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 doubles semifinals of the U.S. Open badminton championships played yesterday in Orange, California, the fifth-seeded pair of Liu Yong and Zhang Wei of China faced the eight-seeds, Tony Gunawan and Victo Wibowo of Indonesia, and the tandem of Simon Archer and Chris Hunt of England, the sixth picks, battling Ha Tae Kwon and Kim Dong Moon of Korea. Ha and Kim are seeded eighth.


Gunawan and Wibowo started the first game on fire while Liu and Zhang could not get going at all. The Indonesians easily raced to game point 14-1 with their quickness around the court.

With a humiliating first game loss facing them, Liu and Zhang buckled down to work. Using a superior attack, the Chinese started to reel the Indonesians in and ran up their score to 10-14.

Gunawan and Wibowo stopped the Chinese run of points but failed to convert. Liu and Zhang inched closer with another point 11-14.

Again Gunawan and Wibowo stopped the Chinese attack. On this turn, the two Indonesians scored to take the first game 15-11.

In the second, the Chinese attack was working. Liu and Zhang gained a 4-0 advantage, but Gunawan and Wibowo capitalized on their quickness to get closer at 3-6.

The Chinese attacked for several points to reach a 9-4 lead. Again, the two Indonesians countered the Liu-Zhang smashes with good defense and quickness. Gunawan and Wibowo pulled closer 7-9 and then got to within a point of the Chinese on a beautiful drop shot winner.

The Chinese pair put together another string series of attacks and pulled ahead again 12-8. And again the Indonesians fought back to within a single point 11-12.

However, the Chinese did not let Gunawan and Wibowo any closer. Their attack started to get through the Indonesian defenses and the Chinese scored the 3 points that they needed to win 15-11 and to even the match up at 1 game each.

In the decider, the Chinese stayed in form and went ahead 4-2. The Indonesian pair pulled even at 4-all, but then the Chinese displayed their quickness and ability to turn defense into scoring counterattacks. Liu and Zhang raced to a 10-4 lead.

The Indonesians battled to stay in the match and gained their fifth point on a tremendous drive shot that found the floor. However, the Chinese were on the attack consistently and kept the Indonesians busy defending. The Chinese smash carried Liu and Zhang to a commanding 13-5 advantage.

The Indonesians fought back and got closer at 14-10, but the Chinese managed to stop Gunawan and Wibowo at this juncture.

Once more the Chinese attack went to work against the Indonesians and finally a Chinese smash got through, giving Liu and Zhang the victory at 15-11.


The English pair had the early advantage in the first game. With Archer's smashes booming, the English took a 5-1 lead.

The Koreans tightened their smash defense and Kim started to control the net. They also maneuvered their play to reduce Archer's influence on the game with his powerful smashes. The Koreans pulled even at 6-all and then raced ahead to a 14-6 advantage.

The English got two points back but the quickness of the Koreans ended the short-lived English run at 14-8. Then the Koreans scored the game winner with a lightning-quick drive shot that Chris Hunt could only return into the net.

In the second game, the Koreans went ahead early 4-1 as their quick driving tactics paid off in scores. The English fought back using Archer's booming smashes. Archer and Hunt closed in 5-4.

A net kill by Kim scored the Koreans' sixth point. After Ha and Kim had made the score 7-4, Archer answered back with another scoring smash.

The Koreans then pulled away 11-5, then 11-6, and then 13-6 with Kim putting pressure on the English pair at the net. The English managed to mark another point 7-13, but the Korean smash and net attack was too much for Archer and Hunt.

With match point in hand at 14-7, the Koreans gained the attack and a Korean power shot towards Archer finished the English off.