U.S. OPEN 2011 QF – Zwiebler: “It feels great”

Marc Zwiebler (photo) stunned Taufik Hidayat in the quarter-finals of the OCBC Yonex U.S. Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton Championships in Los Angeles on Thursday to clinch a spot in […]

Marc Zwiebler (photo) stunned Taufik Hidayat in the quarter-finals of the OCBC Yonex Gold Badminton Championships in Los Angeles on Thursday to clinch a spot in the last four, where he’ll meet Nguyen Tien Minh. The other semi will feature Taipei’s Hsueh Hsuan Yi and Sho Sasaki.

By Raphael Sachetat. Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

“YYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS​ !!!!!!!!!!” This is literally – with no adding of any letters whatsoever – the first words Marc Zwiebler wrote on his Facebook wall though his mobile phone, only minutes after he had performed one of the best matches of his career, edging out the main favourite for the tournament, Taufik Hidayat, in straight games 21-16, 21-15.

The German is no stranger to semi-final rounds of big events – he had stunned Chen Jin and Sony Dwi Kuncoro to reach the final of the Denmark Super Series in 2009, then Chen Jin again this year in the Yonex All England, before finally bowing out to Lin Dan – in style and three games in the semi-final of the same event. But against another Solibad Ambassador (Zwiebler and Hidayat are both their respective Ambassadors of the charity foundation), it was his first win ever and probably tasted even better than any other.

I am really happy to beat one of the big legends of badminton even if he tricked me at least 2 times. It feels great to beat such a player. It was a really good match from my side. I was quite disciplined in terms of tactics.  Everything worked out in the way I wanted,” he told Badzine Germany.

I got injured at back of my knee in beginning of the second game so I wasn’t sure if I could even continue playing but fought my way through! Have treatment now and I hope I can play tomorrow [Friday],” he added.  On Friday evening, Zwiebler will take on Vietnam’s Nguyen, who certainly probably didn’t think he’d escape another meeting with his Indonesian nemesis but will have to be wary of the German – should the latter recover from his knee injury.

Sho Sasaki and Hsueh Hsuan Yi will fight for the other spot in Saturday’s final – the US Open has its finals on the Saturday, unlike most other tournaments. The Japanese who had stunned Chen Jin and Lin Dan in Indonesia is on a good roll and beat Boonsak Ponsana with the impressive score of 21-10, 21-15, while Taipei’s Hsueh was close to losing to Guatemala’s Kevin Cordon (photo). The flag holder of his own delegation of Guatemala in the Beijing Olympics was 18-18 in the decider before bowing 23-21, 14-21, 19-21.

No more Chinese, Japan shines

Apart from the loss of most of the big names in the tournament – another stunning fact happened in the US Open: there will be no Chinese in the semi final stage, in spite of some of their best shuttlers being sent from the badminton powerhouse. Lu Lan again lost to Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying in three games and wasting three match points at 20-17 in the decider, while Bao was ousted by Nguyen Tien Minh 21-15, 21-18.

If China had a rough day in Los Angeles, Japan on the contrary clinched no fewre than 8 semi-final spots – three in the singles with Sho, but also Eriko Hirose and Sayaka Sato (photo), who beat Cheng Shao Chieh 21-13, 18,21, 27-25.  The other challenge to the  Japanese shuttlers in the women’s singles semi-finals comes from Thai youngster Ratchanok Intanon, who ousted Thailand Open champion Li Xuerui and will face Sayaka Sato on Friday.

Five pairs are also to play in Friday’s semi-finals, with Lee Yong Dae as an opponent in two confrontations for Ikeda/Shiota and Kawamae/Sato. The young Korean however will not be partnering Jung Jae Sung but Ko Sung Hyun instead.

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.