BITBURGER 2010 – Conflict of interest for Koukal and Vittinghus?

Hans Kristian Vittinghus and Petr Koukal, who both showed up with the SOLIBAD logo on their shirts, emerged victorious from their matches on Friday to set up an all-Solibad affair […]

Hans Kristian Vittinghus and , who both showed up with the logo on their shirts, emerged victorious from their matches on Friday to set up an all- affair for the Gold semi-finals on Saturday. Only one will take the colourful logo to the final…

By Raphael Sachetat.  Photos: Sven Heise (live)

For Petr Koukal, the day was a bright one as the 12th seed from Czech Republic stunned the recent U.S. Open winner and third seed Rajiv Ouseph of England with a clear 21-9 victory in the third game.

It feels amazing. I’ve never had such results before,” said Koukal. “My best result was last 16 in a Super Series or in the final of a challenger tournament, but never a semi-final of a Grand Prix Gold!  I had couple of good matches against top level players (Jan O Jorgensen, Tago Kenichi, Sony Dwi Kuncoro,…) but never won the last points.  Always lost at the end of the matches.  Now I finaly play well and also I am able to win my matches.  I’m really happy that my long years of hard work in very difficult conditions is finally paying off…and I hope that this is just the beginning…”

The friendly Czech will meet his friend Hans Kristian Vittinghus (photo up) , who had been the first player on tour to offer to wear the SOLIBAD shirt.  Vittinghus had an impressive win over China’s Lu Yi.  Lu was not seeded but he was the Bitburger champion in 2007 and is always very dangerous, as he proved with his easy win over second seed Marc Zwiebler in the previous round. Koukal and Vittinghus have met twice with one victory for each, the latest being Koukal in Sweden recently.

The other semi-final will see Carl Baxter take on Chen Long, the top seed from China, who is looking very strong in the event so far.

The women’s singles also saw a day of upsets, with Olga Konon and Xin Liu advancing to the semi-final stage in spite of not being seeded.  Liu had stunned top seed Pi Hongyan in the third round while Olga Konon, who should feel at home as she is about to gain German citizenship, beat 8th seed Elisabeth Cann in straight games.  She will be the only European left in the draw as Macau’s Wang Rong and China’s Zhou Hui are in the other final.

The biggest upset of the day in the doubles saw Dutch De Ruiter/Khodabux (photo) stun second seeds Chai/Zhang and set up a semi-final against Germany’s Kindervater/Schottler who, after exactly 1h of play, saved 3 match points and finally beat Ellis/Middleton 28-26 in the decider.

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.