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SWISS OPEN: GADE AND SUN TO BATTLE FOR WORLD NUMBER ONE
March 21, 1998 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - The world's two best men's singles players
in badminton will battle for the unofficial world championship tomorrow at the
Swiss Open championships in Basel. World number one Peter Gade of Denmark and
world number two Sun Jun of China both won their semifinal matches today and
will face each other for the men's singles title tomorrow afternoon at the
Saint Jakobshalle sports center in what is expected to be the singles match of
the year so far.
In one of the semifinals earlier today, Gade defeated fellow Dane Kenneth
Jonassen 15-6 and 15-8 to snap a 6-match losing streak to his teammate. Before
today's match, Gade had never defeated Jonassen.
In the other men's singles semifinal, Sun Jun, fresh from winning the 1998
All-England crown last Saturday, overcame a spirited effort by 1996 Olympic
gold medalist Poul-Erik Hoyer of Denmark. Sun took the first game from Hoyer
15-8, but the Olympic titleholder came back strong in the second with vintage
Hoyer shotmaking specially at the net. Hoyer took a close second set 15-13.
In the decider, Sun Jun used his superior speed around the court to turn back
attempted winners and setups from the Dane and then fired away with his own
arsenal of both power and finesse shots to take the game 15-9.
In the women's singles semifinals, world champion Ye Zhaoying of China was
stretched for the first time in the tournament by teammate Dai Yun. Ye dropped
the first game to the lefthanded Dai 4-11 but then survived a tight second
game, winning at 11-8. She closed out Dai in the third 11-6 to move into the
finals against an in-form Camilla Martin of Denmark who scored a minor upset
with an 11-7 and 11-5 semifinal win over second-seeded Wang Chen of China.
In men's doubles, two scratch Chinese pairings - Zhang Wei and Zhang Jun, and
Liu Yong and Yu Jinhua, upended their opponents to guarantee China their first
major international men's doubles title in several years. Zhang and Zhang
defeated third-seeded Swedes Peter Axelsson and Par-Gunnar Jonsson 15-7 and
15-3 in one semifinal, and the Liu-Yu partnership put out the English
combination of Simon Archer and Chris Hunt 15-12 and 15-10.
Zhang and Zhang had scored a major upset in the quarterfinals when they beat
the top-seeds Jon Holst and Michael Sogaard of Denmark 5-15, 15-12 and 15-10.
Liu and Yu were also upset winners in the quarters, defeating the other third
seeds, Jim Laugesen and Thomas Stavngaard of Denmark, 15-4, 12-15, 15-8.
Archer and Hunt were another pair of upset victors in the round-of-eight. The
English pair who are now being coached by the legendary Korean player Park Joo
Bong put the boots to the second seeds Jens Eriksen and Jesper Larsen of
Denmark 17-16 and 15-5.
In women's doubles, the two top-seeded pairs won their semifinal matches. The
world champions Ge Fei and Gu Jun of China beat third-seeds Ann Jorgensen and
Majken Vange of Denmark 15-7 and 15-4 while second seeds Marlene Thomsen and
Rikke Olsen, another Danish pairing, defeated surprise semifinalists Ye and
Wang of China 17-15 and 15-6.
Ye Zhaoying is the world women's singles champion, while Wang is a top-ten
rated singles player and is the second-seed at the tournament. The two Chinese
singles players made their way into the doubles semis with a sterling 15-3 and
15-12 quarterfinal victory over experienced Indonesian doubles specialists
Eliza Nathanael and Finarsih.
European powerhouse Denmark made sure of going home with at least one Swiss
Open championship, this one in the mixed doubles. The Danes had actually
guaranteed themselves of the mixed doubles title in the quarterfinals on
Friday when four Danish pairs went through to the next round.
Top-seeds Jens Eriksen and Marlene Thomsen had defeated Chris Hunt and Donna
Kellogg of England 15-10, 11-15 and 15-8. Janek Roos and Helene Kirkegaard
had upended third-seeds Imam Tohari and Ema Ermawati of Indonesia 15-10 and
15-7. Michael Sogaard and Rikke Olsen, the other third-seeded pair, eliminated
Indonesians Bambang Suprianto and Eliza Nathanael 15-12, 15-17 and 15-7, while
second-seeds Jon Holst and Ann Jorgensen put out Bjorn Siegemund and Karen
Stechmann of Germany 15-10 and 15-4.
In the semifinals today, Eriksen and Thomsen beat Roos and Kirkegaard 15-10
and 15-7, while Sogaard and Olsen defeated Holst and Jorgensen 15-5 and 15-4.
Results of Friday's other quarterfinals:
Gade beat Martin Lundgaard Hansen (Denmark) 15-4, 15-5
Jonassen beat Fung Permadi (Taiwan) 15-7, 15-9
Hoyer beat Ardy Wiranata (Indonesia) by walkover (Wiranata injured his knee during the previous round but won his match against Thomas Sogaard)
Sun beat Joko Suprianto (Indonesia) 18-15, 15-4
Ye beat Karolina Ericsson (Sweden) 11-4, 11-2
Dai beat Mette Pedersen (Denmark) 11-2, 11-3
Martin beat Meiluawati (Indonesia) 11-7, 11-8
Wang beat Mette Sorensen (Denmark) 11-1, 11-6
Axelsson/Jonsson beat Martin Lundgaard Hansen/Janek Roos (Denmark) 15-9, 15-12
Ge/Gu beat Nicola Beck/Joanne Davies (England) 15-3, 15-4
Jorgensen/Vange beat Monique Hoogland/Erica van den Heuvel (Netherlands) 15-6, 15-5
Thomsen/Olsen beat Nicole van Hooren (Netherlands)/Margit Borg (Sweden) 15-10, 15-8
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