SWISS OPEN 2012 Day 1 – Calm before next shuttlecock storm

A few hours after the end of the Yonex All England begins another prestigious tournament in Europe – the Yonex Swiss Open. The Swiss Badminton decided to renew their cooperation with Yonex as a main sponsor after several years of successful Wilson sponsorship.  Among other things, that gives the hall a different look. Spectators are sitting in the dark and all four courts have special on-court lighting.  Swiss Open is the last Gold in Europe so it means one of the last opportunities for players who want to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.

By Michaela Bencova, live from Basel. Photos:  M. Bencova, Badmintonphoto

After the All England week with all the badminton superstars we can see a little bit different level of badminton, but still, players from 45 countries from all over the world are meetingin Basel.  Some of the top players are missing. Lee Chong Wei – originally seeded no.1 in men’s singles – withdrew due to the injury he sustained at the All England. Promoted to his position in the men’s singles draw was 2011 World Junior Champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli from Malaysia. So we will see soon how he will deal with adult life in Europe. But still the main draw is full of famous and strong names.  In men’s singles, we have the likes of Taufik Hidayat, Chen Jin, Chen Long, Jan O´Jorgensen, Viktor Axelsen, Lee Hyun Il, and Peter Gade. Women’s singles features Wang Yihan, Saina Nehwal, Wang Shixian and Juliane Schenk just to mention a few.

Tuesday’s qualification rounds did not yield any real surprises. There are not many spectators in the hall yet but especially local Swiss players have their cheering sections here.  After several withdrawals, some players got to the first rounds without having to fight.  So far only one yellow card has been given – for throwing a racket – only one match was shortened because of injury, and the stringing team has had a lot of work with broken strings.  In other words, it’s just pretty much a normal tournament.

Maybe one surprise – for almost one hour, the microphone in the hall didn’t work so the Swiss reputation for accuracy incurred a little dint and umpires were running throughout the hall chasing down players.

Tuesday afternoon’s matches had the men’s singles fight for their first rounds.  There were no upsets as all seeds went on to the second round, but players like Chen Jin had to play overtime. The Chinese won the second game 26-24 against India’s Gurusaidutt (photo), while Du Pengyu was stretched to three games by Indonesia Indra Bagus Ade Chandra. As a symbol, Zulfadli Zulkiffli took Chong Wei’s spot in the main draw and advanced to the second round as well.

You can follow the live score and see the results HERE

It is also possible to watch the matches with live streaming HERE

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