FRENCH OPEN 2010 SF – Auf geht’s Deutschland!

It was a wonderful day for German badminton at the semi-final stage today, as they will have two representatives contesting Super Series finals tomorrow. The cold and rainy weather outside […]

It was a wonderful day for German badminton at the semi-final stage today, as they will have two representatives contesting Super Series finals tomorrow. The cold and rainy weather outside didn’t dampen the spirits of those spectators who were in full attendance to witness more exciting badminton action on Day 5 of the Super Series.

By Gregory Chan, live from Paris. Photos (live) : Badmintonphoto

First out on the TV court were Michael Fuchs & Birgit Overzier, the seventh seeds from Germany, who were up against Denmark’s former World Champions Thomas Laybourn & Kamilla Rytter Juhl.  Both pairs had tough three-game encounters in the previous evening. The German pair made a fiery start to the match, with Birgit hunting the net at every opportunity as they raced to a 11-5 lead at the first mid-game interval. A few minutes later however, Thomas walked up to the umpire and signaled that he was unable to continue, due to a slight injury to his foot and thus gave the Germans the ticket to their first ever Super Series final as a pair.

Awaiting them in the final are fourth seeds Sudket Prapakamol & Saralee Thoungthongkam, who didn’t have to lift their racquets to reach the final as they benefited from a walkover from their compatriots Songphon Anugritayawon & Kunchala Voravichitchaikul.

All China

Chinese youngster Li Xuerui, kicked off proceedings on Court 2 against Thai and crowd favourite Salakjit Ponsana. Both players moved each other around every inch of the court and just when it looked like Li might take the first game, when she held game points at 20-17, the Thai lass demonstrated to the crowd her amazing retrieving capabilities and court coverage to force a deuce, but in the end it was the Chinese’s extra edge in attack that won her the game and eventually the match in two straight.

Li’s compatriot Wang Yihan (photo) awaits her in tomorrow’s final and it will be a repeat of their quarter-final encounter in last week’s Denmark Open. The top seed didn’t have it easy in her semi-final match against Thai Porntip Buranaprasertsuk and needed three games to subdue her young opponent 21-12, 19-21, 21-10.

Persson creates history

The second men’s singles semi-final pitted last year’s runner up Taufik Hidayat against Thailand’s third seed Boonsak Ponsana. Both players got the French crowd engaged with their wide repertoire of shots, with shuttles that would have normally been winners being kept in play. The Indonesian even hit his famous backhand smash down the line to bring up the interval in the second game. Boonsak did his best to keep up with Taufik, but could not prevent the Indonesian from reaching his second successive Super Series final in two weeks and bring their head-to-head record to 7-0.

Anyone hoping to see a “dream final” between Taufik and Peter Gade didn’t get their wish as the latter was beaten in three games by compatriot Joachim Persson (photo). Peter Gade, whose participation in the tournament was in doubt last week because of a back injury, lost the first game 14-21 after some positive play from Joachim. With the crowd urging him on, Peter then managed to surge ahead midway through the second game to force a decider. Just when it looked as though Peter might have found his rhythm, Joachim displayed more commitment in his attacking play and it finally paid dividends for the 27-year old as he won the third game 21-17. It was the first win for Joachim against his more illustrious compatriot in international competition and what better way to do it than in a Super Series semi-final?

First timers

Johannes Schöttler (pictured top) and Ingo Kindervater were paired up only a few months ago after Johannes’s usual partner Kristof Hopp went into retirement after the World Championships in August. Both the Germans started as heavy underdogs in their semi-final match against second seeds Olympic and former World Champions Markis Kido & Hendra Setiawan.

The match went according to script in the first game as the Indonesians took it 21-13. Things looked different, however, in the second as the Germans matched their opponents with fast and flat exchanges and more errors started coming off Kido’s racket: 21-17 for the Germans. The third game was even throughout and despite being down a match point, the Germans kept their cool and took the deciding game 22-20 and thus continue their fairy-tale run in this tournament.

Awaiting them in the final will be top seeds and Denmark Open champions Matthias Boe & Carsten Mogensen, who also needed three games to beat their compatriots Jonas Rasmussen & Mads Conrad-Petersen 21-23, 21-6, 21-16.

One last chance for Thailand

In the longest match of the day, top seeds Anastasia Russkikh & Petya Nedelcheva (photo) beat Danes Kamilla Rytter Juhl & Christinna Pedersen 18-21, 21-15, 21-16. Both pairs engaged in long and tiring rallies. Things were much more straight-forward in the first women doubles match which saw Thailand’s third seeds Duanganong Aroonkesorn & Kunchala Voravichitchaikul outclassing another Danish pair Lena Frier Kristiansen & Marie Ropke 21-9 21-15.

All results HERE

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