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September 24, Semi final

This is the 5th day of Yonex Open Japan 2011, semi- finals of all 5 categories (Men's Singles, Women's Singles, Men's Doubles, Women's Doubles and Mixed Doubles) have taken place at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium in Tokyo in front of enthusiastic badminton fans.
Among those semi-finals, Liu Xin, China for Women's Singles and Lin Dan, China for Men's Singles walked out from the match due to their injury respectively.
Other 8 semi-final matches are reviewed hereunder.


LEE Chong Wei(MAS, BWF world ranking 1) VS Peter Hoeg GADE(DEN, BWF world ranking 3)

Head to Head
13 - 1

In this MS Semi Final, world ranked No. 1 Lee Chong Wei from Malaysia encountered world ranked No. 3, Peter Gade from Denmark.

At the first game, Peter Gade was left behind with 0-9. Lee Chong Wei lead the whole game and won with score 21-13 without any difficulty,

On the other hand, Peter Gade lead the second game by wining consecutive scores and controlled the game perfectly so that he was able to reach 16-13, before Lee Chong Wei got back with his tempo. Lee Chong Wei won with 21-16.

During interview, the 34 years old Peter Gade commented that he is happy to become a semi finalist today, and for 15 years he has been able to participate in Yonex Open Japan. Over the question why he lost the second game although he was able to lead at the begining, he replied that it was difficult to keep the play perfect.

As this is his last participation for Yonex Open Japan, he wanted to try something special for his play today. From now on he is committed to prepare for London Olympic Games.


Juliane SCHENK(GER, BWF world ranking 8) VS Saina NEHWAL(IND, BWF world ranking 5)

Head to Head
3 - 5

India's Saina Nehwal lost out to Germany's Juliane Schenk in the Women's Singles semifinals 21-19, 21-10.
On the 1st game of the match, Juliane Schenk kept leading and Saina Nehwal tried to give pressure on the game in order to catch up. Although Saina Nehwal finished the 1st half of the 1st game with 11-9, Juliane Schenk increased her speed to take a 19-17 lead. The 1st game was ended with the score 21-19 in favor of German.
On the 2nd game, Saina Nehwal and Juliane Schenk played on the phase of cat and mouse till the score hit 8-8. From that time, Juliane Schenk played tactically, forcing her opponent to keep moving around the court. Saina Nehwal seemed to be troubled to keep up with Juliane Schenk's speed, hence her defense started to falling off. Juliane Schenk closed the game with 21-10.


Being asked about her performance, Juliane Schenk said she really enjoyed the game and satisfied with her performance. I am glad to be able to go the finals, she is doing her best to be mentally on top. Enjoying tomorrow game and showing spectators her best play are things what she would like to achieve on the finals.


CAI Yun & FU Haifeng(CHN, BWF world ranking 1) VS Kien Keat KOO & Boon Heong TAN(MAS, BWF world ranking 5)

Head to Head
8 - 4

World ranked No. 1 MD, Cay Yun & Fu Haifeng from China encountered world ranked No. 5 MD, Koo Kien Keat & Tan Bun Heong from Malaysia on today's semifinal.
During the match, Koo Kien Keat fell down twice but was able to return the pushes from Chinese pair, and these occasions cheered up the audiences.

There were a lot of stunning and long rallies in the whole match where both of the pairs caught up each other in the tough games full of fast drives and pushes, and sharp smashes.

At the first game, Chinese duo lead the play up to an interval and won with 21-17. At second game, Malaysia's team was able to turn the table by leading up to interval and winning the game with 21-19.

At the final game, Chinese team was leading up to interval and went up to score 12-11, but then Malaysian team caught up and lead the game up to 16-15. The aftermath for this semifinal was the victory of Chinise team with 21-19 from 19-19 level.What a remarkable play!

Mohammad AHSAN & Bona SEPTANO(INA, BWF world ranking 6) VS Markis KIDO & Hendra SETIAWAN(INA, BWF world ranking 7)

Head to Head
1 - 1

Mohammad Ahsan/Bona Septano (INDONESIA) vs. Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan (INDONESIA)
Semi-final match between Indonesian was held on court no 2. This three games of match was won by Ahsan/Septano pair with 15-21, 21-16, 21-18. Kido/Setiawan pair showed a good start on the first game. They seemed relaxed fighting against their junior and led the first game perfectly. Meanwhile Ahsan/Septano pair seemed a bit lack of composition. The real match was begun on the second game. There were many rallies that made the audience hold their breath. Ahsan/Septano put their gear on and increased their offense and gave Kido/Hendra a hard time returning the shuttle. On the rubber set, Kido/Setiawan ran out their stamina and changed their play style more into defensive. Steadily hold their pace highly, Ahsan/Septano won the game by 21-18.
After the match interview, "They were very well prepared for this match though." Kido/Setiawan commented their lost. Ahsan/Septano said that they played the game today without any pressure at all, they won the match because their opponent ran out of stamina. "Yesterday they had a three game match so they are quite exhausted today" they commented. "We are not thinking about winning or losing on the final match tomorrow. We will just want to enjoy the game and give our best fight!" they commented looking at the tomorrow's final match.


CHENG Wen Hsing & CHIEN Yu Chin(TPE, BWF world ranking 5) VS POON Lok Yan & TSE Ying Suet(HKG, BWF world ranking 12)

Head to Head
1 - 4

Cheng Wen Hsing & Chein Yu Chin, Women Double pair from Chinese Taipei and Poo Lok Yan & Tse Ying Suet duo from Hong Kong was started as an opening match of one of the 5th day of semi-finals. This match will be the third encounter between the two pairs with head-to-head 2-0 in favor for the Chinse Taipei's duo.

Showing their superiority, Chinse Taipei's duo started the game aggressively by scoring 5 consecutive points and 4 consecutive points in the early game. However, 3 minutes after the first serve of the game, Hong Kong pair managed to score 4 consecutive points, minimizing the score gap between them. But clearly that wasn`t enough to surpass the Taipei domination, the first half ended with 11-7 at the interval. There were some long rallies and strong drives flew from both side of the court. In the late first game, both team was pretty much balanced in term of score. However, Taipei lead from the start of the game and did take its role, giving the Taipei a win 21-17.

On the second game, Hong Kong's duo got some difficulties early in the game after making several unforced mistakes and failed to receive the attaacks from ChineseTaipei's pair. But again, just like in the first game, Hong Kong's duo built their power slowly, and managed to get 6 consecutive points through some powerful strokes. However, showing some steady play, Chinse Taipei's duo was leading the first half of the game by a close 11-10. The second half of the second game was pretty much having the same rhythm as the first game. It was well balanced, but at the end the Chinse Taipei's duo showed their good combination, claiming the third victory against Poon-Tse duo.

"Our attack was really weak", said the HK duo at on the interview after the match. "I will try to improve our attack and overall ability to prepare for the Olympic games",.

YIXIN Bao & Zhong Qianxin(CHN, BWF world ranking 90)VSMizuki FUJII & Reika KAKIIWA(JPN, BWF world ranking 4)

Head to Head
0 - 0


The only Japanese team left on the Yonex Open Japan 2011 sem-ifinals today, Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa, was defeated by the Chinese pairing of Yixin Bao and Zhong Qiaxin. Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium was filled with thousands of Japanese supporters, who were mostly cheering for Japanese team. On the 1st game, Japan kept leading the game and succeeded in wining the game with the score 21-17. The 2nd game was filled with cat and mouse game, where Japan lead on the 1st half of the second game. On the beginning of the 2nd half of the second game, Japan lead at 20-17 match point one time. However, Chinese pair genuinely turned the table by giving lots of deadly drops and caught up with 20-20. Starting from here, long rally began and spectators fired up supporting the team they favor. The 2nd game was won by the Chinese pair, and stretched the game to the 3rd match.
On the 1st half of the 3rd game, Japanese pair seemed to lose their concentration, left behind with the score 4-11. While Chinese pair was able to maintain their stamina, Japanese pair failed to catch up due to the big gap of score on the 1st half of the final game. After 3 games of the impressive match, Japan had to let go their team (17-21, 24-22, 21-15).
Chinese pair had defeated a pair of Netherland players and 3 pairs of Japanese players. Both Yixin Bao and Zhong Qiaxin, who did not expect to be able to go to the finals, said they had not come up with any strategy for the final game yet, and all they can do is playing their best.


CHEN Hung Ling & CHENG Wen Hsing(TPE, BWF world ranking 7)VSZHANG Nan & ZHAO Yunlei(CHN, BWF world ranking 1)

Mixed Double Semifinal round started with the fight between Zhang Nan & Zhao Yunlei, duo from China and Cheng Hung Ling & Cheng Wen Hsing, from Chinese Taipei. Despite their first encounter dated not so long ago on September 2010, the two teams have matched for 4 times. For Cheng-Chen duo, today`s match will be their chance to end their not-so-good record of 4 times losing.

China duo was already full of energy and aggressively attacking their opponent from the beginning throughout the first game. As a result, Chinse Taipei's duo was having some difficulties to anticipate strikes coming to their court, China duo lead the game until the interval by 11-6. On the second half, in attempting to catch up with their opponents team, Cheng-Chen started to change their strategy with some drives, and managed to score 6 consecutive points 16 minutes after the game starting. However, lacking the chance to attack due to Chinese aggressive play, Chinse Taipei's duo lost the first game by a rather close 19-20.

In the second game, the Zhang-Zhao duo, running out of stamina due the full offence play in the first game, started to slow down their pace, giving their opponent many good chance to attack. Managed to make a nice use of the chances, Chinse Taipei's duo turned the game around, leading the first half of the game by 11-6 at the interval. Although in the late second game the overall rhythm of the game was slowing down a bit, the Chinese pair managed to regain their stamina, scoring 3 and 4 consecutive points on the minute 29. Due to the equally good performance showed by both teams, the game ended after enterd into setting. Haven`t been able to catch up with the good combination by Cheng-Chen, China lost the second game 22-24.

On the final game of the match, due to the heat left from the second game, both teams was played with full offence, resulting some error causing by bad decision and reckless attacks. The battle was balanced with really tight score gap between the two teams until Chinse Taipei's duo managed to get 5 consecutive points to 16-14. Chinese Taipei's duo continued to play really stable throughout the rest of the game, and manage to send Zhang-Zhao pair home 21-18, making the match their first victory against the two.

The lost was a grief for Zhang-Zhao. "I just can`t strike good enough," The two gave a simple comment while walking pass the press without stopping by.

Joachim FISCHER NIELSEN & Christinna PEDERSEN(DEN, BWF world ranking 4) VS Michael FUCHS & Birgit MICHELS(GER, BWF world ranking 11)

Head to Head

This match was the closing match on today's YOJ 2011 tournament. In this match, aggressive fast shuttle that have been a trademark of European badminton play style was seen. The first game was played quite even by both players but the Fuchs/Michels seemed have more control on this game and won it by 21-18. Second game Fischer/Pedersen turned the table and had a superb lead of the second game with 11-2 on the interval by getting 5 consecutive points in the process. They kept their top gear and got another 5 consecutive point to reach the match point by 20-6 then ended it by 21-7. On the last decisive game, tight rally until 5-4 Michels did a few bad decision that made Fischer/Pedersen pair having a 7 consecutive point to the interval by 5-11. On this level Fuchs/Michels pair managed to get back to their feet and catch up the score to 17-18. However, they could not push back the pressure from the opponent and defeated by 19-21. During the interview session, Michels said, "She was not in a bad condition today at all, however. On the second game we completely lost the control of the game and it is a little bit difficult to change the pace of the game on the rubber set." "Now I feel very disappointed losing the game. It was very close. But, I also think this was a good match, it was fun to play with them we were having a good time." added Fuchs.

*Today's match is not included in the "Head to Head"
*BWF world ranking is current information at SEP.22 2011


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