KOREA OPEN 2011 QF – Ha and Ko come back again

Ko Sung Hyun and Ha Jung Eun (pictured) keep Korean hopes alive in mixed doubles, fighting back from a game down for the third time this week. By Don Hearn, […]

Ko Sung Hyun and Ha Jung Eun (pictured) keep Korean hopes alive in mixed doubles, fighting back from a game down for the third time this week.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent live in Seoul.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto

Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun executed two comeback wins yesterday to reach the quarter-finals of the 2011 Victor Premier Super Series in both men’s and mixed doubles.  But he and mixed partner Ha Jung Eun have been doing it all week, starting on Wednesday with their first-game loss to Germany’s Fuchs/Michels.

No one was surprised when it happened again today, however.  Not only was it Ko/Ha’s first match against a seeded pair, but this was none other than the mighty Danes Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen.

The crowds are finally starting to grow on Friday afternoon at the No. 1 Olympic Gymnasium in Seoul.  The weekend is coming and the Koreans continue to play well.  And the TV court where Korea and Denmark had their showdown is approached by some additional seating that has replaced one of the four courts that were used for the earlier rounds.

However, the Danish pair did their bit to silence the roars that welled up with each Korean point and soon took the first 21-15.

“Our bodies just haven’t been moving the first games this week,” explained Ha Jung Eun afterward, “but things improved and we got into the matches as things started to change to more our style of play in the second and third games.”

This happened again for them against Fischer Nielsen/Pedersen (pictured) and the Koreans were able to get the momentum and keep it in the second, while in the third they trailed until slightly after the teams changed ends.

“This pair is hard to play against because Fischer Nielsen is very tall and he has very good control of the shuttle,” said Ko Sung Hyun afterward, “and he used that mostly today and didn’t attack so much.”

“I wouldn’t say that I feel much pressure to win the mixed doubles title just because Korea has always won it,” said Ha.  “It is a big tournament and we are playing at home, though, so there is, of course, some pressure.

“We’d prefer to be playing the Taiwan pair tomorrow but we actually have never played either Tao/Tian nor Chen/Cheng.  It’s true we are not familiar with Tao Jiaming’s playing but more than that, the Chinese style is one we always have trouble with.”

Unfortunately for the Koreans, however, their three fellow semi-finalists will all be Chinese pairs, as Taiwan’s Chen Hung Ling / Cheng Wen Hsing lost in three games, as did Tantowi Ahmad / Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia.

For complete quarter-final results from the 2011 Victor Korea Open Premier Super Series, CLICK HERE

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Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net