All England when she announced she would retire here last year. As it is, she beat Sung Ji Hyun of Korea in one of the matches of the tournament to progress to face Ratchanok Intanon tomorrow.
By Michael Burke, Badzine Correspondent, live from Birmingham. Photos: Yohan Nonotte for Badmintonphoto (live).
Sung Ji Hyun (pictured left) started strong, as Tine Baun (pictured below) struggled to find the fluency she showed in the earlier rounds of the tournament.
Trailing 11-4 at the mid game interval, Baun fought hard to reduce the gap, and with this new-found pressure the Korean started to make mistakes.
Tine fought back from 20-15 down, with the Korean was particularly upset by a line call at 20-17. Good judgement and incredible defence saw Tine drag it back, although nervous play by both players meant that extra points were required, the game ending 24-22 to the Dane.
A series of disputed line calls saw the crowd resort to pantomime booing in the second, but Baun stayed calm to lead at the interval. But such a close match seemed destined to go to the third, as Sung finished the game on top, 21-19.
The level of both players was very high and both players started to show signs of fatigue. In reaching match point, Baun left her opponent flat on the floor, and as a silence fell over the crowd for the last point, the dream finish was sealed as Baun took the third 21-19.
Sung spoke of her defeat, saying: “When it was one set each, I thought that I might have the chance to win the match. But as the time goes by I became tired. The match went for over an hour. I thought that I should have been more attacking, rather than so defensive. By the end of the match I had run out of energy.
Reflecting on the disputed calls from both players, the Korean continued: “In the first game I thought there were a few line calls that I was not happy with but overall they were fair.”
Of her form prior to the match, “I didn’t expect to get to the final, this year I have mostly been losing in the quarterfinals. She played well. I played my game to do what I wanted to do. I was taking chances, if I made mistakes that’s just how it goes.”
The incredible run to recover from 20-15 down set the tone for the match, but she did not seem aware of it, “Really was it that much? I don’t know how I came back from that, I just focussed on the next point, not the result.”
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