DENMARK OPEN 2010 QF – Asian Ascendancy

A weakened entry field due to the upcoming Asian Games didn’t prevent the Asian players who made the effort to travel to the Yonex Denmark Open from putting themselves into […]

A weakened entry field due to the upcoming Asian Games didn’t prevent the Asian players who made the effort to travel to the Yonex from putting themselves into the spotlight. In spite of this Asian dominance, Europe still has some irons in the fire in each of the five events. The biggest hope for “the old continent” has to be men’s doubles pair Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen who qualified for the semis without losing a set so far.

By Elm Vandevorst, Badzine Correspondent. Photos: Yohan Nonotte/Antoine Roullet for Badmintonphoto (live from Odense)

The Danish top seeds’ latest victims became Malaysian twosome Mak Hee Chun / Tan Wee Kiong, who had to accept defeat with 21-16 21-12. The Malaysian pair Koo Kien Keat / Tan Boon Heong prevented Boe and Mogensen from winning the title in last year’s edition but in 2010, the local favourites are still in the running to go claim their very first title at the Denmark Open.

“I think we increased our level of play a little bit again today. I feel we had the control all the way and even though they hang on for a while they had to let go. It is extremely important we keep them away far from us and we didn’t commit many mistakes,” explained Mathias Boe on the Denmark Open website.

While a whole bunch of Asian top players decided to decline their invitations for the Denmark Open, others took the chance to thrive in Odense. For example in the women’s singles, Salakjit Ponsana and two of the three capable Chinese players, are still in the tournament along with Petya Nedelcheva, Europe’s only remaining holdout. Ponsana had few problems beating Ai Goto with 21-15, 21-15 and will now face Liu Xin.

An All-Chinese final is still an option as Wang Yihan beat her compatriot Li Xuerui after a thorough three setter 13-21, 21-16, 21-7. But she’ll has to get past Petya Nedelcheva (pictured top) who seems to be have made a habit of defeating her seeded opponents. Following her first round victory against third seed Pi Hongyan, the Bulgarian shuttler now triumphed against fifth seeded Yao Jie. Can Nedelcheva, who represents Odense in the Danish League, now also defeat the top seed?  It might be an advantage that the Eastern-European shuttler lost her women’s doubles quarter-final, so she can now put all her focus on her singles semi-final. Her loss together with Anastasia Russkikh intends that the three remaining Japanese doubles, amongst which Matsuo/Naito (pictured right) can only be stopped by Russkikh’s compatriots Valeria Sorokina and Nina Vislova.

With Peter Gade the Denmark open already lost one of his favourites before the tournament even started as the Dane was forced to back out due to an injury, meaning that the upper half of the draw was open for his heir Jan O Jorgensen. So far, Jorgensen is living up to the expectations, eliminating last year’s finalist Marc Zwiebler 21-16, 21-19. Hu Yun is the only player standing between him and a finals ticket. Taufik Hidayat and Du Pengyu will have a battle for the second ticket.

Another event with four different countries still involved is the mixed doubles. English hopefuls Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork overcame top seeds Mateusiak and Zieba from Poland in three sets, which took them almost an hour. At 8-8 in the first, Robertson/Wallwork started to dictate the game, putting in to an end at 21-14. No problem for their Polish rivals, who already fell a set behind in their first rounder against Setiawan/Russkikh and also now were able to take set two, this time with 21-17. However the third set went again to their opponents, who will now find Sudket Prapakamol / Saralee Thoungthongkam on the other side of the net. A fascinating duel will feature Laybourn/Rytter Juhl versus Gunawan/Marissa (pictured) is the other semi-final on the schedule for tomorrow. The latter found a challenging adversary in the German pair Fuchs and Overzier but did win in the end 21-17, 15-21, 21-15.

This means Fuchs is out of the tournament after also losing his men’s doubles quarter-final with Oliver Roth. “I’m still very satisfied with what we did yesterday, as these were my first quarter-finals at a Super Series event. Beating a Danish top pair in Denmark was a great feeling and very satisfied! I just want to take it step by step since I’ve new partners for this season. Improving our world ranking positions will be a challenge. I will still be combining the two events in the future, as I really enjoy playing both of them,” explains Fuchs.

Find complete quarter-final results HERE

About Elm Vandevorst