COPENHAGEN MASTERS 2014 – Lee Hyun Il spoils Danish day

It could have been an all-Danish affair on Saturday, for the Finals of the Copenhagen Masters in the Falkoner Center, in the heart of the Danish capital, but instead, Korea’s […]

It could have been an all-Danish affair on Saturday, for the Finals of the in the Falkoner Center, in the heart of the Danish capital, but instead, Korea’s Lee Hyun Il will be up against Viktor Axelsen to win the tournament. In the men’s doubles and mixed, Denmark already secured the victories.

By Raphael Sachetat, live from Copenhagen. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

There is no more Peter Gade to represent Denmark at home.  Nor was Jan O Jorgensen on hand at the Copenhagen Masters this year, having been diagnosed with a virus which he thought was malaria when he got back from Kuala Lumpur. It was still pretty close to a full house in the Falkoner Center, in that usual atmosphere of post-Christmas spirit for the traditional invitational event.

Things had started the best way for the home crowd – Kamilla Rytter-Juhl and Mads Pieler Kolding won their match against Thailand’s Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam in a joyful manner, with Sudket’s usual trick shots but the 2.O2 metre Kolding hammered smashes for a final 19-21, 21-14, 21-12 success.

After Boe and Mogensen saw off Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari and Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif quite easily, Viktor Axelsen was up against Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana. The Dane was very focused against a sharp Ponsana, but the young home hero was on top of his game and attacked at the right times to win it 21-19, 21-18 and enter his first ever Copenhagen Masters final.

“Nice win against Boonsak today! Ready for my first Copenhagen Masters final against Lee H. Il from Korea. Really enjoyed playing in front of the amazing crowd! Can’t wait to get on court again tomorrow,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Lee Hyun Il played like a fox against Hans-Kristian Vittinghus.  The Danish #2 was in control of most of the rallies and in the lead past the midway point of each game, but the experienced Korean kept battling and using his smart defence shots to push the Dane to take higher risks.

“I was not surprised by the level of play from Lee Hyun Il – I was expecting it, but somehow, I kept making stupid mistakes,” said Vittinghus, who wasted a good shot at the 30 000 Danish Kr (around €3,000) prize money for the winner of the event.

Lee’s soft touch at the net made the difference as well, and the Korean came away with a 21-17, 21-18 win. The public was, of course, surprised as he was introduced as the World’s 220 ranked player but the specialists knew he is worth much better than that as he is back on track after winning his last tournament back home in Korea – a Grand Prix Gold event.

Kamilla Rytter-Juhl and Christinna Pedersen – who won the women’s doubles title at the recent Superseries Finals as partners – will be on the same court Saturday, but not on the same side.  Pedersen qualified in the mixed doubles with her partner Joachim Fischer-Nielsen. Their match against Markis Kido and Pia Zebadiah Bernadet was a quick deal, but Kido was back on court to make up for the absence of Ivan Sozonov, who experienced a last-minute visa problem.

Kido was then partnering Vladimir Ivanov for an unusual – but lethal combination. Denmark’s Conrad-Petersen and Pieler Kolding almost learned it the hard way as they had to save 2 match points before winning in a close fought three-game battle to face Boe and Mogensen in Saturday’s final.

All results HERE

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.