WORLD TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS: TEAM U.S.A. SWEEPS BULGARIA
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May 20, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Team U.S.A. whitewashed Bulgaria this morning
in a Group 4A fixture at the second day of competition at the world team
championships of badminton (Sudirman Cup) being held in Glasgow, Scotland.
Player-coach Tom Reidy paired up with Kevin Han in the men's doubles to open
for the American side. Reidy and Han got off to a very poor start in the first
game of their match against Michail Popov and Svetoslav Stojanov. The American
duo was very erratic and fell behind 0-7 to the hard-smashing Bulgarians.
Han managed the only score for his side when he flick-served and surprised
the Bulgarian player. Reidy and Han dropped the first game 1-15.
Reidy and Han got their game rolling in the second. Han's smashes started to
boom and the two cut their errors down.
Popov and Stoyanov hung tough and kept pace with Reidy and Han. The two sides
kept exchanging leads. At 7-all, Han struck a deceptive dropshot that put the
Reidy and Han steadily pulled away on smashes and net kills by Han. A Reidy
drive that hit the sideline gave the Americans game point at 14-9.
The Bulgarians staged a comeback as Popov pounded smashes at Reidy and Han.
With the Bulgarians breathing down their necks at 14-13, the gritty Americans
got the service back. Reidy then score the game winner with a delicate short
backhand service that must ticked the service line after the Bulgarian player
had apparently judged it to be falling short.
The Bulgarians pulled away in the third 8-2 on American errors and misjudged
shots that fell in. But Reidy and Han came back with both contributing on
smash attacks and net kills.
At 8-9, Han flick-served and Reidy ran to the net to kill the Bulgarian
floater that came back in reply.
The American attack set up two more net kills to give them an 11-9 lead. A
mishit by Han and a poor service return by Reidy put the Bulgarians back into
a tie 11-all.
Another Reidy service return error gave the Bulgarians the lead 12-11. Reidy
made amends on the next rally when he executed a net kill set up by Han at
the rear court.
A delicate shot by Han pulled the Americans even. After exchanging scoreless
serves, the Americans withstood a withering Bulgarian smash attack with
miraculous defending to get to 13-12. A Reidy net kill gave the Americans
After swapping serves again, Reidy got the better of an exchange with the
Bulgarians and he counted the match winner with a backhand net kill.
Tang Yeping then demolished the very petite Dobrinka Smilianova in a woman's
singles match to give the Americans a 2 matches to none lead.
Tang raced to a 9-0 lead in the first game before the Bulgarian scored on
a Tang miscue at the net. A Smilianova short lift went wide to end the first
The second was more of the same with Tang winning 11-1.
In the men's singles match that followed, the U.S.A.'s Ignatius Rusli tangled
with a hard-smashing Boris Kessov. Rusli's very high serves and patient
all-court retrieving took the sting out of Kessov's boomers. Using every
bit of the 35-foot ceiling with his high serves, Rusli got several easy points
as Kessov had difficulty judging the fall of the shuttle.
Unable to unleash his lethal smashes, Kessov got frustrated and tried to
force the attack but his shots kept going astray. A Kessov crosscourt smash
that went out-of-bounds gave Rusli the first game 15-6.
Rusli ran away with the second game as he added a smash attack to his clears
and net shots. The American was an easy winner 15-3.
Mike Edstrom and Eileen Tang then combined against Tzvetozar Kolev and Raina
Tzetkova in a mixed doubles match.
The hard-hitting and mobile Edstrom and the netplay-wise Tang rolled to a
14-0 lead in the first as they focused their shots on a nervous Tzetkova.
With the big lead, the Americans lost their concentration and started to
give the Bulgarians points on unforced errors. Miscue after miscue let Kolev
and Tzetkova back into the game 8-14.
A crosscourt drive by Kolev and a crosscourt net kill by Tzetkova got the
Bulgarians closer 10-14.
But the American lead was too great and Edstrom finally maneuvered the
Bulgarians into confusion with a soft shot that went in between Kolev and
Tzetkova. Edstrom then killed the last-second floating reply to end the
first game 15-10.
he Americans continued to be error-prone while Tzetkova settled down in the
second. The Bulgarians pulled away to a 10-5 lead.
An Edstrom drop shot started an American rally. A poor Kolev service return
added a point to the American tally. Bulgarian errors under the pressure of
Edstrom's attack pulled the Americans even closer 9-10, and an Edstrom
crosscourt smash to Tzetkova got the Americans into a tie 10-all.
The Americans then scored the next five to the Bulgarians' two to win at
Andrea Edstrom and Tang Yeping closed out the Bulgarians with a 15-2 and
15-9 women's doubles victory over Smilianova and Dimitryka Dimitrova.
The American whitewash puts them into a tie with Poland for the Group 4A
pennant. They will play the Poles on Thursday for the right to play the
winner of Group 4B in the division 4 final.
The Americans are not competing for the world team championship but are
vying for promotion to Division 3. Only the six teams in the premier division
can win the Sudirman Cup. Teams in the other division are playing for
promotion to the next higher division.
Results of fixtures this morning:
Belarus beat France 4 matches to 1
Portugal beat Belgium 4-1
Ireland beat Spain 4-1
Peru beat Kazakhstan 3-2
Sri Lanka beat Pakistan 4-1
Slovenia beat Guatemala 3-2
Poland beat Iceland 4-1
USA beat Bulgaria 5-0
Results of fixtures this afternoon:
Germany beat Thailand 3-2
Taiwan beat Japan 3-2
Malaysia beat Netherlands 3-2
Russia beat Canada 3-2
Jamaica beat Mauritius 3-2
Israel beat South Africa 3-2
Estonia beat Armenia 5-0
Greece beat Chile 5-0
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