FRENCH OPEN 2014 R16 – HK and Viktor keep Danish hopes alive

Hans Kristian Vittinghus and Viktor Axelsen helped Danish fans forget about Jan O. Jorgensen’s 1st round defeat, as both players entered the last eight, displaying spectacular form. The golden age […]

Hans Kristian Vittinghus and Viktor Axelsen helped Danish fans forget about Jan O. Jorgensen’s 1st round defeat, as both players entered the last eight, displaying spectacular form. The golden age for the Netherlands seems to be back in business as Selena Piek and Jacco Arrends showed once again why they are seen as the country’s new hope.

By Tarek Hafi, Badzine Correspondent live in Paris. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Both remaining Danes, made it up for their compatriot’s loss, Jan O. Jorgensen, by qualifying with ease to the last eight. First on court, Hans Kristian Vittinghus (photo) proved to have found back his sensations on court, after his first round defeat last week on home soil. Despite being challenged on some occasions by his opponent of the day, India’s Kidambi Srikanth, the world #10 never showed any signs of breaking down.

I am really happy with my performance today,” analyzed Hans-Kristian after his match. “I didn’t play my highest game but I was solid and my consistency was very high when he was struggling a bit more to keep his pace but I knew that when he is playing his best he is very dangerous , so I know, keeping my consistency was the key to the match.”  The world #4 Tommy Sugiarto will be his next opponent for a place in the last four.

A few matches later, Viktor Axelsen (photo) literally left no chances to Takuma Ueda of Japan, outplaying him, 21-11 21-10. The Japanese did try to intervene and change the direction of the match, but the serene Dane, was not even once shaken by his opponent.

This is definitely one of the best matches of my career.  I played really well and finally all the training that I have been doing before the World Championships is finally paying off so I am very satisfied with my game and win today,” said Viktor.

An unlucky draw in his home event last week scheduled him to play Chen Long, but the Dane, former finalist in Paris, came here to display his new shape: “I knew my condition was great, I really want to do well here and have a good start and hopefully I will continue to play well,” added Viktor, who was so focussed to play this tournament match by match that he forgot about the part of the draw.

Jacco Arrends and Selena Piek (photo) avenged their last week defeat in the first round of the Denmark Premier at the hands of Thailand’s Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam. The Dutch players looked very confident throughout the whole despite the great answers found by the Thai veterans. Still, the world number twenty-six edged the world #7 Thais in a thrilling three-game battle.

We were a little bit more ready today, we analyzed last week’s match and came up with new tactics, and thankfully we played really well today.  Selena was absolutely outstanding today.  She played a really good match,” said Jacco Arrends after his match.

This is their second Superseries quarter-final after the Indonesia Open, where Jacco was unfortunately forced to retire due to an injury.

Hopefully I won’t retire this time! I don’t yet who we are playing but we are going to enjoy this win first and then think about tomorrow,” admitted Jacco. Not long after their interview, of course a new target was set for the ever-improving Dutch pair.  They will now face Chris and Gabrielle Adcock, who enjoyed an easy win over China’s Bao Yixin and Liu Cheng in a repeat of last year’s Hong Kong Open final.

The Olympic champion Li Xuerui (photo), richer of another title gained last week in Denmark, had to save four games points to get rid of the former winner Minatsu Mitani in front of a captivated French Sport Minister. The number one Japanese player, exhausted by her long match yesterday against Canada’s Michelle Li, couldn’t help but let the world #1 come back and gain her ticket to the quarters, where she is set to meet the surprise of the tournament, Chloe Magee from Ireland.

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