SWISS OPEN 2012 R32 – Viktor shines, Peter pulls out

The second day of the Yonex Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold provided the first upsets as Viktor Axelsen beat 15th seed Tommy Sugiarto, but Denmark’s good day was spoiled when […]

The second day of the Yonex Gold provided the first upsets as Viktor Axelsen beat 15th seed Tommy Sugiarto, but Denmark’s good day was spoiled when Peter Gade had to withdraw after his success against Eric Pang due to a foot injury.

By Michaela Bencova, live from Basel. Photos: Sven Heise (live)

The second day of the Swiss Open started off on a rather dramatic note. Due to the bad school bus accident which involved the death of over 22 children, in Basel all roads to the hall were blocked and instead of a 15-20 minute journey, it took more than one hour to get to the hall. But umpires and some players still managed to get to the hall just 10 min before the official start and matches were announced at 9:00 as it should be. Only there were no spectators in the hall yet – but that changed during the day.

At mid-day, it looked as if the Swiss Open was to follow the bad example of the Yonex All England last week –the matches were 1 hour delayed due to long and tough fights – 9 out of 22 matches went to 3 games. And the rest of day it was to be no different.

One of the first upsets was men’s doubles, where it happened that Teo Kok Siang / Goh V Shem, the world’s 98th-ranked pair, beat Ingo Kindervater / Johannes Schoettler from Germany. Germany’s world #17 lost in 2 straight games as the Malaysians won it 21-16, 21-17. And it was a similar surprise when England’s Chris Adcock / Andrew Ellis were shown exit by Danish Christian John Skovgaard / Mads Pieler Kolding 21-17, 21-13.  A similar situation happened also in women’s doubles. Japanese 4th seeds Miyuki Maeda / Satoko Suetsuna were not able to compete with Thai pair Duanganong Aroonkesorn / Kunchala Voravichitchaikul (a delight to announce these names from an umpire’s chair!) and they lost 20-22, 16-21.

Ups and downs for Denmark

But the real treasures started in the afternoon. Around 6PM the matches were already 2 hours delayed.  A big club of fans were ready to cheer for the match between Viktor Axelsen (photo) from Denmark and Tommy Sugiarto from Indonesia. In both games Tommy Sugiarto looked a little bit tired, especially in first game.  He did fight back from a nine-point deficit with runs of 4 then 6 points in a row but he still was not able to make up enough ground as Axelsen kept on poking ahead.  The second game was more even, but the Dane was more concentrated and had the power to finish the match successfully 21-18, 21-17.

The other Danish star Peter Gade (photo) had to disappoint local fans. In spite of his first round success over Eric Pang, his foot injury got worse after the game and his doctor’s recommendation was at least one week without badminton if he wants to finish the season. The Danish legend was disappointed but had no choice, as he explained on his Facebook page on Thursday morning:

In yesterday’s match, once again my right foot made trouble for me. During the 1st set against Eric, I experienced pain again and even though I won the match, my foot had a bad reaction after the game.  I wanted to get a good night of sleep before making any decision towards pulling out. But this morning I didn’t have many doubts about having to withdraw from the tournament. When my foot’s condition is like this, then it would make no sense to continue. I’m back in Denmark now, and of course really frustrated about the way that the last two weeks turned out. For now, I’ll do what I can to make this injury better soon and get back in normal training. If I can do that within the next week this will have no long term effects on my preparations towards the Olympics. My battle against Chen Jin for the number 4 spot will have a second priority in this situation… I just hope I can be back strong for the European Championships in 3 weeks,” wrote the Dane.

The last matches of the day were probably the most exciting ones – with several matches going to 3 games and lasting nearly one hour, along with a nice atmosphere in the hall and a lot of emotion on the part of the players. 2011 World Junior Champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli from Malaysia was beaten in a tough match by Bulgarian fighter Stilian Makarski (photo). The match was impossible to call almost till the end.  After 20-22, 22-20 it was 17-all in the final game when the young Malaysian was not able to resist the power of the Bulgarian as he lost 17-21.

Liew Daren, meanwhile, continued his good roll and beat Chinese Taipei’s Hsu in straight games.

“I feel extra confidence after my good tournament in the All England. I hope I can reach the quarter finals here,” said the Malaysian, who is to meet Pedro Martins of Portugal, surprise winner over India’s Jayaram.

The last match of the day on court was a nice, hour-long, 3-game match between Indonesian matador Taufik Hidayat (photo) and Swedish viking Henri Hurskainen. The player from Sweden had probably his best match of this season, if not of his career.  There were a lot of long rallies, good attacking and even better defence on both sides were making spectators excited. Both players definitely kept the stringing team busy – the broken string record for this match was 5:5. Even if Hurskainen gave a lot of difficulties to Taufik, it was he who was to go home empty handed after a final 17-21, 21-12, 21-16 victory for the former Olympic champion.

All result HERE

About Michaela Bencova