Today, Russian (and European) badminton history was made as the men's doubles duo of Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov beat world number 1 Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong (KOR) 14-21, 21-17, 21-15 to become the first Russians reaching the finals of the prestigious All-England Championships in Birmingham.
In tomorrow's finals of the 550.000 Dollars event, Ivanov/Sozonov (pictured)
will battle for the title against Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa of Japan.
Hans-Kristian Vittinghus failed to reach his first All-England final after losing to Chinese shuttler Tian Houwei in semi-finals. The world number 26 from Denmark – unseeded in England – continued his amazing run in Birmingham winning the opening game 21-15, but lost the next two games 14-21, 14-21.
„I am of course really disappointed. I played a good match, but I have to give compliments to my opponent as just played better. He was able to raise his level in game 2 and 3“, said Vittinghus to Danish tv station DR.
Vittinghus beat former European Champion Marc Zwiebler (Germany) in a spectacular quarter-finals shootout.
World number 8 Tian Houwei will meet superstar and five-time champion of this tournament, Lin Dan in the final tomorrow.
Recent Yonex All-England champions from Europe:
2015: Carolina Marin & Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen
2013: Tine Baun
2011: Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen
2010: Tine Baun & Jonas Rasmussen/Lars Paaske
2008: Tine Baun
2006: Jens Eriksen/Martin Lundgaard
2005: Nathan Robertson/Gail Emms
Title holder Carolina Marin crashed out
Marin, the top-seeded titleholder and two-time world champion, was beaten 11-21, 21-16, 21-14 by Nozomi Okuhara, the hard-working, patient and consistent Japanese player.
The cool and slow conditions may have made it hard for Marin to create real openings and to finish the rallies off, and the longer the match went on the more it became apparent that she was struggling. The outcome was not however as surprising as it may seem, as Okuhara also beat Marin while winning the Superseries finals title in Dubai in December, and has now beaten her three times in a row.
"I am not so happy with the way I played today. But I need to learn from today's match to come back stronger", Marin wrote on her Instagram profile.
Okuhara plays Chinese shuttler Wang Shixian in Sunday's finals.
Fischer & Pedersen in their first ever final
In front of a sell out Barclaycard Arena, Denmark's Joachim Fischer and Christinna Pedersen reached their first ever All-England final as they beat local favourites Chris and Gabby Adcock of England.
“It is hard to take right now,” said Chris. “We found our game and dominated the second but we are gutted that we couldn’t push on."
Gabby added: “It’s a sore feeling right now. I felt like I was reading her flicks but she changed and made it more deceptive. It’s frustrating but all credit to them.”
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Fischer and Pedersen, aiming to win Denmark’s first mixed title since 1995, said: "We’ve watched the All England on television back home for as long as I can remember. It means a lot to reach the final as we’ve tried for many years.”
Pedersen said to Badminton England: “We started badly in the second but as soon as we started getting points we got momentum. It could have gone either way in the second but we took the chances in the end.
“Gabby took a chance to go quick on my short service but I changed my strategy just in time to lob her. We are really pleased how it ended.”
While the majority of the crowd inside the Barclaycard Arena were rooting for the Adcocks, Fischer and Pedersen were certainly not alone in Birmingham as they were cheered on by their vocal fans.
Fischer added: “It’s always difficult to play here but we put pressure on from the beginning. They are on their home court so a lot of the crowd wanted them to do it.
“We’re used to playing against the home crowd and we did well today. There are a lot of Danish fans here today so we didn’t feel that everyone was against us.”
Denmark's Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl lost to Tang Yuangting/Yu Yang of China after three games and 65 minutes of play.
of the 550.000 Dollars event starts on Sunday at 13.00 CET.
For more information, visit the official tournament website at http://www.allenglandbadminton.com
The semi-finals results:
Lin Dan (CHN) bt Xue Song (CHN) 18-21, 21-15, 21-9
Tian Houwei (CHN) bt Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (DEN) 15-21, 21-14, 21-14
Nozomi Okuhara (JPN) bt Carolina Marin (ESP) 11-21, 21-16, 21-14
Wang Shixian (CHN) bt Tai Tzu Ying (TPE) 21-12, 21-12, 21-15
Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa (JPN) bt Goh Shem Goh/Tan Wee Kiong (MAS) 21-13, 21-15
Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov (RUS) bt Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong (KOR) 14-21, 21-17, 21-15
Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi (JPN) bt Luo Ying/Luo Yu (CHN) 21-12, 21-19
Tang Yuanting/Yu Yang (CHN) bt Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl (DEN) 21-19, 9-21, 21-14
Joachim Fischer/Christinna Pedersen (DEN) bt Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock (ENG) 21-13, 22-20
Praveen Jordan/Debby Susanto (IND) bt Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei (CHN) 21-18, 21-16
Article by Manuel Rösler. Photos by BadmintonPhoto.
Quotes of Chris and Gabby Adcock by BadmintonEngland.