Semi-final day at the Yonex Dutch open proved to be the end of the road for Europe’s shuttlers as Asian players dominated the afternoon's play on a day that marked the official retirement of Dicky Palyama.
Coming into this afternoon semi-finals the odds on a European making the finals was realistically very long. With representation in just one mixed, one men’s singles and Selena Piek & Eefje Muskens pitted against Chinese powerhouse pairing of Bao Yixin & Tang Jinhua the odds were stacked against Europe’s chances.
In the end it was Ukrainian Dmytro Zavadsky (main picture) who came closest in a three set battle against Chan Yan Kit of Hong Kong. The Ukrainian lost the opening game but fought back admiralty to take the second game 21-13.
Zavadsky then got off to a great start in the deciding game leading 4-0 but that proved to be as good as it got for the Ukrainian Olympian as Chan came home victorious 21-15 in the deciding game.
Zavadsky appeared to lose concentration at a vital time as three line calls went against him and Chan Yan Kit did not need a second invitation to wrap up the win to advance to an all Hong Kong final against Wei Nan.
“I felt there were some bad line calls against me at very important points in the last game and that upset my concentration. But this was my first Grand prix semi-final so I know tomorrow I will wake up happy with my week”
Zavadsky also went down in the first mixed doubles semi-final alongside Anastasia Dmytryshyn and the women’s doubles duo of Piek and Muskens were unable to deal with the world class talents of Bao Yixin and Tang Jinhua.
Palyama officially calls it a day
In a day full of celebrations the majority of the plaudits were reserved for Dutch hero Dicky Palyama as he played his final match as a pro player against none other than Peter Gade. Both Palyama & Gade (pictured) served up a feast of entertainment for one set in front of a capacity crowd with the great Dane playing to the crowd who applauded his every move.
In the ends the tears and the centre stage was left for Palyama to say his last goodbye to the Dutch people with his family and friends at his side.
“Dicky has been a role model and a great player for The Netherlands and Europe. It was my pleasure to come here today to play this match against someone I really respect” said Peter Gade of the Dutch great.
Finals of the 2013 Yonex Dutch Open start at midday local time tomorrow Sunday and you can catch all the live action with TV quality pictures in HD on our Youtube channel by clicking HERE
For all results from the Dutch Open click HERE
Article and Image by Mark Phelan (Live in Almere)