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 14, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - The women's singles championship match at the U.S. Open badminton championships pitted two of the world's top players against each other - Camilla Martin of Denmark, ranked number five in the world and the top seed at the tournament, versus Dai Yun of China, ranked seventh and seeded second. In the final held yesterday at the Orange County Badminton Club near Disneyland in California, Martin and Dai swapped easy wins in the first two games. Both turned up their play several notches in the third with the title and 10,000 US dollars on the line.


Camilla Martin owned the first game. She was in full control as she raced to a 7-2 advantage. The left-handed Dai upped her score to 4, but the Dane stayed in command to win 11-4.


The second game belonged to Dai. She took an early 4-1 lead. Martin closed in 6-5 but she could not overhaul the Chinese player's advantage. Dai took the second set 11-7.


The match became very exciting in the decider with many good rallies and excellent shotmaking, specially on crosscourt dropshots and smashes. The quality of play was very high and drew applause for both contestants.

The two finalists exchanged leads early. At 5-all, Dai slightly ahead 6-5, but Martin again pulled even 6-all. The score got stuck for several serves with Dai and Martin exchanging shots in many crowd-pleasing rallies. Finally, Dai scored with an exceptional backhand that drew the crowd's admiration.

Martin looked tired at this juncture and Dai scored twice more to gain a 9-6 lead. The Dane struck back for a point when she sent the shuttle skimming the net crosscourt with a flip of her wrist.

Dai countered with a point to maintain her three-point advantage 10-7. The Dane picked up the tempo and scored to come closer. She picked up her ninth marker when she ended a rally with a crosscourt dropshot that ticked the top of the net and rolled over.

Dai stopped Martin on the next serve, but was not able to capitalize on her own turn. The two exchanged several scoreless service turns, until Martin got Dai to send a shot to the net for her tenth point.

The game went into a two-point tiebreak. Again, the two exchanged several scoreless service turns. Finally, Martin broke the tie with a dropshot winner.

With championship point in hand, Martin controlled the next rally and scored with a crosscourt dropshot to win the title.