KOREA OPEN 2011 Day 2 – Blair wins sixth in two

Robert Blair added a men’s doubles upset to his recent mixed success as he and Flandy Limpele advanced to the second round at the 2011 Victor Korea Open Premier Super […]

Robert Blair added a men’s doubles upset to his recent mixed success as he and Flandy Limpele advanced to the second round at the 2011 Victor Premier Super Series.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent live in Seoul.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto

After a promising run to the mixed semi-finals last week in Kuala Lumpur, Robert Blair began his outing in Korea with bang in men’s doubles as well.  He and Flandy Limpele of Indonesia came back from 17-20 down in the second game to finish off their match in two and send last week’s semi-finalists Septano/Ahsan packing early.

The victory was Blair’s sixth in two days as he was forced to play qualifying for both men’s and mixed doubles, where he and Gabrielle White had earlier beaten China’s Hong/Bao to advance to the second round.

“They are obviously a good pair.  They made the semi-finals in Malaysia,” said Blair after the match.  “We knew they didn’t quite have the power that some of the other pairs have so we thought we could play some shots soft and short and keep the game moving front and back.

“It was working for us in the first game but I think we were lucky that we did not have to play a third game.  They had us at the end of the second but then we got five points in a row.”

“We won’t be able to train together much in this pairing,” said Flandy, “but we should still be able to play in tournaments.”

“I do hope to get back to qualify for the Olympics in mixed with Gabby [White],” said Blair.  “We started to play together in the summer but then with the problems on the England team, that stopped but now we are back playing together and we did well last week.  She is still young so I hope so hopefully we can continue for a few more years.

“Flandy and I think we will play in the German Open, the All England, and the Swiss.  The Olympics are of course the toughest but I think that maybe it can be a good thing for the Super Series, to make it different and more interesting, if you have pairs from two different countries.”

Asked about his own aspirations with the Olympic qualification period coming up, Flandy was emphatic: “Not for me.  Four Olympic Games are enough!”

“With four, it must get boring going to play at them all the time,” joked his new partner.

But fortunately for badminton, this artist of the game is clearly not yet bored of playing the big tournaments, schooling his younger opponents, and giving the fans a show.

For complete results from Day 2 of the 2011 Victor Korea Open Premier Super Series, CLICK HERE

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Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net