Malaysia’s Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai made their first World Superseries semi-final at the DANISA Denmark Open 2017 today, beating local hopes Niclas Nohr and Sara Thygesen.
The World No.14 Malaysians stole the first game from under the nose of the Danes, who were also in line for their debut Superseries semi-final. The Danes led throughout the first game and had three game points at 20-17, but the Malaysians kept up the pressure and were rewarded. The deflated Danes were hustled out in the second; the end coming swiftly at 23-21 21-12.
The Malaysians (featured image) take on top seeds Zheng Siwei/Chen Qingchen, while in the other semi-final, World champions Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir face Hong Kong’s Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet.
Ahmad and Natsir were up against a familiar rival – Zhang Nan – who was with a relatively new partner. The Indonesians were sound on all counts, frustrating Zhang with their defence and constantly catching Li Yinhui in a twist. With Li singled out and under pressure, the young Chinese was unable to cope, and Ahmad and Natsir walked away victorious at 21-10 21-16.
Men’s Singles saw the relentless march of Korea’s Lee Hyun Il. Today it was the turn of England’s Rajiv Ouseph to come up short against the Korean veteran.
Lee, showing typical monk-like calm, settled in for the long haul, sending the shuttle to the farthest corners and making Ouseph do all the hard work. The Englishman pushed the pace, and it was a fascinating contest between the pinpoint precision of the Korean, and Ouseph’s attempts to break free of the shackles.
Ouseph had a sniff at the first game with leads of 19-16 and 20-19, but perhaps hurried his shots and committed the errors that took away the opportunity. At his end, Lee was unperturbed, sticking to his strangling line and length and showing great opportunism to grab the first game.
It was a completely different story in the second, as Ouseph fell in a heap of errors: 24-22 21-6.
Ouseph accepted that the loss of the opening game had completely altered the momentum in Lee’s favour.
“I think quite a lot of the momentum changed after the first set. I was struggling in the second,” said Ouseph. “Yesterday (Jonatan) Christie was creating the pace for me, whereas today he was soaking it up, so it was up to me to create the pace and change the pace and stuff like that. I did pretty well in the first, but towards the end of the second he was controlling a lot more.
“He’s had durability, he’s always been a good level, no matter who he plays. Probably because he hasn’t won as much as (Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan), you talk about them being great players, but he’s also a great player. His consistency, the way he’s so measured on court… he never looks worried. I guess I’m the same. It’s just about managing the game and trying to find ways to beat him.”
In Men’s Doubles, Indonesia’s Angga Pratama/Ricky Karandasuwardi destroyed the challenge of No.3 seeds Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen.
Women’s Singles top seed Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei) overcame the loss of the first game to ease past Korea’s Kim Hyo Min 20-22 21-16 21-9, while China’s Chen Yufei breezed past Japan’s Sayaka Sato 21-6 21-14. Chen takes on another Japanese, Akane Yamaguchi, who destroyed Saina Nehwal’s (India) challenge 21-10 21-13. Tai’s semi-final opponent will be Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon, a 21-13 21-18 winner over Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun.