ALL ENGLAND 2009 – Nova and Liliyana Humbled

World number 1 mixed doubles pair Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir were dumped out of the All England this evening by Russian beauty, Anastasia Russkikh (photo left) and her new […]

World number 1 mixed doubles pair Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir were dumped out of the this evening by Russian beauty, Anastasia Russkikh (photo left) and her new partner Flandy Limpele of Indonesia.

 
By Mark Phelan (Live) Photos: badmintonphoto.com (Live in Birmingham)
 
Russkikh and Limpele, who came together after a chance meeting at The French Open Super Series in October last, tonight displayed to the world that they are now a force to be reckoned with and after just one weeks practise have claimed a semi-final berth at the All England.
 
In emphatic fashion, the unseeded and unranked duo powered by their illustrious opponents in what appears to be a partnership that just might stand the test of time.
 
In the opening set Limpele/Russkikh raced into a commanding lead and never let the world number 1 pair find their groove. At 14-11 down, the Indonesians were still in the set but some exquisite defence and powerful net play saw Limpele/Russkikh race away on a 5-point winning streak and they eventually closed out the set 21-13.
 
In the second, the Indonesians bounced back as Russkikh in particular seemed to ease off the gas a bit. The Indonesians sensed this break in concentration and immediately seized the opportunity to tie up the match at 1 set apiece with a 23-21 win.
 
The third set found the Russian beauty regain her concentration buoyed by the calming influence of her experienced partner Limpele and with power and grace Limpele/Russkikh (photo right) powered to a 21-16 win in the deciding rubber to a standing ovation from the appreciative Birmingham crowd. Limpele and Russkikh will now face off against number 3 seeds He Hanbin and Yu Yang after the Chinese comfortably took care of Indonesian pair Fitriawan/Nurlita in today’s quarter final.
 
“The game today is an important step in our development. It is great to have Flandy beside me as he is so calm and relaxed on court and he keeps me focused. He says to me just relax and enjoy the game and that is what I do. Its different for me playing with a lefthander as its something I have never had before in a partner. Right now its time to relax and prepare for tomorrow’s game and I’m confident we have the tools and game to beat the Chinese,” said Russkikh after her quarter-final win.
 
In the men’s singles Joachim Persson (photo below) had to play second fiddle to the undisputed king of men’s singles, Lin Dan of China. The Olympic champion toyed with Persson and the Dane just had no answers to the touch, feel and explosive power of the Lin Dan. To the unsuspecting onlookers the game looked like a complete mismatch but it is not that Persson is a bad player it is just that Lin Dan is so far ahead of the rest of the world in much the same way Tiger Woods is in golf. As Persson puffed and panted his way around the court Lin Dan appeared in complete control and never had to extend beyond first gear to win point after point. At 18-5 ahead in the first it looked as if Lin Dan went in freewheel mode to allow Persson win some points. The Chinese player eventually took the set 21-13 and looked as fresh at the end of the set as he did at the beginning.
 
In the second set Persson might have as well been sitting in the stand as all he ended up being was a spectator to his own defeat. Lin Dan went in for the kill and gave the Dane a master class in badminton. The 21-6 score line in some ways flattered Persson as, believe it or not, the score could have been a lot worse for the world number 6.
 
Lin Dan now goes on to play Chen Jin in tomorrow’s semi final and if he wins that, which he most certainly will, he will play the winner of Lee Chong Wei and Taufik in the biggest tournament final of them all.
 
In the late games on court this evening Boe and Mogesnen were relentless in their win over Koo and Tan in two sets. A 21-7 hammering in the first set was followed up with a 21-17 efficient display in the second to give the Danes the win. Even though the world rankings tell a different story it is clear that combination of Boe and Mogensen are now the premier Danish men’s doubles pair on the tour and it is only a matter of time before the pass out Paaske and Rasmussen on the world ranking list.
 
Finally, in the mixed doubles, the Olympic Champions from Korea Lee Yong Dae and Lee Hyo Jung were defeated by new Chinese pair Zheng Bo and Ma Jin. The Chinese pair finally sealed the win with a 21-18 win in the third.

For all results go HERE

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