Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen made their fifth Korea Open final showing immaculate calm in a tense semi-final against Japan’s Takuro Hoki and Yuko Kobayashi.
The Danes (featured image), winners here in 2014 and 2009 and runners-up in 2013 and 2011, admitted they had staged a “robbery” to overcome Hoki and Kobayashi after trailing by a bit in the last two games.
As they have demonstrated several times before, when it came to the crunch the Danes were razor-sharp in spotting the openings and converting them for a 17-21 21-16 21-17 verdict that booked them a title spot against Indonesia’s Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo. This is the Danes’ third Superseries final this year.
“It was some kind of robbery… we didn’t play our best,” said Mogensen. “We have a lot to prove for tomorrow. The Japanese played well today but we have a lot more experience and that’s why we won today. Another funny final… we’ll see what the Indonesians have got for tomorrow.”
Boe said they key to the win was sticking the course despite them not being at their best.
“We just try to stay on our game. Sometimes you win these close matches, sometimes you lose. Today itdidn’t work as we hoped for in the beginning. But we play with our hearts, and sometimes it gives us a second chance on court as it did today. When you keep fighting, even if you’re not playing your best, you steal these matches, and that’s what happened today. We’re delighted to be in another Korea Open final.”
Fernaldi and Sukamuljo made their fourth Superseries final this year overcoming Japan’s Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda 21-18 17-21 21-16.
Indonesia have a shot at two titles in the paired events with Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto easing past Germany’s Marvin Emil Seidel/Linda Efler 21-18 21-12 in the Mixed Doubles semi-finals. Their final opponents will be China’s Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping, 21-15 21-9 winners over Malaysia’s Chang Peng Soon/Cheah Yee See.
Chang Ye Na and Lee So Hee provided the only solace for the home crowd as they were the only Koreans to make a final.
The third seeds beat Denmark’s Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl to enter the Women’s Doubles title round, where they play China’s Huang Yaqiong/Yu Xiaohan.
The Koreans had the upper hand in four of six encounters against the Danes going into the semi-final, although Pedersen and Rytter Juhl won their last battle, at the OUE Singapore Open this April.
It was a tight battle through the first two games. Chang and Lee did well to hold off a Danish surge midway through the second to force a decider. Rather uncharacteristically, the Danes were far from their usual consistent selves, which let the Koreans capitalise on a good start. With both the Danes falling prey to errors, the Koreans had a fair cushion at the end as they closed it out 17-21 21-18 12-14.
“The Danes are really good on the attack and they were very precise early in the match, but then their intensity seemed to go down later and they became more defensive, trying to play safely and we then had the chance to hit where we wanted to and we ended up with more chances of our own,” said Chang Ye Na.
“It’s very important to do well on serve and return. I remember that it was very difficult playing against them in Singapore. This time, we concentrated more on the serve and return and they weren’t as able to get so many easy points off us.”
“Two years ago we were runners-up and there is some disappointment that we hope to make up for by winning in Korea,” added her partner Lee So Hee.