GERMAN OPEN 2011 Finals – All (ready for) England

The favourites didn’t let the 2000 spectators down at finals day of the German Open. Top seeds Lin Dan and Korea’s Jung Jae Sung / Lee Yong Dae overcame their […]

The favourites didn’t let the 2000 spectators down at finals day of the . Top seeds Lin Dan and Korea’s Jung Jae Sung / Lee Yong Dae overcame their compatriots while Robert Blair / Gabrielle White and Mizuki Fujii / Reika Kakiiwa took the two remaining double titles and by Liu Xin captured another for China.

By Elm Vandevorst, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Sven Heise for Badmintonphoto (live from Mulheim)
In a rerun of the 2009 World Championship final, Lin Dan (pictured) and Chen Jin once more had to decide who was the best of the best. It was the latter who took the best start, leading 7-3 in the first, but it was his countryman who was in control at the end of the first game. Helped by his dominant smashes, Dan won that game 21-19. Jin’s resistance seemed to be broken and had to accept defeat after 48 minutes of play 21-11. The two Chinese superstars might meet again next week in the semis of the All England if all goes according to plan off course.

Kim Ki Jung and Kim Sa Rang can’t look that far ahead, as they were brought together very recently. Which means they have to wade through the All England’s qualifications first. Their final at the German Open must surely be a confidence boost, even if they were beaten by another Korean pair, first seeds Jung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dae. A third title for Lee, and his second together with Jung. This time it took them three tough games to overcome their compatriots 21-19, 18-21, 21-11.

Nothing compared to the almost effortless victory of Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa (pictured) against (another) Korean pair Kim Min Jung / Ha Jung Eun. The Japanese pair held their adversaries to as little as six points in the entire first game. Another early lead established in game two was enough to put them on course to securing the title with a 21-14 win.  The twosome has fond memories of some earlier trips to Europe. Last year, they made it to the semi-finals of the Denmark Open and won the Dutch Open. At the All England, they’ll probably face second-seeded compatriots Miyuki Maeda / Satoko Suetsuna in the second round.


Women's singles runner-up Ayane Kurihara of Japan (left), and winner Liu Xin of China (right) © Sven Heise for Badmintonphoto

Japan had still two chances left, beginning with Ayane Kurihara in the women’s singles. Kurihara lost the first game up against Liu Xin 21-13, but leveled the match with 21-15 in the second. Liu Xin, who had beaten the local favourite Juliane Schenk earlier this week, left no doubt she was the strongest in the end with a convincing 21-9 in the third.  Liu, the current No. 13 of the world, celebrated her first ever title at the German Open. Nevertheless, also the two previous editions were won by Chinese shuttlers: Wang Yihan in 2009 and Wang Xin one year ago.

The first challenge of the day for Japan, however, was their mixed doubles twosome Shintaro Ikeda / Reiko Shiota.  Was the pair finally to chalk up a trophy to their record?  After more than two years of struggling in their new partnership, 2011 finally looks to hold some promise, but their biggest successes to date had been two decent Dutch Open outings.   They started 2011 with an upset of the top seeds in the Malaysia Open and had already offed 3 of the top 5 seeds here in Germany.  But were Robert Blair and Gabrielle White to play the spoilsports this time?

The Japanese took the best start with 21-16 in the first game.  However, Blair and White fought themselves back into the match with the same figures. The first of three matches on the day to go to three games had to determine the champion. In comparison to last year, Blair managed to triumph in 2011, grabbing hold of the deciding rubber 21-15. The epicenter of badminton now moves about 400 miles to the west.  Blair and White will be there as well and can get ready for their match against the Singaporean pair Chayut Triyachart / Lei Yao.  Meanwhile, Ikeda/Shiota will have another English/Scottish pairing to contend with, along with the unenviable role as visitors, as they take on Saturday’s semi-finalists Adcock/Bankier.

For complete results from the 2011 Yonex German Open , CLICK HERE

For Live photos and articles in German, click HERE

About Elm Vandevorst