ALL-ENGLAND OPEN: RICKY AND REXY, SUSI DEFEATED IN QUARTERS
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March 13, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Olympic men's doubles gold medalists
Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky of Indonesia fell short in their quest for a
third All-England Open badminton title tonight in quarterfinal action at the
National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England.
Ricky and Rexy met their masters at least for this tournament in the newish
combination of veteran Danish campaigners Jon Holst-Christensen and Michael
Sogaard. The defense of the Danish pair against the smash attacks of the
Olympic champions was mostly flawless tonight as they time and again
lift-blocked the smashes of Subagja and Mainaky from corner to corner until
they induced an error from the frustrated Indonesians or a loose shot at
the net which Sogaard pounced on with venom.
The Danish smash attack was also strong, specially when Holst was in the
backcourt powering the shuttle at steep angles with his jumping strokes.
The Danes also scored several times when they surprised the Indonesians
with unexpected drives into the upper body from the net instead of the
usual soft net shot or lift.
Holst and Sogaard took the first 15-8 on spectacular defenses, strong
smash attacks and Sogaard's net kills.
In the second game, Ricky and Rexy fought back and took command early 8-3.
However, the Danes found their timing again on their smash defense, blocking
back several certain scoring smashes from an inch or two above the floor.
Holst and Sogaard crept back into the game 7-8, then 8-8 and then took the
lead 9-8, 10-8, 11-8 and then 12-8.
Subagja and Mainaky fought on but the timing of the Danish smash defense
seemed to be tuned in to the Indonesian attack. The Indonesians managed to
eke out several points but Holst and Sogaard responded with a few scores
of their own to get to match point 14-11. In the ensuing rally, the Danes
got the attack going and Subagja lift-blocked a Danish smash wide to end
the match 15-11.
With their win, Holst and Sogaard move on to a semifinal match with second
seeds Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock from Malaysia. Cheah and Yap defeated
5/8 seeds Nikolaj Zuev and Abdrej Antropov of Russia 11-15, 15-11 and 11-3.
Men's doubles top seeds Sigit Budiarto and Chandra Wijaya of Indonesia won
their quarterfinal match against 5/8 seeds Liu Yong and Zhang Wei of China
15-7 and 15-6. They will play 5/8 seeds Ha Tae Kwon and Kang Kyung Jin of
Korea who had dispatched 3/4 seeds Denny Kantono and Antonius Iriantho of
Indonesia 18-17, 7-15 and 15-6.
In men's singles, Olympic silver medalist and 9/16 seed Dong Jiong of China
ended Peter Rasmussen's hopes of an All-England title 15-12 and 15-8. Dong
will play top-seed Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen in the semifinals in a rematch
of the Atlanta Olympic gold medal match. Hoyer was a 15-7, 15-12 winner over
5/8 seed Budi Santoso of Indonesia.
World champion Heryanto Arbi of Indonesia, seeded 9/16 here, was in trouble
against China's Luo Yigang in the early going. Arbi seemed out-of-sorts and
lost the first game 8=15. He got himself going in the second as he managed
to induce smashable lifts from Luo which he would pound with his jumpsmash
or caress with a deceptive dropshot. He took the second 15-9 and the third
Arbi plays China's Sun Jun in the semifinals, a rematch of men's singles
match for the world mixed team championships in 1995 when Sun defeated Arbi.
Sun Jun was the 15-9 and 15-9 winner of a late quarterfinal match over
teammate Lin Liwen.
In a women' singles quarterfinal, second-seed Gong Zhichao outrallied the
queen of the rallying style of singles play, Susi Susanti, and sent the 1992
Olympic gold medalist and four-time All-England champion from Indonesia to
the sidelines to join her husband of one month, Alan Budikusuma, as onlookers
(Budikusuma, the 1992 Olympic men's singles medalist, was upset in the first
Gong rallied patiently with Susanti in the first game, retrieving shots
from all over the court until she could pull Susanti out of position for
a scoring dropshot or smash or until she could deceive Susanti with a net
shot that she would hold and flick at the last moment to wrongfoot the
Indonesian player. Gong outplayed Susanti totally in the first game and
reached ame point at 10-1. Susanti stiffened her resistance and tallied 3
more points before Gong scored the game-winner.
In the second, Susi was able to hold her own in the rallies early to
take a slight lead at 4-3. Gong then exerted herself more to reach and
return Susanti's shots, sometimes with a back-to-the-net forehand that
would surprise the Indonesian.
Gong seized the lead at 5-4 and then rolled on, scoring two or three
points to Susanti's one. She reached game point at 10-7 and then took
the match on a deceptive shot at the net that fooled Susanti.
Gong will play Ra Kyung Min of Korea in the semifinals. Ra conquered
3/4 seeded Camilla Martin of Denmark 11-7, 11-12 and 11-6.
The other women's singles semifinal will pit world champion Ye Zhaoying,
seeded 3/4, against teammate Dai Yun. Ye disposed of Korea's Kim Ji Hyun
easily 11-7 and 11-1 while Dai eliminated teammate and 5/8 seed Zhang Ning
5-11, 12-11 and 11-8.
5/8 women's doubles seeds Helene Kirkegaard and Rikke Olsen surprised
3/4 seeds Denyana Lomban and Indarti Isolina of Indonesia in their
quarterfinal match. The jumpsmashing Lomban and partner Isolina, who
use an attacking style similiar to men's doubles, outplayed the Danish pair
in the first game, winning at 15-12.
The second was a nail-biter. The Indonesians seemed to be in control
and reached match point. The Danes turned the Indonesians back courtesy of a
line call that went against Lomban and Isolina. The Danes then caught up
and in a tense tiebreak, prevailed 17-16 as they changed their defense from
drive-blocks to cross-court lift blocks in order to move the smasher around
and tire her out.
In the decider, Kirkegaard and Olsen continued with their lift-blocking
and focused their play on the weaker-smashing Isolina. They got an early
lead at 3-0 and then stretched it to 7-3 before the Indonesians got closer
The Danish tactics of crosscourt blocking and pinning Isolina to the back
continued to work as they scored time and again on net kills off a loose
return or on an error.
At game point 14-8, they again got the Indonesians positioned with Isolina
as the smasher and Lomban at the net. Isolina then tried to smash a winner
off a lift-block but she powered it wide to the delight of the Danes.
The Danes will face top-seeds Ge Fei and Gu Jun from China in the
semifinals. Ge and Gu demolished 5/8 seeds Marina Andrievskaia and
Christine Gandrup of Sweden 15-3 and 15-2.
In the other women's doubles semifinal, second seeds Eliza Nathanael and
Resiana Zelin will meet the unseeded Chinese pair of Huang Nanyan and
Liu Zhong. Eliza and Zelin defeated Chinese singles specialists Ye Zhaoying
and Han Jingna 15-9 and 15-5 as Ye and Han could not handle the power
smashes of the Indonesians and also could not muster any doubles-style
all-out smash attacks of their own.
Huang and Liu upset 3/4 seeds Lisbet Stuer-Lauridsen and Marlene Thomsen
of Denmark in their quarterfinal match 15-5, 10-15, and 15-10.
In mixed doubles, Chris Hunt and Donna Kellogg kept the English hopes for
a good showing alive as they qualified for a place in the semifinals with
their 15-8, 18-16 win over Nikolaj Zuev and Marina Yakusheva of Russia.
Second-seeds Michael Sogaard and Rikke Olsen of Denmark went down to
defeat at the hands of 5/8 seeds Liu Yong and Ge Fei of China 15-6 and 15-9.
Liu and Ge will battle Hunt and Kellogg in tomorrow's semifinal.
Top-seeds Tri Kusheryanto and Minarti Timur of Indonesia put out Zhang Wei
and Liu Lu of China 15-5 and 15-7 to book a semifinal match against another
Chinese pairing, Chen Xingdong and Gu Jun. Chen and Gu had upset 3/4 seeds
Jens Eriksen and Marlene Thomsen of Denmark in their quarterfinal match 15-5
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