15 in the longest match of the day at 50 minutes. Hurskainin was always going to be a tough opponent as he had nothing to lose and everything to gain in this final but it was to be the Indian’s day and his win in the semi-final over number one seed Andre Kurniawan Tedjono was the perfect platform to take him to his second win on the European tour this year. Remarkably, four out of Anand’s five matches in Madrid this week went to three games.

ImageIn the women’s singles, the dream of another Indian, Neha Pandit, was shattered as 6th-seeded Indonesian seed Maria Elfira Christina comfortably showed her composure and experience to dispose of the gutsy Indian 21-16, 21-4 in only 26 minutes. Seven games in 4 days obviously took its toll on Pandit as she never really put her more illustrious opponent under any pressure throughout the contest and the second game was literally a walk in the park for the favoured Indonesian.

Nathalie Deschamps of Belgium was the biggest loser on the day as she was runner-up in both the mixed and the ladies’ doubles on finals day. With Wouter Claes, Deschamps was tournament favourite for the mixed title but the Indonesian pair of Wijaya and Jauhari sent the Belgian pair home with the runners-up cheque after just 25 minutes on court. Wijaya/Jauhari’s 21-14, 21-18 win started what was to be a bumper day for the Indonesian team. In the ladies’ doubles, Deschamps teamed up with Jillie Cooper of Scotland. Similar to the mixed event, Deschamps fell foul to the skills of the same Indonesian woman, who ended up celebrating double victory as Meiliana Jauhari and her partner Shendy Puspa Irawati (photo) claimed the ladies’ doubles title with a very easy 21-10, 21-10.

The final game on court was the men’s doubles match-up between Indonesian pair of Kurniawan and Wijaya and the Polish pair of Cwalina and Szkudlarczyk. This was to be the icing on the cake for the Indonesian team and, after beating the number one Danish pair of Kristensen and Mollyhus in the semi-final, their were not many in the hall who would bet against the Indonesians taking the title. In what was to be the shortest match on court, the Indonesian played to their strengths and ran out easily winners 21-11, 21-13 over the spirited Polish pair.

All results can be found here

About Mark Phelan