U.S. OPEN 2011 SF – Korea goes for doubles triple

If Japan had a great quarter-finals day, Korea was the big winner of the semi-final stage in Los Angeles, with a shot at 3 gold medals at stake for Saturday […]

If Japan had a great quarter-finals day, Korea was the big winner of the semi-final stage in Los Angeles, with a shot at 3 gold medals at stake for Saturday while Japan now relies on Sato and Sasaki in singles with no pairs left.

Raphael Sachetat. Photos: Badmintonphoto

and Kim Ha Na (photo) will be gunning for their first international title event on Saturday in Los Angeles. After failing to make it to the very top in Switzerland earlier this year, they’ll be targeting the highest spot on the podium this time, after a tremendous semi-final upset over top seeds Cheng Wen Hsing and Chien Yu Chin of Chinese Taipei, in a suspenseful match ending in Korean’s favour 18-21, 21-17, 21-19 after almost one hour of play. Jung and Kim almost wasted a 7-point lead in the decider when they saw their opponents get back from 10-17 to 17-17, but they got back to focus mode and managed to stay in the lead and close the game.

They will be once again meeting their compatriots Ha Jung Eun and Kim Min Jung – the former was Jung Kyung Eun’s partner not so long ago, just like in the Swiss Open this year, at the same stage. This time, however, the duo of 21-year-olds have a bit more experience in partnership as they had then just been brought together before the Swiss Open which was their first tournament together. This win over Cheng and Chen, however, is their biggest scalp.

Yong Dae looking for 2 gold medals

Lee Yong Dae is experiencing the same fame in the U.S. as in Asia, spending most of his time off court signing autographs and taking pictures with local fans – most from Asian background – but he’ll have work to do on Saturday, as he is involved in two finals, with Ha Jung Eun first in the mixed doubles final against Chen and Cheng. The Koreans, unseeded, had tamely beaten their opponents of the day in Switzerland too, and will hope to clinch their first title ever as a pair since they started in March. Later in the day, he may not enjoy so many cheering fans as he’ll be partnering Ko Sung Hyun to play locals Tony Gunawan and Howard Bach – a battle between two former Olympic champions.

Tien Minh and Tzu Ying to face Japanese aces

Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh (photo) had a lot of trouble beating Marc Zwiebler, who in spite of the knee injury he sustained in his semi-final match, was able to go on court and give all he had. The German was very close to beating the third seed, but Nguyen’s stamina provided him with enough resources to claim his spot in the final.

My knee wasn’t great but that shouldn’t be an excuse at all. I think we both deserved to win and gave our best. Congratulations to him, thanks for the fight and all the best in the final,” said the German on his Facebook wall.

Nguyen will play the giant-killer of the Djarum Indonesia Open, Sho Sasaki. The Japanese shuttler beat Taipei’s Hsueh Hsuan Yi 21-15, 22-20 and will definitely make a move forward the world ranking after two amazing runs in Jakarta and Los Angeles.

Sayaka Sato, on her end, will defy Taipei’s teenager Tai Tzu Ying (photo) who once again proved she was one of the players to watch in the future, beating experienced Eriko Hirose in two games 21-10, 21-19, while Sakaya beat another jewel, Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon.

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.