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All-England: Archer And Goode Storm Into Finals

** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is presented by YANG YANG Badminton Products and their Western USA agents BADMINTON ALLEY. **

March 13, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Simon Archer and Joanne Goode of England are only one victory away from capturing the mixed doubles title at the centennial edition of the All-England Open badminton championships in Birmingham, England. In today's semifinals, the English pair delighted the home crowd by winning their match against the top-seeded Indonesians Bambang Suprianto and Rosiana Zelin 15-6 and 15-9.

Archer played a very smart game today, combining his powerful smashes with brushed dropshots and his fast drives with soft pushes. He also varied the direction of shots, stroking straight and then crosscourt, or crosscourt and the straight. His partner Joanne Goode had many brilliant moments at the net, oftentimes cashing in on an Archer setup smash or drop, and also setting Archer up for boomers with delicate net shots that the Indonesians would lift.

Archer and Goode were in command in the first game, taking a 7-2 advantage early and then building up to a 12-6 lead when Suprianto mistimed a kill and sent the shuttle into the net. Archer made it 13-6 when the English attack forced Suprianto and Zelin into a defensive base deep in their end and Archer struck a steeply-angled smash that landed in front of a lunging Suprianto.

The English reached game point at 14-6 and won the set when Suprianto ended a drive exchange with an errant backhand drive.

In the second set, both pairs swapped early leads before Archer and Goode started to roll with Archer supplying the powershots from the backcourt. The English pair moved to a 7-4 advantage, and after Suprianto and Zelin had clawed back two points, pulled away again to a commanding lead at 12-6.

An Archer crosscourt halfsmash to Zelin put the English duo at 13-6. The Indonesians came back with 2 markers as the English tired and mistimed some shots.

The English retrieved the service and reached match point at 14-8 when the Indonesians sent the shuttle flying out of bounds. Archer and Goode failed to convert their first match point when Archer, seeing an open space crosscourt, struck what should have been a dropshot winner. Archer's stroke though was a bit too strong and the shuttle landed out-of-bounds.

The Indonesians scored a point on their service turn but could not score again. On the English pair's service turn, they got Suprianto and Zelin into a brief driving rally and pressured the Indonesians into sending the shuttle into the net and surrendering the winning point.

Archer and Goode will face Koreans Ha Tae Kwon and Chung Jae Hee in the mixed doubles championship match tomorrow. Ha and Chung won a battle of a semifinal over Denmark's Michael Sogaard and Rikke Olsen 15-13, 11-15 and 15-13, eking out the victory when the tiring Danes made two critical errors - Olsen's smash into the net at 13-all and Sogaard's push shot attempt into the net at match point.

In men's singles, top seed Peter Gade of Denmark had a relatively easy semifinal win over Budi Santoso of Indonesia 15-11 and 15-5. His teammate Poul-Erik Hoyer, though, was beaten by Indonesian teenager Taufik Hidayat.

After taking a tight first game at 15-13, Hidayat started the second set slowly with Hoyer controlling the net play and taking a 4-0 lead. Hidayat pulled even with some excellent jumpsmashing and quick-reflexed defending, surprising Hoyer with a crosscourt block of the Dane's attempted killshot to place the score at 4-all.

Hoyer pulled away again to lead 7-4. After Hidayat had clawed back a point, Hoyer had the serve but the Indonesian very quickly ended Hoyer's turn. Hoyer walked up to the umpire and seemed to be complaining either about Hidayat moving on the serve or a Hidayat fault at the net.

Perhaps the Dane lost his concentration at this juncture, because Hidayat pulled even and then took command of the set with jumpsmashes and drives and blocks that kept finding the lines. The Indonesian grabbed a 12-7 lead and then a 13-7 advantage with a leaping smash to the sideline. Hidayat reached match point at 14-7 when Hoyer attempted to caress a block softly over the net but pushed the shuttle wide instead.

The Dane saved two match points but could not make any headway in the score. On Hidayat's third match point, Hoyer tried to delicately push the shuttle downwards over the net but mistimed the stroke and placed the shuttle into the net to give the Indonesian the victory at 15-7.

In women's singles, world champion Ye Zhaoying of China strengthened her bid to become the first woman since 1964 to win three consecutive All-England singles crowns. In today's semifinal, she overwhelmed top seed Camilla Martin of Denmark 11-1 and 11-3. So excellent was Ye's play that, at one point in the second game, Martin was so completely wrongfooted by Ye's overhead shot that she just stopped and let the shuttle fly over her for a Ye score.

Dai Yun of China won the other women's singles semifinal. She came back after dropping the first set 8-11 to teammate Zhou Mi and outlasted as well as outplayed her tiring opponent with aggressive strokes to win the next two at 13-10 and 11-5.

In women's doubles, top seeds Qin Yiyuan and Gao Ling were upended by their more junior teammates Huang Sui and Lu Ying 15-8 and 15-6. Qin and Gao who were top-seeded despite being are a relatively new combination showed a lack of cohesiveness in their attacking play and often could not finish off a rally with a winner.

Qin usually plays with Tang Hetian, with whom she won the silver medal at the 1997 world championships. Tang is reported to have had a knee operation recently and in said to be recuperating.

Korea's Ra Kyung Min and Chung Jae Hee defeated Ann Jorgensen and Rikke Olsen of Denmark in the other women's doubles semifinal 15-11, 6-15 and 15-2.

In one of the men's doubles semifinals, defending champions Lee Dong Soo and Yoo Yung Sung of Korea beat Malaysia's Chew Choon Eng and Lee Wan Wah 15-9 and 15-10, while, in the other semifinal, Indonesia's Chandra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan survived the power and quickness of Koreans Ha Tae Kwon and Kim Dong Moon.

Ha and Kim were dominating in the opening set with their rotating teamwork in the jumpsmash attack, raining smash after smash on Wijaya and Gunawan until they could get the poor block or they could blast a kill to the floor. Ha and Kim's defense was also excellent, flicking back Indonesian smash after smash, and then gaining the atack themselves. The Koreans took the first game 15-7, the game winner coming in typical fashion with Ha pounding away from the backcourt with smashes and Kim scoring the point with a killshot.

In the second set, the Koreans took a small advantage early but Wijaya and Gunawan fought back to tie the score at 4-all and then lead at 4-5. At this juncture, Ha started to bleed from the right elbow and play had to be stopped while the medical staff put a bandage on Ha.

After the interrruption, Wijaya and Gunawan pulled away to a 12-6 lead as the Koreans seemed to lose a step in their quickness and rotation.

Perhaps Ha and Kim were just catching their second wind. Back they came with the quick defense and the rotating jumpsmash attack to tie the score at 12 apiece.

The Koreans could not maintain their pace, though. Ha handed the Indonesians their thirteenth point when he failed to finish off a series of Korean smashes and instead tiredly sent a killshot into the net. Gunawan then got game point for his side when he and Wijaya combined smashes and drops to pressure Ha into a diving net shot retrieve that Gunawan hit with a round-the-head killshot.

The Indonesians scored the next point to win the second set 15-12.

The Koreans came back after the break with more energy and took a 6-2 lead with more rapidfire smashes and drives as well as quick-eyed, strong-wristed defenses.

But again Ha and Kim could not sustain the pace. They allowed Wijaya and Gunawan back into the match with mistakes and misplays and the Indonesians were able to tie the score at 7-all and 8-all.

The Indonesian attack then came into its own as the Koreans became less and less able to turn the attack. Wijaya and Gunawan took a 12-8 advantage and added one more when a tiring Kim stroked a leaping killshot into the net. A Ha backhand mistake at the net finally put the Indonesians at match point.

With victory in sight, the Indonesians went at the Koreans aggressively. They pounded smash after smash at Ha and Kim until finally Wijaya struck one that Ha could not block back. The Indonesians had won the decider at last 15-8.

Wijaya and Gunawan's victory puts them into the men's doubles final against Lee and Yoo in a rematch of last year's championship match.


Posted With The Permission Of The Copyright Holder.

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