GERMAN OPEN 2012 R16 – Finntastic!

From the land of the thousand lakes… It sounds like the beginning of a fairy tale and that’s exactly what it turned out to be for one of its habitants.  […]

From the land of the thousand lakes… It sounds like the beginning of a fairy tale and that’s exactly what it turned out to be for one of its habitants.  Ville Lang had to give everything against fellow Scandinavian Christian Lind Thomsen but it was the Finn’s side of the story that had the fairytale ending.

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

It took him exactly one hour and forty-four minutes before 27-year-old Lang could start his celebrations.  In a magnificent duel, the opening match of the day, Ville Lang (pictured) overcame Christian Lind Thomsen from Denmark, after three hard-earned games 19-21, 21-19, 21-16.

This came, of course, after we might have thought that both men had already outdone themselves as they’d overcome powerful Asians Boonsak Ponsana and Wang Zhengming respectively in the earlier rounds.  Now another testing clash lies ahead as Lang will now face ninth-seeded Tommy Sugiarto.  The Indonesian defeated Lee Hyun Il from Korea 18-21, 21-14, 21-15.

Beside these two great matches, there were some other very interesting fixtures scheduled in the men’s singles.  Wong Wing Ki from Hong Kong outclassed Chinese Chen Jin 21-9, 21-17.  The 2010 World Champion had no answer for his opponent’s powerful smashes and has to leave Germany empty-handed.

Wong, of course, put himself on the map this past fall when he beat the great Lin Dan in his home event.  Speaking of Lin Dan, he is still the top seed and the overwhelming favourite to win the title.  He scored a comfortable 21-15, 21-13 victory against Pablo Abian.

The home crowd, too, had some reasons to celebrate.  Third seeded Juliane Schenk got the better of Japan’s Eriko Hirose (pictured right) in straight games 22-20, 21-14.  And also Michael Fuchs (pictured below) and Birgit Michels progressed to the quarters after trouncing Triyachart Chayut / Yao Lei 21-15, 21-10.

Fuchs was delighted with their performance: “We were able to keep our focus and stick to the right tactics.  The is of course an important tournament for us.  Aside from the great atmosphere, it’s just so much fun to play in front of the great home crowd.”

Together with Oliver Roth, though, Fuchs couldn’t take full advantage of the home courts in the men’s doubles.  Against top-seeded pair Jung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dae, the German twosome scored only 20 points in total as the Koreans showed them the exit.

Michels, on the other hand, won two out of two, both of them victories against Singapore’s Yao Lei.  Together with Sandra Marinello, Birgit Michels (pictured below) was once again triumphant against Lei and partner Shinta Mulia Sari 15-21, 21-8, 21-18.

There was also success for youngsters Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi in an all-Japanese contest.  Adversaries and fourth seeds Shizuka Matsuo / Mami Naito had a difficult day opposed to their younger compatriots.  With 21-12, 21-10, it took Matsutomo and Takahashi less than 45 minutes to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Jung Kyung Eun and Kim Ha Na will be their next opponents.  The Macau Open champions will be the favourites as they won their last meeting at the U.S. Open last year and the Koreans continue to be hungry as they sit just one spot out of Olympic qualifying.

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About Elm Vandevorst