England number one Rajiv Ouseph kept up his recent good form with a battling come-from-behind victory over Denmark's Hans-Kristian Vittinghus 24-26, 21-9, 21-13 in 55 minutes.
Ouseph had beaten the higher-seeded Dane in their last two meetings (at the 2014 European Championships) and the pair continued their tight duels - since they first locked horns in 2006 - again in Saarbrücken.
Vittinghus fought back from 16-7 down in the opener to take the first, but Ouseph injected attacking intent in the second, racking up seven successive points from 14-9 to level, before edging his way to the last eight.
“It was a match where I had no energy to invest in the last two games, so I was never really close of winning. Knowing what I'm struggling with at the moment I'm quite happy with what I achieved here. I came to gain some ranking points to stay in the Superseries main draws and I succeeded in doing so”, wrote Hans-Kristian Vittinghus on his official Facebook page.
Marc Zwiebler battled hard to reach last four on home soil
Germany’s number one Marc Zwiebler advanced to the semifinals of the Bitburger Open (120.000 Dollars) by beating eight-seeded Hsu Jen Hao 17-21, 23-21, 21-15 on Friday. Zwiebler's semifinal opponent will be Wong Wing Ki Vincent of Hongkong, who reached the last four by beating Tzu Wei Wang (Taiwan) in three games.
“Unbelievable! I feel really tired now - but happy I stepped on court! It was not sure this morning I am able to play because of my achilles tendon. Thanks for the support, cross your fingers I can also play again tomorrow”, Zwiebler said.
Zwiebler is looking to extend his streak of having reached two finals of the Bitburger Open since 2013. The former top-10 player has dropped to No. 20 in the world, mostly due to his foot injury.
Russia’s Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov eased past Chen Hung Ling/Chi-Lin Wang of Taiwan 21-13, 21-10 in just 25 minutes to set up a semifinal encounter against fourth-seeded Hirokatsu Hashimoto/Noriyasu Hirata of Japan, who beat Puavaranukroh Dechapol/Kedren Kittinupong of Thailand 21-19, 21-13.
Jacco Arends and Selena Piek reached their third Grand-Prix semifinal of the year by beating Taiwanese duo of Hsiao-Lin Wu/Hsieh Pei Chen in three games. Also the Yonex French Open runner-ups, Mads Conrad and Mads Kolding made it to the last four. The Danes beat their compatriots Niclas Nøhr and Kaspar Antonsen in three games 20-22, 21-18, 21-19 in one of the longest matches of the day.
Adcocks secure semi-final spot
The Adcocks, top seeds, were also involved in a tight mixed doubles' contest against Malaysia's Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh in their last eight clash of the Gold Grand Prix event.
England's number one pairing won 21-13, 15-21, 21-12 in 53 minutes, the match swinging the Adcocks' way with six consecutive winners when 12-10 to the good in the decider.
"Not a very pretty match, however we came through strong in the third," said Chris to Badminton England.
Heather Olver and Lauren Smith lost out to Vivian Kah Mun Hoo and Khe Wei Woon, Malaysia's fourth seeds, 16-21, 21-16, 21-9 in another equally-tight contest.
Chris and Gabby play unseeded Dutch duo Jacco Arends and Selena Piek on Saturday afternoon, with Ouseph playing Ng Ka Long Angus, Hong's Kong's 13th seeds, later in the evening.
Gilmour through to the semi-finals
Kirsty Gilmour is through to the semi-finals after a straight-games win over Denmark’s Natalia Koch-Rohde. The Scottish star, chasing her third title in four weeks after her Prague Open and Dutch Open victories, took just 33 minutes to claim a 21-13 21-16 win.
After a close early exchange Gilmour pulled away from 5-5 in the opening game and took it with a three-point burst from 18-13.
In the second game she edged away from the Dane at 4-4 and although her opponent closed to within a point at 16-15, the Scottish star finished the contest with another three-point flourish.
In tomorrow’s semi-finals Gilmour will face seventh seed Busanan Ongbumrungphan of Thailand. Gilmour lost to Ongbumrungphan in May at the Australian Open in their only meeting.
Watch all the live action from the Bitburger Open on their official website.
for all results from Saarbrücken.
Article by Manuel Rösler. Photos (LIVE) by Sven Heise.