JAPAN OPEN 2011 SF – Peter bids Japan Super Series goodbye

“I wish I could have done better.  But please remember this is not the last match of my career. I’m still around until the 2012 Olympics,” Peter Gade told reporters […]

“I wish I could have done better.  But please remember this is not the last match of my career. I’m still around until the 2012 Olympics,” Peter Gade told reporters after losing two games to world #1 Lee Chong Wei 13-21, 16-21 in what would be Peter’s last 42 minutes on a Japan Super Series court.

By Emzi Regala, Badzine Correspondent live in Tokyo.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

The first game opened up with Lee Chong Wei speeding up the game and surging ahead to 9-1.  With the crowd applauding every point the veteran Dane got, Peter came within 4 points at 11-15 but the first seeded Malaysian wouldn’t allow the momentum to shift, Chong Wei consistently pounded Peter to make him struggle at all corners of the court, and finished it 21-13.

“Knowing that I’m up against a veteran, my tactic was to speed up the game so Peter would have no choice but to use much of his energy,” Chong Wei said afterward.

“The first game was key,” said Gade.  “I wanted to have a good start against Chong Wei because if he gets a better start ahead of me, he will build self-confidence and it would be very difficult to defeat him if he gets too confident.

“I experimented with new tactics because I need to think about future possible matches against him (especially in next year’s Olympics).  With some parts I was happy, with some parts I was not. I wanted to have a better performance and I’m a little disappointed with myself.”

In the second, Peter gave the crowd a speck of hope with his new fighting spirit.  He stuck neck-and-neck with Lee Chong Wei but the Dane committed several cross-court cut errors and again Lee Chong Wei moved ahead, and toko the second game 21-16.

“Japan is the home of Yonex, my sponsor, that is why this is one of the Super Series that I want to win most.  Also, this year is my sponsor’s 30th anniversary so even though I’m still not in my best form, I really wanted to win,” the 1st seeded Malaysian told reporters.

The other men’s singles semi-finals match, between Lin Dan and Chen Long, had to be cancelled due to Lin Dan’s toe’s injury, which he sustained in yesterday’s QF match against fellow Chinese Chen Jin.

Lin Dan was very apologetic during the press conference: “I deeply apologize for not being able to play today.  I tried very hard to win yesterday and I got injured.  Our team doctor made a decision early this morning not to allow me to play, because I still need to think about my fitness, especially since this is the Olympic year. I promise the Japanese fans that I will be here in next year’s Super Series.”

Last week, Chen Long defeated Lin Dan on their home soil in the China Open semi-finals.

“I’m disappointed that I won’t have a re-match with Lin Dan but I will definitely look forward to it in next year’s ,” Lee Chong Wei commented over Lin Dan’s sudden withdrawal due.

In women’s singles, the story was the same with all-Chinese semi-final, between Liu Xin and top-seeded Wang Yihan. The 6th seeded Liu had to withdraw due to a knee injury.

Germany’s Juliane Schenk continues to jump high and is now in her first ever Super Series final after defeating India’s most popular badminton star, world #5 Saina Sehwal 21-19, 21-10.

“I did my best, I don’t know what happened,” briefly explained the beleaguered Saina.

“It was difficult to play with and then against the drift, but you have to adjust to the environment condition and to the opponent’s strategy as well,” Juliane said during the press conference.  “I think I done a very good job today, especially since I won against Saina, who is one of the top players in the world.  I’m also excited because this is my first Super Series final.

“I truly appreciate the most important person in my life now, my mental coach.  I’m also thankful for my country Germany’s support.  I’m happy that I again have another chance to play in front of the very supportive crowd. I will do my best to give them a great performance worth watching, that is my goal tomorrow.”

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About Emzi Regala