U.S. OPEN: MEN'S SINGLES SEMIFINALS HIGHLIGHTS
by Tom Kerrins
** This NEW SHUTTLENWS REPORT is presented by badminton world champions
YANG YANG (1987 and 1989) and ZHAO JIAN HUA (1991) and by
YANG YANG BADMINTON PRODUCTS **
September 13, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - In the men's singles semifinals of
the U.S. Open badminton championships played yesterday at the Orange County
Badminton Club in the southern California city of Orange, Denmark's Poul-Erik
Hoyer-Larsen, the second seed, faced the tenth-seeded Luo Yigang of China and
fifth seed Peter Gade Christensen, Hoyer's teammate, battled thirteenth seed
Jeroen van Dijk of the Netherlands.
HOYER vs LUO
In the Hoyer-Luo match, it was the Chinese player who started out quickly and
acored the first three points before Hoyer could notch a marker. Hoyer pressed
to even the game but was erratic, allowing the quick-hitting Luo to increase
his lead to 5-1.
Hoyer settled down and countered Luo's quick play with his own deliberate and
controlling style to take an 8-5 lead. At this juncture, Hoyer again committed
a spate of errors and again the Chinese player came back, grabbing the lead at
A Hoyer smash evened the scoring at 9-all. Luo surged ahead with two points
to Hoyer's single. In the next rally, Hoyer's jumping smash counted to put
the Dane on equal footing with Luo.
Hoyer then put the pressure on Luo and reached game point 14-11.
Luo did not give up. He played very aggressively, specially at the net, and
he managed to gain deuce at 14-all.
In the three-point setting or tiebreak that followed, Luo's aggressive play
continued and he smashed his way to a 2-0 advantage.
Hoyer again played his way to a tie at 2-all, but Luo regained the service
to stop Hoyer from winning the set.
The game ended 17-16 (3-2) in Luo's favour when he induced Hoyer into a shot
that found the net.
In the second game, it was Hoyer who started out in good form, taking a 2-0
and then a 5-1 advantage over Luo with smashes as well as several calls that
went in his favor.
Luo played his way back into the game, primarily with reverse-slice drops. He
pulled ahead 6-5 and then 7-6, before Hoyer started to read and counter Luo's
Hoyer took control of the net play, answering Luo's net spinners with drives.
The Dane then pulled even and gained a 10-7 then 12-9 lead.
Several Hoyer errors allowed Luo to creep closer 12-10 and then 13-11.
Hoyer reached game point 14-11 and won the second set 15-11 when Luo misread
a Hoyer shot and allowed it to hit the floor, only to have the shot called in.
In the decider, Hoyer was in full control taking a 3-0 lead before Luo scored
twice to make the score 3-2 in Hoyer's favor. That was all the scoring that
the tiring Luo could muster against the Dane who by now had all his shots and
fakes going - smashes, net spinners and crosscourt drops including one beauty
of an underhanded crosscourt shot that surprised Luo.
Hoyer won the third set going away, 15-2.
GADE versus VAN DIJK
The young Dane Peter Gade Christensen took an early 4-0 lead with power play
and smashes. Jeroen van Dijk countered with attacking play of his own to knot
the score at 4 apiece.
After several scoreless exchanges of serve, Gade pulled ahead again 5-4. Gade
reached 6-4 after a long rally which the young Dane ended with a scoring drop
shot after he had faked van Dijk out of his shoes with a smashing motion.
Gade pulled even further ahead 10-4 as he smothered van Dijk's attacking shots
with good defense and then scoring shots of his own. But the Dutch player came
back 8-10 aided by several calls that rattled the young Danish star.
Gade's smash defense gained him his eleventh point. Points twelve and thirteen
came with a drive shot and then a drop shot winner.
Van Dijk managed to get a point back when Gade erred on a backhand, but it was
Gade's game after that as the Dane counted his fourteenth marker and then the
game winner with good net play.
In the second game, it was van Dijk who had the early advantage 2-0, but Gade
erased that with some quick play specially at the net. The Dane pulled ahead
5-2 before van Dijk could counter.
Gade put the Dutch player under pressure with attacking play and smashes. With
these tactics, Gade raced to a 13-5 lead.
With the match seemingly in his grasp, the young Dane seemed to lose his focus
and touch. Van Dijk started to come back, marking three points to make the
At this juncture, the match was delayed when a sheepdog broke loose from his
owner's grasp and ran around the stands. The slight delay seemed to benefit
Gade. He finished van Dijk off when the match resumed 14-8 and finally 15-8
on a sliced crosscourt winner.
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