ALL ENGLAND 2013 R32 – European prospects bright as seeds tumble

The European players in the men’s doubles put in a good show as Moren / Szkudlarczyk and Kindervater / Schoettler put out strong Chinese and Korean opposition. By Michael Burke, […]

The European players in the men’s doubles put in a good show as Moren / Szkudlarczyk and Kindervater / Schoettler put out strong Chinese and Korean opposition.

By Michael Burke, Badzine Correspondent, live from Birmingham.  Photos: Yohan Nonotte for Badmintonphoto (live).

Defending champion Lee Yong Dae (pictured right with Ko Sung Hyun) playing in his first with new partner Ko, suffered a shock exit in straight sets at the hands of Ingo Kindervater and Johannes Schoettler (pictured below).

The Germans converted consistent pressure and a solid attack into a victory, as the capitalised on a series of Korean mistakes. A couple of errors were all that separated the pairs in a very close first end, as both pairs had to defend game points, but the Germans who held game point first, fought back to take it again as the won 23-21.

The pairs were similarly inseparable in the next game until 14-all, the Germans just edging ahead having disrupted the play of the Koreans, taking the match at the third time of asking, 21-8.

“We have had close matches with them before with different partners and we knew that they don’t really like to play us. They play very controlled and a bit defensive, which suits us actually because we gain a lot of attacking positions. It’s quite hard in this hall to play defensive because it is hard to control the lifts without hitting it out. The hall helped us a bit today.” Kindervater said.

He went on to comment, “I was actually thinking about quitting just after the Olympics but I didn’t feel like quitting so I spoke to Johannes [Schoettler] and the coaches and they agreed that we should play together at least until the World Championships, then we will talk again.”

Earlier another surprise was had in the men’s doubles, as Chinese pair Hong Wei and Shen Ye were forced to join compatriots Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng (who withdrew due to injury) on the sidelines, as they lost an exciting three set match to Polish pair Lukasz Moren and Wojciech Szkudlarczyk (pictured below).

A fast game in which the attack was constantly changing sides in the rally, Moren / Szkudlarczyk kept it best. The Poles were chasing much of the first game and the experience of Hong / Shen carried them through a close first game, the score 19-21.

Growing in confidence and with the support of the crowd, Moren / Szkudlarczyk held their nerve at 19-all to take the two points required. The crowd, fully behind the Polish, roared when they reeled back the Chinese by saving three match points, to then go on to win the deciding end 22-20.

Szkudlarczyk commented after the match “We started very badly, I think we were scared about the Chinese pair and how they played. They play very good offence, we made a lot of mistakes so we lost the (first) set. But then we changed our tactics, started to block at the net and this worked. They seemed to make a few mistakes so (overall) a very good match for us.”

His partner Lukas added “We know that in England there are a lot of Polish people and they were shouting for us which was very good, very helpful for us. That we came back from 17-20, it is an amazing day for us.”

The full results for the day can be found here.

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About Michael Burke