The audience was served up a treat when the semi-finals took place at the All-England Open Badminton Championships 2013 yesterday. In the most mouthwatering “dishes”, two Indonesian pairs Ahmad/Natsir and Kido/Zebadiah fought it out in the mixed doubles and Tine Baun/ Sung Ji Hyun put on an exciting show in the women’s singles semi-finals. In the end Ahmad/Natsir went through to the final 18-21,21-15,21-19 after a hard fought match; Tine Baun also overcame Sung Ji Hyun 21-19 in the deciding game of a fiercely-contested clash that Sung Ji Hyun could also have won
In their mixed doubles semi-final Ahmad/Natsir dropped the first game, but the experienced pair stood firm under the pressure and proceeded to take the next two games to send Kido/Zebadiah packing. They may be reigning Al-England mixed doubles champions but Ahmad/Natsir can’t rest on their laurels in the slightest in their next match because they will go head to head with China’s formidable Zhang Nan/Zhao Yun Lei, the gold medalists at last year’s Olympics.
The women’s singles semi-finals also drove the audience into a frenzy; first Thailand’s young Inthanon Ratchanok beat Saina Nehwal 21-15,21-19 to book a place in the finals; then Tine Baun
played Sung Ji Hyun
, in a match that many expected to be one-side;in contrast, it was a closely fought battle that had spectators on the edge of their seats.
Unlike previous matches between Tine Baun
and Sung Ji Hyun
in which the Korean has been on the back foot from the start, this time her attacking play was aggressive and incisive and the spirit she showed when she dived to play several shots won the applause of the crowd. At 20-15 Sung Ji Hyun
had five match points but was unable to take advantage, allowing Tine Baun
to gradually erode the lead with steely determination and take the game 24-22. The next game was just as exciting, Sung Ji Hyun
taking it 21-19 to force the match to a third, deciding, game. In the third game, neither player was able to gain many points in succession, and points won tit-for-tat; Tine Baun
took the third game 21-19, after Sung Ji Hyun
made a mistake at the net, to win the match and reach the final of her swansong tournament.
In the semi-finals of the men’s singles, Lee Chong Wei beat Thailand’s Saensommboonsuk 22-20,21-8, while Chen Long overcame Jorgensen of Denmark after a titanic battle. As expected by many, the tournament’s first and second seeds have made it to the final.
The finals are approaching. Will Lee Chong Wei claim another title to add to his illustrious collection or will Chen Long take the coveted title? Will last year’s winners Ahmad/Natsir defeat London Olympics mixed doubles gold medalists Zhang Nan/Zhao Yun Lei to retain their title? For the latest news from the world of badminton, keep a close eye on VICTOR’s official website at www.victorsport.com
The schedule of ALL-ENGLAND OPEN 2013 Finals :
( Edit by VICTOR Badminton )