ALL ENGLAND 2015 SF – Long wait over for Chen

At the eighth time of asking, Chen Long finally beat compatriot Lin Dan, and will face Dane Jan Ø. Jorgensen in the final in Birmingham. Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan […]

At the eighth time of asking, Chen Long finally beat compatriot Lin Dan, and will face Dane Jan Ø. Jorgensen in the final in Birmingham. Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan also stormed through to the finals to face Fu’s old nemeses Boe and Mogensen.

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

Jan Ø. Jorgensen (pictured left) played a solid game from start to finish as Sho Sasaki struggled to find a foothold in the first men’s singles semi-final at the 2015 Yonex Premier.

“Really happy with my performance as I didn’t give him any chances, even when he came out playing different in the second,” said Jan.

“It’s amazing to reach my first final here, I’ve been watching this tournament since I was a little kid.”

Asked about the prospect of being the first European men’s singles winner since Peter Gade won in 1999, Jorgensen said, “There’s no pressure as I’ve played to my seeding and generally had a good week so I just want to enjoy it. These guys are the favourites anyway, well one of them.”

Super Dan, however, was not to be his opponent as Chen Long (pictured right) took his first victory in international competition against his compatriot, who had scored his seventh victory over Chen Long in the gold medal match at the Incheon Asian Games in September.

“I’m really happy, I wanted to play a really attacking game and I did that well, although I obviously had to play to my strengths,” Chen said.

He continued, “It was important that I caught up and then maintained a lead in the first game.  I think I played a more flexible game. It’s important to win against him so I can draw on that I the future.”

Lin Dan was not too upset, however: “Overall, I am happy with my general performance, to come back after two years and still make the semi-finals is good. I think it’s tricky to play against your team-mates. I wasn’t as positive as I could have been.”

The legend was, however, somewhat aggrieved, “I am disappointed that my match wasn’t on the TV court. There were some bad line calls that I wanted to review but couldn’t.”

Later in the afternoon, Jorgensen found himself accompanied by only one of the three Danes who were active in the semi-finals as two of his compatriots fell at the penultimate hurdle.

Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan (pictured above) stopped the giant-killing pairing of the two Madses of Denmark. They reflected that it hasn’t been smooth for them as a pair however.

“It wasn’t easy to build a new partnership. We had a tricky first year with so many disappointments. We were inconsistent.  Some weeks we’d win the tournament then we’d go out in the first round of the next,” said Fu Haifeng.

“After the first year, hopefully, we will get better and feel more confident.  Maybe then if we are more consistent we might be playing together for the Olympics.”

The last match on court was to decide their opponents as Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen (pictured) of Denmark faced Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo / Kenichi Hayakawa in another example of big hitting men’s doubles.  Endo and Hayakawa,  runners-up for the last couple of years in Birmingham won’t get another go, however, as they were dispatched by second seeded Boe and Mogensen in three games.

The Danes have not had a hot hand in Birmingham for the last couple of years but fought back hard using all their mental strength to get by the Japanese.

“Of course we’re very happy, the All England is one of the biggest events and the last two years we didn’t play our best and went out in the same round I think,” Carsten Mogensen spoke afterward. “But it’s our third final and we’re proud, but very hungry for more results. We have one title and one time as runners-up so hopefully we can add to that. We didn’t play our best but tried to fight all the way to the end.”

On the Chinese pair tomorrow, he continued, “It’s a new pair so a new game, but it’s another Chinese pair so we will know how they play. We played them before and lost a close game in Indonesia but we can definitely beat them, I believe we can do it for sure.”

The full results for the day can be found here.

About Michael Burke