Lang & Heino keep local dream alive
Date: 4/5/2013 1:01 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
The main rounds of the 2013 Finnish Open got under way this morning in Vantaa Energia Arena just north of Helsinki and the local fans had every reason to celebrate as two of their own advanced to the quarter finals. Finnish players have always struggled to deliver on their home soil so today’s performances from Eetu Heino (pictured) and Ville Lang was a welcome reprise for both the players and the organisers as the home victory is kept alive for at least 1 more day.

Eetu Heino got the party rolling for the home crowd with a brace of well-crafted victories over Danish opposition. Heino came through both opening rounds in three games and was overjoyed with his day 1 performance. “It was a good feeling to win today especially the first match and so good to deliver a performance at home”

Finland’s number 1 Ville Lang followed his friend into the quarter finals and even surprised himself in doing so. “I have always played rubbish here at home and really I came into the hall today with no real feeling so to win both games so easy was as much as a surprise to me as everyone else”

Lang has been struggling with a slight injury to his outer thigh recently and that coupled with the fact that he has never performed to his potential at home gave the Finnish two time Olympian reason to be optimistic. “I play better when I am on the road and just have to go from the hotel to hall and back again. Here I am just 10 minutes away and it is almost unfamiliar to me as I have all the demands of cooking and looking after myself as well as some demands that come with being the home favourite. But this week maybe things will change so tomorrow I will come out fighting”

Gavnholt looking forward to Asian opposition

There were no real surprised in the women’s singles draw as all the top seeds came through untested. Carolina Marin looked no worse for wear after an exhausting two weeks in Asia at the Axiata Cup and number two seed Kristina Gavnholt had a broad smile on her face after two easy opening round victories.

“It is good to be here and I love to play in this hall. My game is in good shape and tomorrow I will play an Indonesian opponent which is something I am looking forward to.”

Gavnholt is relishing the Asian experience as to play against quality opposition from the other side of the globe is something she has planned to do. “I decided earlier in the season that I want to start to test myself against Asian players. I had planned to go to Asia and play some tournaments but recently all the Asians appear to be coming to Europe which has mad that job easier and a lot less expensive” said Gavnholt jokingly.

No Joy for new English duo but watch out Europe

The new English pairing of Andy Ellis and Lauren Smith came unstuck in the very first round of their mixed doubles this morning when many expected them to challenge for medals this week.

In their first outing on the international circuit Ellis and Smith looked a little out of their depth but the signs are there that they have the chemistry to be a top pair for England and given their individual qualities they are sure to gel as a unit sooner rather than later.

Elsewhere the Danish men’s doubles pairings had a 100% successful day as all 4 of their top pairs made it through safely to the quarter finals. The pick of the bunch look to be Anders Skaarup, fresh from his Dubai holiday, and partner Kim Astrup. The Danes were easy winners today but tomorrow will be a real test as they face off against world junior gold medallists Heg and Teo from Malaysia.

For all results from today’s play from Finland click HERE
For a full photo gallery follow Badminton Europe on Facebook by clicking HERE
Follow all the live action daily from BETV’s streaming court number 1 in high definition via our youtube channel by clicking HERE

Article and Image by Mark Phelan (Live in Finland)
© All rights reserved.

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