DENMARK OPEN 2012 Finals – Chong Wei celebrates 30th birthday in style

Lee Chong Wei scooped another Superseries title to celebrate his 30th birthday in Odense after beating China’s Du Pengyu 21-19 in the deciding game.  Shin Baek Cheol and Yoo Yeon […]

Lee Chong Wei scooped another title to celebrate his 30th birthday in Odense after beating China’s Du Pengyu 21-19 in the deciding game.  Shin Baek Cheol and Yoo Yeon Seong titled in their first tournament as a pair after another close finish.

By Kira Rin, Badzine Correspondent. Photos: Yohan Nonotte for Badmintonphoto (live)

To cap off the long day of interesting finals, birthday boy Lee Chong Wei (photo) came out to do battle with China’s Du Pengyu. Du’s mere presence seemed to jinx Lee into making simple net mistakes, letting Du race to an 8-point lead in the first game. Just like his match against Chen Long before, Du grabbed the first game with a comfortable margin of 21-15, just a point difference from yesterday.

This time, it was Lee’s turn to shine, staying a step or two ahead to finish off rallies with net kills and smashes. Du kept up just barely, often stunned when a smash landed just outside his reach. Given enough time, Du was able to adjust to the pace, but that was not enough to unseat Lee, who had the advantage of experience. For Lee, his last smash earned him his birthday gift, a second title on the tight score of 15-21, 21-12, 21-19.  The Malaysian will skip the French Open to get back home in order to prepare for his wedding with his long time sweetheart Wong Mew Choo.

Women’s Singles – Saina too strong

Earlier in the day, Saina Nehwal and Juliane Schenk (photo) were to fight for what was Europe’s only chance for a gold medal. But just shortly after the players had warmed up, the fire alarm went off. It was a tense couple of minutes while the referees went to check and later informed the umpire that it was a false alarm.  After the false start, both players went at it to decide who would earn the right to take home the premier title. Saina played a textbook game and threw in some deceptions to take the first game her way. However, from second game onwards, Juliane seemed to slow down, as if nursing an injury. Despite that, she was intent on seeing the match down to the last point, letting Saina take the last serve. The Indian nailed the last point for a final 21-17, 21-8.

This final marked the first time China has fielded a full strength team but was unable to get a player into the women’s singles final.

Men’s Doubles – Oppan Korean Style!

On one side in the men’s doubles final were seasoned veterans Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong. On the other was 2 halves of a pair, Shin Baek Cheol and Yoo Yeon Seong (photo). Koo proved he still had his net play flair, helping to control the match into his favour. Still, he was visibly annoyed whenever he made mistakes, a sign that he had high expectations of his shots.

Near the end of the one-sided second game, the Malaysians suddenly let up on their attack. The Koreans treaded warily as their opponents took four points in a row but then finally inched forward themselves. Even at the game point, the umpires warned Koo and Tan to play with their full seriousness.

Come the final game, it seemed that the play earlier was just an elaborate mind game in an attempt to trick the Koreans into dropping their guard. Moving at full power, the Malaysians staged a comeback to level the game. Still, the Koreans fought back with tenacity, and a frustrated Tan got a yellow card for throwing his racquet to the ground.

In the end, lady luck gifted the Koreans with a lucky net shot, giving them a very big title in their first ever tournament together. Such was their jubilation that Yoo Yeon Seong even did a parody of the popular dance ‘Gangnam Style’ (pictured right) in celebration of their 19-21, 21-11, 21-19 win.

Mixed Doubles – Intense rivalry

Being within the top 5 meant that a mistake could result in a bitter defeat. Both pairs – Xu/Ma and Ahmad/Natsir started out fast and attempted to gain control of the critical 1st game. Tontowi was a little impatient though, and made a couple of errors in haste. Even having a game point against them, the pair of Xu Chen and Ma Jin (photo) fought back with beautiful rallies to come back and take the first game.

The intense pressure continued into the second game, with each side keeping the other in check. Up to game point, Tontowi and Liliyana let up too early, letting Xu Chen smash his way to earn a match point. Under this heavy and intense pressure, the Indonesians brought out their own power to force the rally to continue, fending off not one but 4 heart stopping match points before a bad net shot gave them the next game 26–24.

In this one game that carried the fate of the match, no quarter was spared in fighting for the points. However, having passed the hour mark, Tontowi was getting tired from all the rushing attacks he performed. Having sensed this, the Chinese pair took full advantage, targeting Tontowi to exhaust him. Even so, Tontowi bravely fought on, swinging his racquet down to the last point, relying on Liliyana to help cover as needed. It was only a stroke of misfortune that Tontowi hit the final shot into the net, letting the Chinese duo take home the match 23-21, 24-26, 21-11.

Women’s Doubles – A game of patience

For both pairs this is their first ever Superseries final, even more so for Ma Jin and Tang Jinhua, for whom this is their maiden tournament together. For Misaki and Ayaka, it was a case of nerves as they made unforced errors, letting the experienced Ma Jin aid her partner in taking the game. Even for Tang, she was cool-headed enough to effect a racquet change mid-rally, but ended up taking her partner’s spare racquet by mistake.

Patience is a virtue and both pairs kept their calm waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. For Ma Jin, it was the depth of her experience that allowed her to perfectly grasp the opportune moments, letting her take home a double crown.

Final results
XD: Xu Chen / Ma Jin (CHN) [1] bt Tontowi Ahmad / Liliyana Natsir (INA) [4]  23-21, 24-26, 21-11
MD: Shin Baek Cheol / Yoo Yeon Seong (KOR) bt Koo Kien Keat / Tan Boon Heong (MAS) [3]  19-21, 21-11, 21-19
WS: Saina Nehwal (IND) [3] bt Juliane Schenk (GER) [6]  21-17, 21-8
WD: Ma Jin / Tang Jinhua (CHN) bt Misaki Matsutomo / Ayaka Takahashi (JPN) [6]  21-8, 21-12
MS: Lee Chong Wei (MAS) [1] bt Du Pengyu (CHN) [7]  15-21, 21-12, 21-19

Click here for complete results

About Kira Rin