SWISS OPEN 2014 SF – Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose

It was with varying degrees of success the Chinese shuttlers rounded off the semi-finals at the 2014 Badminton Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold. Despite the mixed results, China is already […]

It was with varying degrees of success the Chinese shuttlers rounded off the semi-finals at the 2014 Badminton Gold. Despite the mixed results, China is already certain of two titles as they set up an all-Chinese men’s doubles final for the third time this year, to go along with the more familiar lock on a women’s singles final.

By Elm Vandevorst. Photos: Sven Heise (live)

Wang Yihan was up against Sung Ji Hyun, the Chinese player becoming more and more a nemesis to her Korean rival. Their first encounter of 2014 proceeded with Sung unable to turn the tide. The tense battles in the past that have characterized their rivalry of late didn’t affect the outcome today. Wang lost no time and got away with the victory in a very straightforward manner 21-12, 21-9.

She will now face Sun Yu, who turned twenty a few weeks ago and is looking for her first title since Macau in 2012. Sun defeated India’s Pusarla Venkata Sindhu 18-21, 21-12, 21-19 . The encounter between the two compatriots will be a repeat of their second round match at last week’s All England.

Also, fellow Chinese shuttler Tian Houwei seems to have put his early loss in Birmingham behind him. The 22-year-old hadn’t lost a game so far at the Swiss Open and he seemed to see no reason to change in his semi-final against third seeded Kashyap Parupalli, which he finished off 21-17 21-11. Tian, who got one of his Grand Prix Gold titles last year on the back of a win over Lee Chong Wei and the other one thanks to upsets of Denmark’s top two shuttlers, will get his first shot at the Danish #3 on Sunday.

But as said, it wasn’t a one-sided good news show for China. Luo Yu and Luo Ying couldn’t avoid defeat against Indonesian pairing Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Greysia Polii. Also Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin, were stopped by their opponents Chris and Gabrielle Adcock, who have shifted up to the fifth place on the world ranking since their last meeting, in the Hong Kong Open final in November. The Adcocks overcame their Asian opponents with 21-18 19-21 21-17.

However, China could still provide a positive report at the end of the day. Both encounters between Chinese Taipei and China were won by the latter. Mixed doubles twosome Chai Biao and Tang Jinhua (pictured above) overcame Chen Hung Ling / Cheng Wen Hsing to reach their first final together and in the men’s doubles, Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan (pictured below) were just too strong for Lee Sheng Mu / Tsai Chia Hsin, winning in less than half an hour.

The supererogation China displayed contrasted sharply with the Korean presence in the Swiss semi-finals. After Sung Ji Hyun’s loss, only Jang Ye Na and Kim So Young were left to defend their country’s honour. But Bao Yixin and Tang Jinhua had no difficulties eliminating Korea’s last representatives to make this the first Swiss Open finals day since 2006 without a Korean challenge.

And what about European powerhouse Denmark? The Danish delegation were able to count on Viktor Axelsen (pictured below) and Jan O Jorgensen, face-to-face in the men’s singles and Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen up against Chai Biao and Hong Wei (pictured top). The Danes lost to the defending champions in the last match of the day but men’s singles could be a key to denying a Chinese sweep in the finals.

Axelsen and Jorgensen know each other very well, but the Danish youngster didn’t seem able to keep his focus in the first game, which he lost 13-21. But the steadfast Axelsen began using a different approach in the second, a plan which earned him the win in the second and the third games and a place in the final.

“Another tough and exciting day. It’s always tricky to play against Jan, as we know each other game so well. But I’m proud that I managed to take the win today,” commented Axelsen on his Facebook page.

Finals line-up MD: Chai Biao / Hong Wei (CHN) [4] vs. Fu Haifeng / Zhang Nan (CHN) WD: Bao Yixin / Tang Jinhua (CHN) [2] vs. Nitya Krishinda Maheswari / Greysia Polii (INA) [6] WS: Wang Yihan (CHN) [1] vs. Sun Yu (CHN) MS: Viktor Axelsen (DEN) [8] vs. Tian Houwei (CHN) XD: Chris Adcock Gabrielle Adcock (ENG) [3] vs. Chai Biao / Tang Jinhua (CHN) Click here for complete semi-final results

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