(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Danish dawn and the Fantastic French
Date: 1/14/2021 10:47 AM
Published by : Alan Raftery
As badminton fans wake up this morning to check the results that happened overnight at the Thailand Open, they see that Denmark had a strong first half of round two and that France have a bright mixed doubles future.

First on court was the European clash between Denmark and England in the mixed doubles. Mathias Christiansen/ Alexandra Bøje took on seventh seeds Marcus Ellis/ Lauren Smith. 

Christiansen brought some knowhow on defeating the European Games gold medallists, having scored a win with Christinna Pedersen at the 2018 European Championships. Although the underdogs, this knowledge seemed to work out well for the Danes. 

After a bright start from Christiansen/ Bøje, it was the English pair who took control of the first game, at one point having a 16-12 lead. However, the Danes made their move and at 18-16, sprinted towards 21 with a five-point run. 

Managing conditions
In the second game, Christiansen/ Bøje took the lead early, but this time they did not let go of it and secured a big win, knocking out the seeds Ellis/ Smith, 21-18, 21-18. 

-We are really happy and satisfied with our game right now. We managed to control the conditions in there. It is a really good victory for us, Bøje stated.

-It is quite drifty in there, so it was a lot about the service situation. I think we were very strong in this area, and also when receiving. I think we were better than them in this and that’s why we got the win, Christiansen explains. 

Through to the quarterfinals, they will face the number two seeds and All England champions Praveen Jordan/ Melati Oktavianti. 

-We are hungry for more, Bøje states.

Bright French Future
The progression of the mixed doubles pair of Thom Gicquel/ Delphine Delrue is a marvel to behold. From talented juniors to medalling at the European Games, to now reaching the quarterfinals at a top World Tour event. Facing Malaysia’s number 11 in the world, Tan Kian Meng/ Lai Pei Jing, it was going to be a stern test, but they took it in their stride. 

The story of the match was once the French pair took the lead, they never let it go. The Malaysian’s had no solution for their energetic style and Gicquel/ Delrue ended up winning 21-16, 21-15. 

Gicquel/ Delrue will face the winner of Tang/ Tse and Lamsfuss/ Herttrich in the quarterfinal. 

Danish singles powers on
The Danish men’s singles group of late have been a popular topic. Does Denmark have the best men’s singles trio in the world? In an attempt to prove this point, their campaign did not get off to a good start, with number three seed Anders Antonsen tripping up at the first hurdle. However, Viktor Axelsen and Rasmus Gemke booked their places in the quarterfinals without much issue.

Axelsen faced the talented Thai player, Kantaphon Wangcharoen, who managed to force three games out of him at the 2019 Singapore Open. This time anything other than two games was never in contention, as the tall Dane won 21-13, 21-17. 

We are in for a treat in the quarterfinal, as pending a Jonatan Christie win in his second round, the Indonesian will face Axelsen tomorrow. Their last two encounters were both showstopping matches lasting 80 minutes, with just a two-point margin to separate them. 

Rasmus Gemke had a similar challenge when facing Khosit Phetpradab. The Thai player was up at the business end of the first game, but Gemke 20-18 down was able to dig in and grab the game 22-20. Taking momentum from this, he stormed away in the second game to win the match 22-20, 21-8. 

Gemke will now face number five seed Anthony Ginting in the quarterfinal. Their only encounter was that first-round Gemke victory at the All England back in March 2020. 

For the full results and fixtures, click here

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