KOREA OPEN 2014 QF – All England champions shown the door

All England champions Liu Xiaolong / Qiu Zihan were dumped from the Victor Korea Open quarter-finals, which also saw the ouster of home favourites Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon […]

All England champions Liu Xiaolong / Qiu Zihan were dumped from the Victor quarter-finals, which also saw the ouster of home favourites Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong.

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

The first quarter-final on the TV court at the 2014 Victor Korea Open cast a pall on the crowd for the rest of the day as four-time men’s doubles champion and all-round superstar Lee Yong Dae was unable to continue in his quest for a first home title with new partner Yoo Yeon Seong (pictured below).

The match was almost a reverse of their victory over Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa at last autumn’s China Open.  This time, it was the Koreans who took the first game, played catch-up in the second before letting it slip away, and then were soundly beaten in the decider.

It is thus the Japanese who advance to take on top seeds and 2009 champions Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark, who later enjoyed an easy romp over Malaysia’s Goh/Lim.

While the Japanese win was not technically an upset, these certainly did follow.  First Japan’s 6th-seeded Kakiiwa/Maeda offed Korea’s Jang/Kim, then Luo Yu / Luo Ying of China toppled second seeds Matsutomo / Takahashi of Japan.

In mixed doubles, Hong Kong’s Chan Yun Lung / Tse Ying Suet shut down the pair that had won Superseries title at their home, England’s Chris and Gabrielle Adcock, to reach their first Superseries semi-final.  The good news for the Adcock household was to come later, however.

All England champions beaten by England’s best

The day ended much the way it had begun, with a surprise in men’s doubles.  This time, it was England’s Chris Adcock and Andrew Ellis (pictured below right) who served up a thrilling straight-game defeat of World #5 Liu Xiaolong / Qiu Zihan (pictured below) that ended 21-19, 22-20.

“They are the top Chinese pair so we did our research, watched to see what they do well and even though they pulled out last time, we still got three quarters of one set so we still got a few things about them,” said Adcock.

“We kept our discipline.  Well, I maybe lost mine a little bit when we got to 18 at the end – I maybe saw the winning post a bit too early – and it took me a moment to get it back.”

However, it obviously didn’t take a victory over the current All England champions for the English players to begin daring to dream of that title themselves, one that hasn’t stayed in England since 1938.

“We’ll never need any extra motivation to win the All England.  Along with the Olympics and Worlds, it’s our dream tournament to win,” Adcock pointed out.

“We also never need more motivation to beat the top Chinese pair,” added Ellis.  “Even if they’re not performing the way the top Chinese typically have, they are still the top pair so there is always motivation for us to beat them.”

On the effect of the success and media attention on Adcock’s mixed partnership with and marriage to his new wife Gabrielle, Ellis said, “The three of us work together a lot.  Although we also practice men’s and mixed, we try to help each other out as much as we can.  In the men’s we’ve always had the results, like one-offs here and there, but we’ve just managed to get a little bit more consistency, which is nice.”

“Yes, we’ve always been able to show the quality for one day, and then not been able to bring it the next day,” added Adcock, “and I think what’s changed is that because we’re really trying to push the intensity in training every day, now we’re more used to bringing that level every day in a tournament.

“So hopefully we can bring that level tomorrow but we’ll enjoy this win tonight and hopefully we can keep performing like we are.”

Of their upcoming semi-final against new pair Fu Haifeng and Hong Wei, Ellis said, “They have only played a few tournaments.  Obviously, we know them as individuals but we don’t know them as a pair so we’ll watch tonight and we will come and try to play well tomorrow.”

Click here for complete quarter-final results

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