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Grand Prix Finals: Sun Jun Captures Historic Second Title
** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is presented by
YANG YANG Badminton Products and
their Western USA agents BADMINTON ALLEY.
February 28, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - World Grand Prix Finals defending men's
singles champion Sun Jun of China made history when he defeated world number
one Peter Gade of Denmark 15-11 and 15-8 in today's championship match and
retained the title that he won in December, 1997. By capturing the 1998 men's
singles championship, Sun Jun became the first player to win two consecutive
World Grand Prix Finals titles in the event.
Other title winners at the World Grand Prix Finals that were staged in Bandar
Seri Begawan, Brunei this week were Kim Dong Moon and Ra Kyung Min of Korea in
the mixed doubles event, Zhang Ning of China in the women's singles, Denny
Kantono and Antonius Budi Ariantho of Indonesia in the men's doubles, and Ge
Fei and Gu Jun of China in the women's doubles event.
In today's other championship matches, Kim and Ra beat Simon Archer and
Joanne Goode of England 15-6 and 15-9. Zhang Ning defeated teammate Dai Yun
11-8 and 11-7. Kantono and Antonius beat fellow Indonesians Tony Gunawan and
Heryanto Halim 15-11 and 15-11.
Ge Fei and Gu Jun took their title without a single rally being played when
their opponents, Marlene Thomsen and Rikke Olsen of Denmark, were unable to
play because of Thomsen's injured back which had gotten worse during the
Sun's men's singles victory today had its glorious athletic moments but did
not have the drama and sensational action of his semifinal match yesterday
with the do-or-die Malaysian player Yong Hock Kin.
At the start of the match, Peter Gade was erratic, gifting Sun with a 6-1
advantage on miscues and bad plays. The Danish player then seemed to find his
game and his touch. He scored a point with a very deceptive crosscourt
jumpsmash that wrongfooted Sun, then another with a killshot after he had
made Sun strike a bad lift. Gade's all-court stroking punctuated by leaping
smashes put Sun under severe pressure and the Dane managed to close in at
The two then went thru 6 scoreless service turns as both tightened up on
their play. Finally, Gade broke thru with a lucky backhand push shot that
ticked the top of the net and rolled over. The Dane then took the lead 7-6
with a crosscourt push that surprised the Chinese player.
Sun though was equal to Gade's challenge. After he had broken Gade's service,
he pressured the Dane into an errant crosscourt drive from the net with his
tireless retrieving and top-class net tumblers and lifts. Sun then scored
thrice to open up a 10-7 lead, first on a backhand crosscourt drive that
landed close to the line, next on a very controlled half-killshot and lastly
on a rally-ending change-of-tempo jumpsmash that surprised Gade.
On Sun's next serve, Gade took the offensive, attacking and attacking in a
furious rally while Sun dashed from corner to corner and side to side,
retrieving and flicking the shuttle back at Gade's end of the court. Gade 's
pressure finally earned him a kill shot that broke Sun's serve.
On Gade's service turn, Gade was moving Sun around with his shotmaking. He
held his stroke then flicked shuttle crosscourt towards Sun's backhand rear
corner. Sun raced back to strike the shuttle with a backhand stroke and then,
in a difficult athletic move, he rotated his body and instead struck an
overhead half-smash that surprised Gade into blocking the shuttle
Gade countered with another service break and then scored twice on two Sun
miscues. He then lost his serve when he struck a jumpsmash wide. Sun though
was not able to score as Gade piled the pressure on and had Sun on the run
retrieving and digging out the shuttle until Gade got the rally-ending kill.
Sun broke back. Once again, Gade piled pressure on and had the Chinese player
on the run. This time though, Sun's fleetfooted retrieving paid off. It was
Gade who made the mistake, sending a tumbler into the net for Sun's eleventh
point and an 11-9 lead.
After a Gade breakback and two scoreless service turns, the Dane's tight net
shot forced Sun into a lift that Gade hit with scoring angled jumpsmash to the
line. On his next serve, Gade again controlled the rally. He sent the shuttle
flying to the rearcourt. Sun at first though that the missile was going long
but, at the last moment, he decided to strike the shuttle with a punch drive,
only to have the waiting Gade pound it to the floor for a scoring kill. The
Dane had pulled even again at 11-all.
Sun and Gade then exchanged several scoreless service turns as both tried to
rally carefully and not give the other an advantage. Sun finally broke out of
the scoreless streak when he forced a lift from a surprised Gade with an
extremely angled backhand dropshot and then pounded Gade's reply to the
sideline with his two-footed leaping smash.
Sun added two more points with Gade miscues and scored the game winner when
the Dane sent an angled crosscourt pushshot from the net out-of-bounds.
In the second game, Gade started out trying too hard. He tried to quickly
break Sun's opening high serve with a booming jumpsmash but he did not time
his stroke correctly and sent the shuttle into the net to give Sun point
Gade then broke Sun's serve. On his service turn though, Sun was the one
piling the pressure on. He had Gade scrambling to return the shuttle and
actually had the Dane down on the floor trying to return a deceptive push
shot. Gade was able to keep the shuttle in play and then get up for another
stroke. However, he sent the shuttle into the net and lost his serve.
The two swapped scoreless service turns. Sun then scored on a rally-ending
jumpsmash. Next, Sun lost his serve but broke back and scored again when he
wrongfooted Gade with a deceptive lift which the Dane punch cleared long.
Gade got the serve back and finally tallied his first point of the second
set when he forced a loose net shot from Sun with a very tight net spinner
and then hit a killshot.
After another run of scoreless service turns, Sun scored twice on kills off
loose Gade net shots. Gade though came back to tie the score at 5-all with a
scoring jumpsmash, two Sun mistakes and another scoring jumpsmash. An angled
jumpsmash set up by excellent net play earned the Dane a small lead at 6-5.
Gade, however, could not pull away. Sun broke his serve and then tied the
score when a hurried Gade sent a difficult round-the-head off-speed smash
into the net.
Three Gade errors helped the Chinese player to a 9-6 advantage. In the next
rally, Gade had Sun in trouble. The Dane pushed the shuttle to Sun's backline.
Sun was a step late for a backhand clear and his only shot seemed to be a
backhand drop. Gade stood just back of the short service line, waiting for
the kill. Sun though pulled out another incredible shot out of the bag. He
reached to the rear for the shuttle and stroked a severely sliced backhand
fast drop that curved away from the waiting Dane for a winner.
Gade then stopped Sun's streak and followed the service break with a score on
an incredible shot of his own - a almost-back-to-the-net crosscourt drive that
The Dane however was again unable to sustain a scoring run. He lost his serve
when he misjudged a lift from Sun and let the shuttle land, only to have the
line judge call the shot inbounds.
Sun then went on another scoring steak. First, he wrongfooted Gade with a
push from the net that Gade could only poke at and send to the net for an
onrushing Sun to kill. Sun added another when Gade hit a crosscourt dropshot
wide and a third when Gade ended a rally with a net shot attempt that hit the
net. Sun was now only two points away from the title at 13-7.
A determined Gade battled back to get the serve and then scored with a smash
reply to a Sun crosscourt clear. That though was the last of the Dane's
The two swapped several scoreless service turns until Sun tallied with a
crosscourt dropshot that Gade returned to the net. Sun was at championship
Gade was determined to stop Sun at match point. He gained the attack and
struck a crosscourt jumpsmash. Sun softly blocked the shuttle just over the
net. Gade who had dashed from across the court to cover the reply tried to
tumble the shuttle over for a smash setup. However, the Dane mishit the
spinner into the net, handing the delighted Sun the Grand Prix Finals men's
In the mixed doubles final, the teamwork of Kim Dong Moon and Ra Kyung Min
was too much for Simon Archer and Joanne Goode. Archer was able to match
Kim powershot for powershot and touchshot for touchshot, but Goode and, at
times, Archer were not quick enough and strong enough to handle the Korean
fast drives, the Kim Dong Moon smashes and the Ra Kyung Min kills with which
the Koreans scored most of their points. The English, specially Archer, tried
to make a match of the final but the Korean partnership was too good and too
In the women's singles title match, Zhang Ning used her steeper crosscourt
and straight smashes and drops, her better court movement and her experience
to turn back her slightly nervous 21-year old teammate Dai Yun.
In the men's doubles final, the defensive prowess of 29-year old Denny
Kantono and 27-year old Antonius Budi Ariantho and their ability to turn
defense into attack helped the pair to overcome the powersmashing of their
fellow Indonesians Gunawan and Halim.
COPYRIGHT 1999 © YANG YANG BADMINTON EQUIPMENT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Posted With The Permission Of The Copyright Holder.
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