DENMARK OPEN 2011 SF – Gade bows out of his last home Open

Lee Chong Wei beat Peter Gade in the semi-final of the Yonex Denmark Open on Saturday in Odense – the last one that Peter Gade will play as he has […]

Lee Chong Wei beat Peter Gade in the semi-final of the Yonex on Saturday in Odense – the last one that Peter Gade will play as he has announced his retirement after the Olympics in 2012. Lee will face Chen Long for a remake of the Yonex Japan Open final, while China could make a clean sweep in Sunday’s finals.

By Raphael Sachetat. Photos: Yohan Nonotte and Shi Tang for Badmintonphoto (live)

There must have been a lot of emotions for the spectators of the Odense Sports Park when Peter Gade bowed out of his home tournament, for the last time. Of course, he gave his best as always, beating his younger compatriots Viktor Axelsen in the quarter-final and giving all he had in the fight against Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia – a player he hasn’t beaten in almost 3 years, the last time being in the Korea Open in January 2009. On Saturday, he was very close – closer than any of the last times he had played against the world number one. If Chong Wei had the upper hand throughout the first game – in the lead all though out the game to finally win 21-19 – the Dane let his chances slip away in the second when he led 20-17 and then again 21-20, but the Malaysian showed why he was on top of the world ranking and caught back to finally win 23-21 in the second game.

“I’m really disappointed that I couldn’t finish off this second set. I am just angry at myself right now. But in a way, I showed also that I was very close to him. I can take some things from this match for future matches,” said Gade.

Chen Long will be Lee Chong Wei’s opponent in the final for the fifth time this year. The Chinese beat Sho Sasaki in straight games 21-16, 21-7 and will try to make a “hat trick” after his wins in China and Japan – he beat Lee Chong Wei 21-19 in the decider of the latter tournament.

Fischer and Pedersen edge out world champions

If Peter Gade was sent packing, another couple of Danes got the public on the edge of their seats when Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen beat the reigning world champions Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei. Fischer is probably one of the most talented players in the Denmark stable in spite of his lower profile – he was a successful men’s singles player, as well as doing well in men’s doubles with Matthias Boe – but now he is shining in mixed doubles. And he played some great badminton, helped by a steady Christinna Pedersen.

The Danes took the Chinese to a decider, but Zhang and Zhao kept the lead at all times, until they reached 20-all. This is when the Danes put the gear on and took over for a final 21-12, 14-21, 22-20 after 1h and 6 minutes. They’ll take on Xu Chen and Ma Jin, who beat Lee Yong Dae and Ha Jung Eun.

“This is a fantastic feeling for us, to win here like this,” said Pedersen.

“Now, we have to find something else to beat the other Chinese, because they are very strong, but we’ll surely go for the win,” said Fischer.

China going for clean sweep

China will have no fewer than 7 out of the 10 finalists and could win all five titles again. The women’s singles and women’s doubles are already a done deal as they will be all-Chinese affairs. Ratchanok Intanon did not trouble Wang Yihan, who beat the Thai wonder in no time 21-14, 21-6. Yihan will meet Wang Xin, winner over her compatriot Wang Shixian in two games 21-19, 21-10.

The women’s doubles will be a fight between  Tian/Zhao and Wang/Yu, as expected, but the men’s doubles final should provide the spectators with a high level of play between Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng and the Koreans Lee Yong Dae and Jung Jae Sung. The Koreans edged out the Olympic Champions Kido and Setiawan 21-11, 17-21, 21-19 while Cai and Fu beat local heroes Boe/Mogensen 21-13, 21-18.

All results HERE

Live streaming HERE

Badmintonphoto’s best pictures of the day 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.