DUTCH OPEN 2012 Finals – No “Czech and mate” for local hopes

Dutch hopes of getting three out of five gold medals in their home event were dashed by Czech Republic’s Kristina Gavnholt, but Eric Pang and the duo of Selena Piek […]

Dutch hopes of getting three out of five gold medals in their home event were dashed by Czech Republic’s Kristina Gavnholt, but Eric Pang and the duo of Selena Piek / Iris Tabeling made the home fans proud on Sunday in Almere.

By Rahmat Hidayat, Badzine Correspondent live in Almere. Photos: Arthur van der Velde (live)

The chance for the Dutch badminton team to get the majority of the titles at the Yonex was relying on the shoulders of Judith Meulendijks. The unseeded veteran was the surprise guest of this final against a player of Czech Republic 10 years her junior – Kristina Gavnholt (photo). Losing the first game, Gavnholt used her athleticism to force Meulendijks to play three games. In the third game, Kristina played more varied and aggressive, forcing Meulendijks to make many unforced errors, making her way to her first major title.

I’m happy. This is my first title,” said Gavnholt after the match. Playing against Meulendijks was really exciting. She is a good player and very experienced. In the second and third games, I had to fight point by point.

I know I’m younger. Even so, [Judith] is much more experienced. I did not think about it while on the court today.”

Eric takes wife’s sot on the podium

This year’s edition of the Yonex Dutch Open saw a swap of fate for wife and husband Yao Jie and Eric Pang. Last year, Yao Jie won the title in the women’s singles, but this year her husband took his turn. In the final match, husband Eric Pang challenged compatriot Dicky Palyama (photo). With the support of his wife on the sidelines as his coach, Pang played aggressively and won easily 21-14, 21-10.

I tried my best. I wasn’t nervous; I played loose, but none of my tactics worked. I tried to make him play long rallies, but he finished the rallies quickly with his attacks,” said Palyama.

However, the Dutch veteran did not feel too disappointed: “Today I was in the final. In the last three tournaments that I followed I have always been in the finals and semi-finals, so yes I was satisfied.” He will not be playing in any tournaments after the Dutch Open. “It’s enough for this year. My wife will give birth this November so I [have to be] here.

First title for promising duo

In the opening match, the All England finalist in mixed doubles Kamilla Rytter Juhl was paired with her new partner, Mads Pieler Kolding. Facing the English pair of Marcus Ellis and Gabrielle White, the more experienced Danish pair used their height to take the attack. Keeping the shuttle low and flat, they played good defense, forced White to stay away from the net, and put pressure on their opponents at all times.

I am satisfied,” said Kamilla as the match ended with the score 21-15, 21-13 for the Danes. “This is my first tournament with Mads, and the result is not bad at all. It is our first tournament and we won. Mads has a different type of game compared to Thomas. Thomas is shorter and plays fast. However, I think it is good for me to play with partners with different types of game, so I am able to learn to adapt quickly.”

Another all-Dutch final followed in women’s doubles. This time, two young pairs, Selena Piek / Iris Tabeling and Samantha Barning / Eefje Muskens (photo) fought to be the first home titlists in women’s doubles since Mia Audina and Lotte Jonathans won the last one in 2005. In three tight games, the pairs chased points, one after the other. With almost the same type of game, Piek and Tabeling eventually won the third game with a close score.

In the closing match, men’s doubles Beijing Olympic gold medallist Markis Kido found success early in his partnership with Alvent Yulianto Chandra.  The Indonesians were up against Gan Teik Chai and Ong Soon Hock of Malaysia. Playing in an awkward manner in the first game, the Indonesian pair changed their strategy in the second, setting the shuttle lower and launching attacks.

Kido, the favourite player renowned for his entertaining style and his backcourt prowess, played well this time in front of the net while Chandra controlled the attacks from behind. The Indonesian pair prevailed 21-14 in the third game.

In the first game, our shuttles were out a lot. These shuttles were fast so we needed a little adjustment. In the second game, we started feeling comfortable in playing,” said Kido.

Most of the players involved in Sunday’s finals are making the trip to  Denmark Open and French Open as their next tournaments; however, the Dutch Open 2012 also saw the official announcement of the resignation of Yao Jie (pictured here receiving a merit award) and Lotte Jonathans, two long-time Dutch national team players.

Final Results:
XD: Mads Pieler Kolding / Kamilla Rytter Juhl (DEN) beat Marcus Ellis / Gabrielle White (ENG) 21-15, 21-13
WS: Kristina Gavnholt (CZE) beat Judith Meulendijks (NED) 14-21, 21-13, 21-17
MS: Eric Pang (NED) beat Dicky Palyama (NED) 21-14 21-10
WD: Selena Piek / Iris Tabeling (NED) beat Samantha Barning / Eefje Muskens (NED) 19-21, 21-16, 22-20
MD: Alvent Yulianto Chandra / Markis Kido (INA) beat Gan Teik Chai / Ong Soon Hock (MAS) 18-21, 21-13, 21-14

All results HERE

About Rahmat Hidayat