SWISS OPEN 2013 SF – Well started is (only) half won

While everybody is still recovering from the All England, many shuttlers made a detour to the Alps before heading home.  Not to enjoy one of Switzerland’s many spas, but to […]

While everybody is still recovering from the All England, many shuttlers made a detour to the Alps before heading home.  Not to enjoy one of Switzerland’s many spas, but to capture one of the five titles at the . Prior to the onset of the semi-finals, Christinna Pedersen still had a chance to capture two of these crowns.

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

Battling on two fronts, women’s and mixed doubles, Christinna Pedersen already had a rather busy schedule behind her.  In spite of this, together with Joachim Fischer Nielsen (photo), she didn’t waste any time in their encounter with German duo Fuchs/Michels.  The Danes won the match in a very straightforward manner 21-9, 21-9, spending only half an hour on court.

Later that day, Pedersen was up and running to overcome Koreans Jung Kyung Eun / Kim Ha Na, this time in partnership with Kamilla Rytter Juhl.  The Danish women started as favourites,  since they had defeated their opponents in all three of their previous meetings, most recently at the Swiss Open last year.

However, it was a totally different storyline this year, as the Korean twosome won in straight games 21-19, 21-17.  In a tight contest, Kyung Eun and Ha Na (photo)  capitalized on the mistakes made by the top seeded Danes.

Could the Danish supporters still rely on Jan O Jorgensen to guarantee them another chance for a Swiss Open title?  He was the favourite, up against world #14 Wang Zhengming.  Wang, a former World Junior Champion, has been runner-up at no fewer than five major events in the intervening four years but has yet to claim his first senior title.

Jorgensen started off confidently, claiming the first game 21-18.  Zhengming didn’t seem to be impressed and rushed through the second game with a clear-cut 21-7.  And also the deciding rubber went to the 23-year-old Chinese 21-13, who must now face his top-seeded compatriot.

Said compatriot, Du Pengyu (photo), had a demanding afternoon opposed to Hong Kong’s Hu Yun.  Whereas the latter was able to defeat his rival on home soil last year, he couldn’t repeat his stunt in Switzerland and Du prevailed 21-8, 17-21, 21-14 to set up the only all-Chinese final this weekend.

Bulldozing through the tournament, the Chinese delegation has several other irons in the fire beside the above-mentioned.  To begin with, Wang Shixian, who finally was capable of beating Saina Nehwal, reached her second final of the year.  Only a week ago, in their latest encounter at the All England quarter-final stage, it was Nehwal who won an outstanding duel.

This time, after another three-game battle, it was her adversary who could claim the victory 21-11, 10-21, 21-9, her first over the Indian in nearly three years.

In the other semi-final, Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand triumphed over Yui Hashimoto 19-21, 21-10, 21-13.  Despite her loss, Hashimoto seems to be inspired by the Alps as earlier this year she claimed the title in neighbouring Austria, at the Austrian International Challenge, and even in Basel she can take solace in the knowledge that she bested one of the world’s best shuttlers when she upset Jiang Yanjiao in the quarter-finals.

The Chinese supremacy continued in the mixed doubles with Zhang Nan and Tang Jinhua (photo) to the disappointment of All England victors Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, whose winning streak in Europe came to an end when the scratch pairing won 21-17, 19-21, 21-10.  It was especially Tang who impressed, dominating at the net, forcing her challengers to commit the mistakes.  Match point was a perfect example of the Indonesians’ helplessness: a cross drop which ended straight into the net.

The final chance for China lies in the men’s doubles with Chai Biao.  Chai, especially known from his alliance with Guo Zhendong, now plays at the side of Hong Wei.  Defeating the new pairing of former world #1’s Alvent Yulianto Chandra / Markis Kido 17-21 21-9 22-20, their biggest still lies ahead, as they face top seeds Lee Yong Dae / Ko Sung Hyun in the final, attempting to deny Ko his third Swiss title.

Click here for complete semi-final results

About Elm Vandevorst