LONDON GPG 2013 SF – Three-game thrillers

The first two semi-finals on court at the Adidas London Grand Prix Gold saw two matches that but went well past the hour mark. Fuchs/Michels of Germany and Marin of […]

The first two semi-finals on court at the Adidas London Gold saw two matches that but went well past the hour mark. Fuchs/Michels of Germany and Marin of Spain progressed to forward the European efforts

By Michael Burke, Badzine Correspondent, live from London.  Photos: Raphael Sachetat for Badmintonphoto (live).

The longest match of the tournament so far was first on court this semi-finals day, with Michael Fuchs / Birgit Michels (pictured left) of Germany playing a marathon match against Indonesian pair, Irfan Fadhilah / Weni Anggraini (pictured below) lasting 82 minutes.

The Indonesian pair had a solid defence early on as the Germans played for power. Fadhilah/Anggraini showed good composure through the first game where a close line call caused Fuchs to lose focus. The match heated up as Fuchs looked to take his anger out on the shuttle, with Michels carrying him at the net.

Anggraini looked nervous, but Fadhilah took the pressure off well as the Indonesian pair took the first game 21-19. The score was reversed in a similarly close second game.

The Germans led for much of the decider, as Indonesia were drawn into attack earlier in the point to force errors. Birgit showed great experience at the net in the face of a nervous Indonesian pair.

Extra points were required, but the Germans came through 22-20. Speaking afterwards, Fuchs said, “We won by the closest of margins in extra points in the deciding set, it was a really tough game.”

Asked what the Germans did better, “We were fighting for the mid-court, their best game. We wanted to open up the court to create spaces and the net and the back.”

The Germans are positive about their chances tomorrow, saying “We’ve never played the English before but we have beaten the Singaporeans [Chrisnanta/Neo] twice before.”

Obviously disappointed, Fadhilah spoke of their recent strong performances and the new Indonesia training setup. “It has definitely helped a lot being around all the players.”

Speaking about the match, he said, “They’re a very good pair, our seedings were very close. The score was close, all the shots were very close – especially the last one. We’re obviously disappointed to lose.”

The second match was only ten minutes shorter as Carolina Marin (pictured left) of Spain took all three games to beat Busanan Ongbamrunpan (pictured below). The Thai player edged a close first game 22-20 but struggled to find consistency in the next two.

Each of the remaining games followed a pattern of Marin controlling, then Ongbamrunpan recovering after the mid-game interval to close the gap, but not getting past the Spaniard, who kept her nose in front, with the deciding games ending up 21-18 and 21-19.

Speaking afterwards, Marin said, “It was a very tough match. It was unbelievable for me because I don’t feel 100% but I tried to do my best and I think I did. Now I need to wait and keep my focus for tomorrow.”

“I think the first game was 50/50 but in the end it went to her. In the second, I was losing again but I just did my plan and kept the shuttle on court.”

She is the highest seeded of the remaining women’s singles players, and said of her chances, “The final will be, again, a tough match. I need to wait to find out my opponent but it will be difficult. I need to learn from my mistakes today for the match tomorrow.”

This is the third time Carolina has beaten Ongbamrunpan this year, after the Indonesian Open and the World Championships, commenting, “I just stuck to my plan. This time was more difficult for sure, I’m not 100% but I just have to do my best.”

The full results for the day can be found here.


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