MALAYSIA OPEN 2011 SF – New Danish pair through to final

The European challenge may have ended in mixed but Denmark’s Jonas Rasmussen and Mads Conrad-Petersen made their mark in men’s doubles to book a date with the last of China’s […]

The European challenge may have ended in mixed but Denmark’s Jonas Rasmussen and Mads Conrad-Petersen made their mark in men’s doubles to book a date with the last of China’s men.

By Adrian Kok, Badzine Correspondent live in Kuala Lumpur. Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

The Danish pair of Jonas Rasmussen and Mads Conrad-Petersen (pictured) showed that their win in Copenhagen was no fluke, making their first entry to a Super Series final.  The Danes beat Japan’s Naoki Kawamae / Shoji Sato in a thrilling match as the Danish pair was giving their all. Smashing their way to break the defense of Japanese pair, the Danes won the first game with much comfort. In the second game, the Japanese pair changed their game plan and began to attack more than in the previous game.

The words of their coach the legendary Park Joo Bong took effect. Rasmussen and Conrad-Petersen had to up their game to stay with the high-flying Japanese.  The Europeans found themselves 2 points down when the Japanese pair reached game point.  Mistakes from the Japanese pair gave the Danes another chance to close the match, which they did on their first opportunity and booked a place in a Super Series final for the very first time.

Meanwhile, Indonesia found itself shut out of the doubles finals as China’s Chai Biao / Guo Zhendong beat Bona Setpano / Muhammad Ahsan.  Hence, the final tomorrow will be a matchup between two new pairings, though all but Conrad-Petersen have played in Super Series finals in the past with different partners.

Taufik and Chong Wei to duel

Taufik Hidayat (pictured) will be the one trying to deny Lee Chong Wei a 7th title on Sunday in Kuala Lumpur.  The Indonesian number one Taufik Hidayat and number three Simon Santoso skirmished it out today. As the players marched into the stadium, it was evident that the crowd was behind Taufik, as his name was chanted by many. As the first game progressed, Taufik awed the crowd with his backhand and cross-court smashes. Taufik won the first game with much comfort. At the start of the second, the tournament doctor was called by Simon to help him with an arm injury. Taufik won in straight games 21-15, 21-19.

“Taufik is still the best.  He pressured me to make so many mistakes,” said Simon. He further added that he couldn’t play the game that he wanted. His coach felt that Simon had played well as he was recovering from an injury. Taufik jokingly said that he wished he had his youth to beat Lee Chong Wei.

Simon, of course, had done much of the heavy lifting in whittling down the Chinese contingent with his consecutive victories over Du Pengyu and Chen Jin.  By Saturday, the only one remaining was China Open champion Chen Long but his fate was not to be decided until the last match of the day.

Once the women’s doubles match concluded, the crowd was roaring, waiting for their Malaysian hero to march in.  Lee Chong Wei (pictured) was greeted with great applause but again when Misbun Sidek walked into the court the crowd was even louder giving their support.  Lee lorded it over China’s Chen Long, winning in a pair of 21-9 games.

Although Chen Long had had a full day to rest after his rival team-mate Lin Dan was afflicted with an injury, there was nothing he could do to against Lee and the Malaysia Open men’s singles final will be China-less for a fourth straight year.

Lee said in press conference that he told himself to be attentive to Chen’s attacks. “I did not want to give Chen the opportunity to attack,” added Lee.

“I will prepare myself for tomorrow’s final, even though I have won over Taufik many times.”

For complete semi-final results from the 2011 Proton Malaysia Open Super Series, CLICK HERE

About Adrian Kok