FRENCH OPEN 2011 R16 – Gade goes down

France’s favourite Peter Gade ended his farewell tour in Paris, earlier than expected, shown the exit by Hong Kong’s Hu Yun, the crowd was left orphan of its two favourite […]

France’s favourite Peter Gade ended his farewell tour in Paris, earlier than expected, shown the exit by Hong Kong’s Hu Yun, the crowd was left orphan of its two favourite monuments, as they bade goodbye to their hero, who confirmed this would be his last Super Series. A few minutes later, Korea’s Shon Wan Ho, took over in his compatriot Park Sung Hwan’s absence to earn a spot in the last eight, knocking out Nguyen Tien Minh in three games.

By Tarek Hafi, live in Paris.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Thirty-four years old and still Peter Gade (pictured) managed this year like few would be able to, yet Hong Kong’s Hu Yun pride was not ready to cooperate today, as he upset the legend on his second round match, making it easily Gade’s worse result of the year.

Despite the recent poor form from the Hong Kong player, Hu Yun made it clear he wanted to remain under the spotlight after he saw his younger team-mate Wong Wing Ki grab the headlines last week by sending World Champion Lin Dan out of the second round of the Denmark Premier Super Series.

From the start, Peter Gade was never given a chance to slow down the game, suffering from a hyper-motivated opponent who smashed rockets and masterfully placed the shuttle on Peter’s (few) weaknesses. Physically impaired, the Dane could do nothing but to undergo his opponent’s game.

“He played better than he normally does and I was never able to do what I usually do,” commented the legendary Gade.   “When you play late at night the day before and at twelve the day after, it’s very difficult.  On the other hand, I knew that If I could win this match I would have a lot of time tomorrow but of course I am extremely disappointed, because normally I never lose that kind of match, but many tournaments in a row, many long tournaments has taken its toll.”

It was a shock indeed for the French crowd. Used to shouting as loud for Peter Gade as for their own compatriots on court, many of them brought huge banners, to reward the former world number one for his illustrious and memorable career and for his last act on the Parisian stage.

“Yeah it will be my last, unfortunately.  That’s the way it is.  You can’t be too sad about that.  I have good memories here, even though this one may not be the best, but I will remember this tournament forever.”

Commenting on the banner strung up for him, Gade said, “All I want to say is ‘thank you’.  They’ve been supporting me all the way.  I’m sorry I couldn’t win the match.”

The other upset in men’s singles was created by Shon Wan Ho (pictured left), who certainly felt he needed to cover for the absence of Park Sung Hwan and for Lee Hyun Il’s first round loss to Lin Dan. The seventh seed, Nguyen Tien Minh, was his casualty, in a thrilling match, full of never-ending rallies from the two persistent players, who fought for fifty-nine minutes before the Korean prevailed 12-21, 21-18, 21-14.

Even though the Vietnamese favourite came on court confident after having won their three last encounters, the Korean saw this game differently: “Last time I was mainly driving, I didn’t use the right tactics.  This time  I made sure I got the attack first.”

The twenty-three-year-old Korean player, who is slowly creeping into the highest echelon of the world rankings, sees his path, losing or winning, on a positive side: “Thankfully I can play all the Super Series so it’s making me improve my game, playing different opponents, being faster and more clever.”

The tensest match of the day could be awarded to Saina Nehwal and Li Xuerui (pictured right), who gave the crowd reason to applaud, running in the second and last game until the maximum allowable score as the last available point and the 30-29 went to the Chinese player, who will be joining her compatriots Wang Xin and Wang Yihan in the last eight.

All results HERE

Live Streaming HERE

Photos of the Day HERE
(copyright Badmintonphoto)

About Tarek Hafi