Despite the heavy resistance from the other powerhouses, the Danish shuttlers are the only nation left to have three opportunities to claim a title in front of their enthusiastic home […]

Despite the heavy resistance from the other powerhouses, the Danish shuttlers are the only nation left to have three opportunities to claim a title in front of their enthusiastic home crowd. Both China (in the women’s singles) and Japan (women’s doubles) are already sure to take one, and only one, title back home.  Bitburger Open champion Liu Xin will face top seeded Wang Yihan, Matsuo and Naito are opposite Maeda/Suetsuna.

By Elm Vandevorst. Photos: Antoine Roullet, Yohan Nonotte for Badmintonphoto (live)

After top seeds Miyuki Maeda and Satoko Suetsuna crushed Russian leading ladies Sorokina/Vislova 21-11, 21-9, the Japanese delegation was already certain to win the women’s doubles tomorrow.  The only question was whether it would be a dream final against the second seeded pair Mizuki Fujii/Reika Kakiiwa or whether Dutch Open finalists Shizuka Matsuo/Mami Naito could be the spoil-sports? After two fantastic sets, the spectators were ready for more in the deciding rubber but Fujii/Kakiiwa were forced to retire.

Besides the Japanese reign in the women’s doubles, the Chinese ladies dominate the singles. For Liu Xin it will be her seventh match throughout the tournament. While she was forced to play three setters in the third round and quarter-final, she just needed two against Salakjit Ponsana 21-19, 21-18. Her opponent, world number two Wang Yihan (photo), had an even easier afternoon, slaughtering surprise semi-finalist Petya Nedelcheva 21-8, 21-10.

Back to the home nation where the Danes’ first opportunity to be successful lies in the mixed doubles. Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Thomas Laybourn won their duel against Hendra Gunawan / Vita Marissa by an unexpectedly comfortable 21-19, 21-11. The Danish pair were, of course, able to count on the support of the home crowd.

“It means a lot to have the crow with you and especially when they’re as motivated as they were today,” said Laybourn. For as second title after their first one in 2005, they have to get past Jenny Wallwork and Nathan Robertson (photo). It took the English pair three sets to defeat Thai duo Saralee/Sudket 21-16, 18-21, 21-16 but Wallwork can now prepare or her first ever Super Series final, after she already made it to the Commonwealth Games final earlier this year. The 23-year-old already has already seen Grand Prix success alongside Robert Blair, but together with her latest partner Robertson, things are working out even better.

A first for Taufik or Jan

It will be dream come true, at least if he can get past Taufik Hidayat (photo) in tomorrow’s final. Just like every Danish kid who starts to play badminton, winning the has to be the ultimate goal for Jan O Jorgensen. Up for his second Super Series final, the Dane first had to eliminate Hu Yun from Hong Kong. A very convincing first set victory 21-12 was his first step toward completing his dream. Erasing Yun’s early lead in the second was enough to secure victory 21-17.

Hidayat, on the other hand, found a worthy adversary whom he had already met at the Indonesian Grand Prix Gold two weeks ago. In front of his home crowd, Hidayat won 21-15 21-14, but in Denmark he needed three games of 21-15, 17-21, 21-17. Jorgensen and Hidayat have already met each other before.  The last time, Jorgensen beat his elder rival at the Malaysia Open. No matter who wins, it will be a first success in a Super Series: oddly enough, the Indonesian never clinched such a title since the start of this new circuit in 2007. This might be his biggest chance.

“I will try my best. He is young, but he is in the top 10 and he is a very good player. He beat me last time we played and he’ll play in front of his home croud, so, we’ll see what happens tomorrow,” said Taufik.

Mouth-watering men’s doubles final

Denmark’s last occasion will be decided by Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen, up for an electrifying contest against Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan (photo). So far both pars are flawless and have decided every match within 45 minutes. In their semi-final Boe and Mogensen didn’t break a sweat, defeating Yoshi Hirobe / Kenta Kazuno 21-11, 21-16.

“We’ve played Kido and Setiawan a couple of times and we know they’re taking the chances on the three first, so we have to stay focused. We’re aiming for a win; it is the only goal that really counts,” said Boe. Their decorated Indonesian rivals will probably think the same, supported by their solid performance opposed to Hiroyuki Endo / Kenichi Hayakawa 21-15, 21-16. With five powerhouses still in the running to get a hold on at least one title, the Denmark Open gets the apotheosis it deserves.

Finals :

XD: Laybourn/Rytter Juhl (DEN) vs. Robertson/Wallwork (ENG)
WS : Liu Xin (CHN) vs. Wang Yihan (CHN)
MS: Jan O Jorgensen (DEN) vs. Taufik Hidayat (INA)
MD: Boe/Mogensen (DEN) vs. Kido/Setiawan (INA)
WD: Naito/Matsuo (JPN) vs.  Suetsuna/Maeda (JPN)

Full semi-final results HERE

About Elm Vandevorst