GERMAN OPEN 2012 Finals – Danes win, rest take it on the chin(a)

With four chances left to bag titles at the German Open, China took all four of them.  Beside two more or less expected trophies for both Lin Dan and Li […]

With four chances left to bag titles at the , China took all four of them.  Beside two more or less expected trophies for both Lin Dan and Li Xuerui in the singles, Xia Huan / Tang Jinhua and Hong Wei / Shen Ye stunned their Korean opponents in the doubles, leaving only one title for Denmark.

By Elm Vandevorst, Badzine Correspondent.     Photos: Sven Heise (live)

In comparison to the delight of the Chinese shuttlers must be the disappointment of Lee Yong Dae.  A real anticlimax for the double specialist, who had two possibilities left at the beginning of the day, but lost both contests.  In the opening match, Lee and partner Ha Jung Eun were totally overrun in the first game by Danes Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl, resulting in a clear-cut 21-9.   There was little improvement in the second game, which the experienced doubles pair also won 21-16, meaning that the mixed doubles title stays in Europe, after Robert Blair and Gabrielle White came first last year.

Lee’s second attempt also fizzled out.  The Chinese surprise pack Hong Wei and Shen Ye finally succeeded in doing what they had threatened to do on two previous occasions.  Lee and Jung Jae Sung lost the first 19-21.  The Koreans took the second 21-18, so the third game had to decide this highly entertaining duel.

It seems fatigue was finally kicking in for the Koreans, Lee had already played his tenth match of the tournament and after 65 minutes, their Chinese adversaries capitalized their second match point at 21-19.

Also the second Korean-Chinese battle of the day was decided in favour of the latter.  Xia Huan and Tang Jinhua were able to beat Jung Kyung Eun and Kim Ha Na for the second time in a row after their previous victory at the Korea Gold held in Hwasun.  Both pairs had their chances in the first game, but the Chinese twosome prevailed 23-21.  No longer able to resist their challengers, Jung and Kim had to accept defeat 13-21 in the second game, resulting in another title for the Chinese delegation.

Alongside all surprises, one favourite lived up to all the high expectations: Lin Dan.  The Olympic champion won his fifth title in Germany after previous triumphs in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2011.  In the final, fifth seed Simon Santoso couldn’t avenge the defeat of his compatriot Tommy Sugiarto against Lin Dan in the semis.  A very comfortable 21-11, 21-11 was another brilliant result for the Chinese superstar, who hasn’t dropped a game throughout the entire tournament.  It was also a great practice run for the All England, which is very high on his wish list.

The 2200 spectators at the RWE-Sporthalle, or at least the majority of them, came to the stadium for one reason: Juliane Schenk.  The local player had already overcame one Chinese shuttler in the semi-final.  Now that Schenk had beaten top-seeded Wang Xin, now she had to defeat Xin’s compatriot Li Xuerui.  After 40 intense minutes Schenk had lost 19-21, 16-21, but was still very pleased with her performance.

“This was still a fantastic week for me, despite this loss today.  I’m very pleased with my performance and I think I have thrilled a lot of fans,” said Schenk.

Schenk will now have little time to get ready for the All England, where she will meet Korea’s Bae Youn Joo in her first round on Wednesday.

Final results
XD: Thomas Laybourn / Kamilla Rytter Juhl (DEN) bt Lee Yong Dae / Ha Jung Eun (KOR) [3] 21-9, 21-16
WD: Xia Huan / Tang Jinhua (CHN) [8] bt Jung Kyung Eun / Kim Ha Na (KOR) [7] 23-21, 21-13
WS: Li Xuerui (CHN) [2] bt Juliane Schenk (GER) [3] 21-19, 21-16
MS: Lin Dan (CHN) [1] bt Simon Santoso (INA) [5] 21-11, 21-11
MD: Hong Wei / Shen Ye (CHN) bt Jung Jae Sung / Lee Yong Dae (KOR) [1] 21-19, 18-21, 21-19

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About Elm Vandevorst