KOREA OPEN 2014 SF – Danes in 4th final, Chong Wei in 6th

Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen edged past Endo/Hayakawa and into their fourth Korea Open final, looking for their second title. By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent live in Seoul.  Photos: Yves […]

Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen edged past Endo/Hayakawa and into their fourth final, looking for their second title.

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

The men’s doubles final at the 2014 Victor Korea Open may be lacking a Korean contestant for only the second time since it became a event, but the spectators who do turn up on Sunday will have to be content with three quarters of an Olympic final repeat.

Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen (pictured) of Denmark edged their way into their fourth final in six years when they beat Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo / Kenichi Hayakawa (pictured below) in a pair of 22-20 games.

“Big credit to the Japanese pair,” said Mathias Boe after the match.  “They played really well and to prevail against Lee Yong Dae on home soil is not easy.  We have only done that once before.”

This will be the first of those four finals where the Danes will not face a Korean pair but instead, they will have to be content with facing Olympic gold medallist Fu Haifeng, and new partner Hong Wei (pictured below).

“We prepare very well against all opponents,” Boe added.  “The Chinese have proven very strong in this tournament and they deserve to be in the final.

“We have been in three other finals so the spectators who have been here the other times, they may remember us and it’s always fun for the spectators to see somebody they know so of course, we expect some support tomorrow.  But China has a massive population and I would guess there are a lot here in Korea as well so probably we’ll get some Chinese fans tomorrow in the crowd too.

“As long as it’s really crowded and there is a lot of noise in the stadium, it doesn’t really matter. We are used to having a lot of fans against us and it’s more fun to play when the stadium is packed.”

Boe and Mogensen may have a slight advantage against the powerful Chinese pair as they are among the few pairs that have some experience against the new combination, having beaten Fu and Hong at the Denmark Open in October.

“Yes, we know how they play and I don’t think they can do anything new and I don’t think they want to do anything new.  I think they believe they can beat us with what they are doing at the moment,” said Boe.

Boe/Mogensen go for 2, Lee for 4, China for 5

China remains on track for its first ever title sweep at the Korea Open.  In 2012, it took Lee Chong Wei beating the great Lin Dan, then 3-time defending champion, to block the sweep.  This time, at least, there will be three finalists who are favoured against their Chinese opponents.

The only upsets of the afternoon came from China’s new pairs, with the twins Luo Ying / Luo Yu (pictured bottom) seeing off Japan’s Reika Kakiiwa / Miyuki Maeda in straight games, in addition to Fu and Hong dominating England’s Adcock/Ellis.

The defeat of the Japanese in women’s doubles, together with Bao/Tang’s three-game victory over Maheswari/Polii of Indonesia, set up one of two all-Chinese finals.  The other came when Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei shut down Chan/Tse of Hong Kong, the only non-Chinese semi-finalists in mixed doubles.

Lee Chong Wei (pictured), meanwhile, is once again the formidable impediment to a possible Chinese sweep.  He got past Kenichi Tago of Japan to reach his sixth straight Korea Open final.  His opponent will be first-time finalist Chen Long, who shut down Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana in straight games.

As for the stands, they were more than half empty at the outset of the first match, which also happened to feature the last Korean.  However, unexpectedly, the number of spectators seemed to go up through the afternoon and the Denmark-Japan match, in particular, with its 22-20 scorelines, brought the volume up to respectable levels.

Finals line-up
WD: Bao Yixin / Tang Jinhua (CHN) [5] vs. Luo Ying / Luo Yu (CHN)
MS: Lee Chong Wei (MAS) [1] vs. Chen Long (CHN) [2]
XD: Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei (CHN) [1] vs. Xu Chen / Ma Jin (CHN) [2]
WS: Ratchanok Intanon (THA) [2] vs. Wang Yihan (CHN) [3]
MD: Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen (DEN) [1] vs. Fu Haifeng / Hong Wei (CHN)

Click here for complete semi-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