FRENCH OPEN 2011 R16 – Koo and Tan bow out!

Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong bowed out in the early stage of the competition, sent off in straight games by Danish veteran Jonas Rasmussen and his up and […]

Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong bowed out in the early stage of the competition, sent off in straight games by Danish veteran Jonas Rasmussen and his up and coming partner Mads Conrad Petersen. Minutes before, Chris Adcock and Andrew Ellis finally achieved their breakthrough, beating the reigning Olympic champions Hendra Setiawan and Markis Kido.

By Tarek Hafi, live in Paris.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

The nightmare continues for Malaysia’s top pair Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong.  After last week’s first round defeat, they were once again ousted before the last eight, this time in straight games by Denmark’s Jonas Rasmussen and Mads Conrad Petersen. Despite having one of the most crowd-pleasing games in the badminton world, the talented duo failed up to expectations, committing unusual unforced errors, while the Danes kept ruling the game, preventing their opponents from playing their winning trick shots or from getting confidence from outright winners.

They were already in trouble yesterday.  We saw their match and we knew we had a good chance to win.  We played very well yesterday.  Our game is definitely improving,” said Rasmussen.

But the end of match wasn’t going smoothly for the Danes, who watched as Koo and Tan tightened the gap, getting back their missing motivation to look more focused and prohibit the early loss.  However, an opportunity like this is not to be missed, and the Danes completely understood that, helped by two easy mistakes by Tan to give Rasmussen and Conrad Petersen their quarter-final ticket and definitively erase last year’s defeat with a 21-16,  21-19 victory.

“I don’t think I was the same last year,” commented Mads Conrad Petersen.  “I have improved a lot, on how to see the game and also they don’t have this confidence they had one year ago.  I’d never won against them, but the old guy [Jonas] beat them many times already.  This win makes me really happy.”

The young Dane, who is now twenty-three years of age, is particularly stressing on gaining experience. “I think it’s development, that you’re going into, when you go to Asia, you play many pairs, play different opponents.”

Jonas Rasmussen agrees: “Many players think about winning or losing.  I think we mostly think about having fun at the same the time.  We don’t make any jokes, but enjoy ourselves to not get nervous in those kinds of tense end of sets.”

They are now set to meet their compatriots and friends Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen in their quarter-final match “We beat them once.  They are very strong.  I think they have a victory from last year to defend so I foresee a tough match ahead,” said Rasmussen.

Best win for Adcock and Ellis

Andrew Ellis and Chris Adcock have been tickling the crème de la crème for a few months now and in the end it is Hendra Setiawan and Markis Kido who have fallen first against the English, currently running upstream. Confident from the start, the English duo, smooth while covering the court, negotiated their encounter perfectly, not worrying about the fact that they were playing the current Olympic and Asian Games champions. Many have been criticizing the Indonesian pair for their lack of motivation during the recent championships and this definitely won’t help.

This victory is, however, a major breakthrough for the English duo, opening the door on the bigger international stage for Andrew Ellis and confirming, for Chris Adcock, his new world status.  There was not a single drop in confidence from the English, who released hard smashes  throughout the match, avoiding Hendra Setiawan’s brilliant net game.  It seemed like they knew their opponents by heart.

We don’t talk about our opponents, we just prepare properly, just a few tactics we know about them, just some aspects of their game, but nothing more,” said Adcock, who kept on his winning tour, having achieved success in mixed doubles the previous night around midnight before having to get back on court the next morning.

No, we trained well at home and even if I finished quite late last night, you just need to get used to it.  I got six or seven hours sleep, which is perfect.  We trained really well to make sure we would come here confidently and keep up with the good form.”

Adcock added an extra glimpse at hi’s ongoing mixed doubles journey, too: “It’s really nice to win in both obviously, but you play different games, a different style.  Even if I were to have lost one of them, I don’t think it would have changed my game today.”

All results HERE

Live Streaming HERE

Photos of the Day HERE
(copyright Badmintonphoto)

About Tarek Hafi