Rasmussen king of courts on semi-final day
Date: 9/13/2013 1:29 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (pictured with Lena Grebak) proved today that he is indeed one of Europe’s most promising players as he made the courts at the Belgian International his own today at semi-final stage.

The powerfully built Dane came through both his mixed doubles and doubles semi-finals in emphatic fashion. It was the men’s doubles encounter, alongside partner Kim Astrup, that Rasmussen showed his true class as they came back from the brink of defeat to advance to the final against second seeded Poles Moren & Skzudlarczyk. 

It was not until midway through the second game that the comeback began and after losing the opening set 21-18 and trailing 15-8 in the second the Danish duo looked beaten against the fast playing Poles.

However a pair of consecutive runs of 5 points on the serve of Kim Astrup brought the Danes level and with it a huge swing of momentum. Somehow Astrup and Rasmussen pulled the game out of the fire to win 22-20 and with a 21-18 win in the deciding game the shirtless celebrations began.

“This was an amazing match to win as tactically the Poles are difficult to play against. We looked down and out but we just kept fighting and the opportunity to play Langridge and Mills in the final also spurred us on to win”

Rasmussen coupled his doubles win with a victory in the mixed over siblings Magee from Ireland and will now play Selena Piek & Jacco Arends from The Netherlands who will compete in their first final as a new pairing.

Pang the last European singles standing

Eric Pang, the top seeded Dutch player, became the last singles player standing from Europe as he overcame Chinese Taipei powerhouse Yu Hsien Lin in another 3 game classic. The Dutch veterans laid back easy going attitude took him through as he never became fazed by the powerful right arm of his opponent as he soaked up the pressure and turned defence into attack.

“I just had to stay focused and I knew even after I lost the first game that I was still in the game which was something I would not have believed 6 months ago” said a buoyant Pang to Badminton Europe.

The Dutch ace will face reigning champion Andre Kurniawan in tomorrow’s final after the Indonesian ace ended the run of Denmark’s Joachim Persson.

Stoeva’s battling style breaks Dutch

Stoeva sisters Gabriel & Stefani booked their final spot after ending the run of the fancied Dutch pair Muskens & Piek. The sisters emerged victorious to prove they are a match for any of the more established doubles pairs in Europe. A tournament with victories over German, Dutch & Danish opposition has set them out as one of the most feared pairs on the circuit.

Tomorrow finals sees them face off against hot favourties Imogen Bankier & Petya Nedelcheva and a bet against the Bulgarians lifting the trophy would be a foolish bet indeed.

The 2013 Yonex Belgian International finals (starting 17.00 CET):

XD: Skaarup/Grebak (DEN) - Arends/Piek (NED)
WD: Bankier/Nedelcheva (SCO/BUL) - Stoeva/Stoeva (BUL)
MS: Eric Pang (NED) - Andre Kurniawan (INA)
WS: Febby Anggun (INA) - Chi Ya Cheng (TPE)
MD: Langridge/Mills (ENG) - Skaarup/Astrup (DEN)

We cover all finals in TV quality on our YouTube channel.

For all results from Belgium click HERE

Follow Badminton Europe on Facebook for a full photo gallery by clicking HERE

To watch on demand and all the live finals action from Leuven on Badminton Europe’s YouTube channel click HERE.

Article and Image by Mark Phelan (Live in Leuven)

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