BELGIAN INT’L 2010 – Overjoy for Overzier, clean sweep for Germany

Birgit Overzier was the big winner of the last day of the Yonex Belgian International as she scooped two titles, mixed and women’s doubles. Germany took all titles. By Elm […]

Birgit Overzier was the big winner of the last day of the Yonex Belgian International as she scooped two titles, mixed and women’s doubles. Germany took all titles.

By Elm Vandevorst, live in Leuven.  Photos: Fons Van Der Vorst (live)

It must have been a very familiar feeling for both players and spectators on final day of the Belgian International.  Eight of the twelve shuttlers present had already played a final at this tournament in one of the previous editions

Overzier was up first with team-mate Michael Fuchs and had to overcome compatriots Johannes Schöttler and Sandra Marinello in order to be successful. Being training partners in Germany, the two teams knew each other more than well. They both didn’t budge an inch, but at the first break Schöttler and Marinello were in front 11-8. But soon their rivals leveled up and won most of the rallies. Enough to take the upper hand and win 22-20. Overzier seemed to be less focused at the beginning of the second set and her opponents were able to capitalize on her mistakes. But once again their small advantage was not enough to secure victory in the second set.  At 20-19 Overzier ended the match with a short smash, claiming her (and Germany’s) first title of the day.

“We’re both ‘new’ pairings, but we know each other so well. We’re aware of their strengths and weaknesses, but the same counts for them. We kept calm although we fell behind in both sets and stuck to our game plan,” explained Fuchs.  “They played superb, but we had a good match as well. There were some dubious line calls, but we always refocused on the match.”

An impressive Schenk showed everybody why she’s one of the leading ladies of the European badminton scene: swift smashes, sharp drop shots and every shuttle extremely close to the line. Schenk seemed simply unable to make a mistake. Within 25 minutes Elizabeth Cann’s abasement was over as Schenk won it 21-7, 21-5.  This meant that Schenk could celebrate her second title at the Belgian International after winning here in 2008.

This was a perfect performance and I put all my spirit into this match. I’m really satisfied,” said an ecstatic Schenk.  “I kept focusing on my leg speed and never gave her a chance. I have to believe in my strengths and today everything came together. I was confident and eager to win.”

Just like his compatriot, Marc Zwiebler started off very fast, relying on his excellent positioning and pace in his encounter with Eric Pang. The Dutchman tried to force Zwiebler to make mistakes, but his opponent rarely did. The best was saved for last with some amazing rallies; however Zwiebler never lost control and took it 21-15.  Second seeded Pang immediately took the initiative in the next game, bombarding Zwiebler’s forehand. A tactic which paid off for a short while, as at 13-13 all was still to be played for. Four points in a row were enough for the German to prevail 21-17. Being his third title, Zwiebler is still unbeaten at the Belgian International so far.

A second encounter between the Netherlands and Germany was scheduled next, in the women’s doubles. Marinello and Overzier, who met each other in the mixed doubles final, now combined forces in an attempt to triumph over first seeds Lotte Jonathans and Paulien Van Dooremalen. Set one became a duel between the attacking force of the German girls against the rock solid Dutch defense. With both squads in the lead throughout the game, Overzier and Marinello were victorious 21-19.

It was a far more aggressive Dutch side in the second set, leading from the beginning till the end. Although the needed five set points, the game ended in their favour 21-18. The first three setter of the day had to decide who would add another title to their record. For the second time the Dutch women began with a ferocious onset, leading 6-1 in no time. However Van Dooremalen and Jonathans couldn’t cling to that tempo and their lead slipped through their fingers, falling 11-9 behind at the last break. More and more gaps were to be found in the Dutch resistance and at 21-16 Overzier had her second trophy of the day in her pocket.

A stomach ache from Oliver Roth put a damper on the party in the men’s doubles, preventing him and Michael Fuchs from entering the final.  Ingo Kindervater and Johannes Schöttler could nevertheless celebrate and assured the German’s line-up a clean sweep.

All results HERE

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