They are hot! They are on fire! They are in a row! The impressive run by Christinna Perdersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl (photo) in Malaysia Open has never stopped. By knocking out the 1st seed Mizuki Fujii/Reika Kakiiwa yesterday, again, they knock out the Chinese youngster pair Bao Yixin/Zhong Qianxin today in two straight games. Chinese women doubles are always known to be very strong, everyone knows it. With the breakthrough against the Chinese wall today, and with the absent of the Chinese top two pairs Wang Xiaoli/Yu Yang and Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei, Pedersen/Juhl stand a very high chance to win a title on Sunday.
By Lee Suetyan. Photos (live): Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto
Again, the Danes were wearing medium length compression shorts beneath their skirts. Perhaps this is the current fashion and trend in Denmark? Pedersen/Juhl are tall and powerful, they have the upper hand on attack. Their sharp and fast smashes had made Bao/Zhong totally lost of patient. The commanding lead of 11-3 at the interval in the first game gave much confidence to the Danes to eventually wrap up the first game 21-14.
It was a one way traffic in the second game as well, the Danes were just too hot to handle for the inexperience Chinese pairs. Perdersen/Juhl kept the pressure, fully utilize their height and use their power to their advantage to grab the second game 21-13 with delight. The crowds were again pleased by Perdersen as she threw her wrist band again and her racket to the crowd!
‘It was one of our great matches in long long time, it’s never been easy to defeat the Chinese ladies doubles. We had a nice match on court with them today, it’s enjoyable, but the Chinese look like they are afraid of us.’ Juhl said with a smile. She also added, ‘It’s really very fun for this win and this is our first final together. I am looking forward to play with the Koreans (if possible) again tomorrow in the final. We had a tough match against the Koreans in the last two times, the scores were very tight. It would be a lot of fun if we can beat them tomorrow.’
Meanwhile, in the men’s doubles, the Chinese Taipei pair Fang Chieh Min/Lee Sheng Mu (photo), battled past Hirokatsu Hashimoto/Noriyasu Hirata 21-19, 18-21, 21-12 in a match that lasted 52 minutes. Hirokatsu/Noriyasu started off well by being more aggressive in their play, but Fang/Lee have become more aggressive after the interval and took command of the last few rallies to steal the first set. The Japanese pair was trying to attack more in the second game to save them a game. Nevertheless, in the third game, Hirokatsu/Noriyasu got nervous once Fang/Lee gained a few points back and they were not able to keep up the attack towards the end of the third game.
‘The first game was very tight, my players were a bit nervous with simple mistakes towards the end of the game. The final game was too far away, first game was the crucial, if they can wrap up the first game that would be good.’ said the head coach of Japan Park Joo Bong.
As for the coming Thomas Cup, Park commented, ‘Of course we hope to be in the final round. Sasaki and Tago’s performances are very satisfied recently, but what they need is consistency. Furthermore, we have two pairs of men’s doubles which are quite stable, it’s not a bad chance for us.’
In addition, Park also commented on the Malaysian pair Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong. Park said, ‘I can see that their style of play has been changing, they are more focus on attacking recently. However, there are still many of the top players who are very good at defence. Yes, Koo/Tan are good in attacking, but they need to improve their stamina more only they can overcome some long rallies. Otherwise, in the end, Koo/Tan will lose focus due to poor stamina.’ He also added, ‘Kim Sa Rang and Kim Ki Jung are young, fast and they have good stamina. Although they can’t be qualified for the Olympics Games this time, but I am sure this pair will be a threat for future men’s doubles. Koo/Tan do not have an upper hand against Koreans, they feel pressure every time playing against the Korean.
For the coming Olympics Games, Park is looking good at Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng and Lee Yong Dae/Jung Jae Sung. He said, ‘At current, Cai/Fu and Lee/Jung are the top two favourites for the Olympics Games champion. Last time, I will consider Koo/Tan and Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan as one of the contenders. But, it seems like Cai/Fu and Lee/Jung are now one level upper than them. They are in the second level right now.
The morning session ended with the victory of the lovely couples Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei. The lovely couples and the current world champion Zhang /Zhao have reserved their place in the mixed doubles final after beating the Malaysian black horse Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying 21-13, 21-16.
Chan said after the match, ‘Our target has been achieved as we were able to reach the semi final stage. We have tried our best.’ Regarding the consistency of the players, the coach Jeremy Gan added, ‘Training is important, tournament is important as well for them to gain more experience. There are a lot of tournaments currently, and the time for training has been reduced. Hence, their performances are fluctuating up and down.’ Jeremy also has his plan in mind. He said, ‘after Malaysia Open and Chinese new year, I will try to focus more on their speed, power and consistency on the court. I will find more men doubles players to train with them to increase their ability.’
Live feed here (Courtesy of BWF)
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