Dubai has been a happy hunting ground for Chris & Gabby Adcock in the past. Last year’s Super Series champions have once again found form in Dubai to claim their second final spot in consecutive years after coming through today’s semi-final against Praveen Jordan & Debby Susanto in three games.
The husband and wife team were certainly down the pecking order this week when favourites to lift the title were being muted but as they did last year the Adcock’s have proven everyone wrong to move within one win of the title and the pot of gold at the end of the Dubai rainbow.
Today’s semi-final was a repeat of the 2015 edition and for the second year in succession the Indonesian played second fiddle to the Brits who were obviously out to prove a very big point. After trading two tight opening sets the Adcock’s left it all out there in the decider blowing Jordan and Susanto off the court to make another Dubai final with a 21-9 deciding rubber win.
“We came out in the third game and played at a really high pace with not many errors. We got a lead and just kept the pressure on and carried that momentum to the end” said Chris Adcock to BWF after the semi-final victory.
The victory for the Adcock’s was the only bright light on a pretty poor mornings session for Europe as Jan O Jorgensen, Juhl & Pedersen and Conrad & Kolding all fell at the semi-finals stage after some early tournament form.
“Over and Out from Dubai”
commented Juhl & Pedersen via their official Facebook page. “We were up against Matsutomo &Takahashi and today we didn't come close. We knew we had to be at our very best to have a chance but today we couldn't find it. Time to enjoy Christmas now and come back stronger in 2017”
VIKTORious Axelsen keeps European singles flame burning
After the failure of compatriot Jorgensen to get through his morning semifinal in Dubai, Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen (pictured above) came out with all guns blazing in the evening session to book his spot in the grand finale for the second year in succession.
Axelsen’s opponent in today’s final was Korea’s Son Wan Ho, the player who had beaten the Dane just two days ago in group B of the round robin series of qualification matches. On that occasion the Korean came out on top in three sets to seal top spot in the group.
In today’s semifinal the Dane was very rarely headed by the Korean and came through in an economical two sets to make the final and attempt to right the wrongs of the 2015 final where he lost out to Kento Momoto.
“Earlier in the week I threw a lot of points away against Son Wan Ho but today that was not the story” said Axelsen after his semi-final win “Tomorrow the court is the same size as it was today so I don’t think I need to do anything much different tomorrow in the final. I just need to come out and give 110% against Tian Houwei a player I respect very much.”
Joachim Fischer and Christinna Pedersen were unable to make it an all European mixed doubles final going down in two games to Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen in one of the late evening matches. Double disappointment for Pedersen on semi finals day while the Chinese Chen Qingchen moves forward to compete in two finals tomorrow.
For all results from Semi Finals day in Dubai click HERE
Viktor Axelsen (DEN) V Tian Houwei (CHN)
Chris Adcock/Gabby Adcock (ENG) V Zheng Siwei/Chen Qingchen (CHN)
Tai Tzu Ying (TPE) V Sung Ji Hyun (KOR)
Takeshi Kamura/Keijo Sonoda (JPN) V V Shem Goh/Wee Koing Tan (MAS)
Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan (CHN) V Misaki Matsutoma/Ayaka Takahashi (JPN)
Article by Mark Phelan, Photos courtesy of Badminton Photo