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All-England: Gade Wins His Biggest Title So Far

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

March 14, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Peter Gade of Denmark, badminton's number one men's singles player for the past year, today won the biggest title of his young career - the super-prestigious and almost sacred All-England Open championship, the sport's equivalent of Wimbledon. Gade, aged 22, captured top honors at the one-hundredth staging of the tournament when he beat Indonesian teenage prodigy Taufik Hidayat in the final match this afternoon at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.

The victory did not come easy for the Dane. It took Gade three sets before he was able to overcome the talented Hidayat 15-11, 7-15 and 15-10.

In the opening game, the Dane took an early 3-1 advantage as Hidayat made some errors. The Indonesian then seemed to settle down and battled Gade thru several scoreless service turns. Hidayat broke the stalemate when he scored on an off-speed smash which Gade blocked to the net. The Dane got the serve back and tallied a point with a combination smash-and-crosscourt-netshot.

On his next serve, Gade went on the attack but Hidayat was ready for Gade's favorite smash-and-rush-to-the-net tactics. He blocked Gade's jumpsmash crosscourt, forcing the Dane to quickly change direction and lift the shuttle. Hidayat then leaped and smashed to take the service back.

Hidayat scored on his turn when Gade hit a jumpsmash wide. He added one more to tie the score at 4-all when Gade struck a jumpsmash and Hidayat blocked it very deceptively crosscourt, wrongfooting the Dane.
{Hidayat showed a little more of his arsenal on the next exchange when he leaped up for a jumpsmash but instead stroked a dropshot that fooled Gade. The Indonesian was in the lead for the first time 5-4.

Hidayat then lost his serve after he was faulted for stroking a brushkill of a Gade netshot before the shuttle had crossed the net. The Dane though was not able to score and the Indonesian teenager managed to increase his lead when he ended a rally of clears, drops and netshots with a backhand brushkill.

After an series of scoreless service turns, Gade got a point back when he defended well against Hidayat's attack, softly blocked the shuttle over the net and pressured the Indonesian into spinning the featherball into the net.

The Dane's attack then bogged down and Hidayat increased his lead to three at 8-5, first on a Gade shot that went wide followed by a rally-ending crosscourt drive reply to the Dane's attacking shot.

Gade got a point back when the Indonesian's round-the-head crosscourt drop went wide but Hidayat countered to keep the Dane at bay 9-6 with a tight net shot followed up by a jumpsmash winner after Gade was forced into hitting a lift.

Gade then started to reel Hidayat in. He first got the service back when he surprised the Indonesian with a unexpected, quick-reflexed block of Hidayat's seemingly certain point-getter. He displayed the same quickness to score a point when the two had gotten into a net shot exchange and Hidayat had sprung up for a crosscourt brushkill. Gade quickfooted to the shuttle and deftly blocked it back for the score.

Gade added another marker to put the score at 8-9 but the Indonesian inched away 10-8 when Gade sent a jumpsmash wide. Hidayat surrendered his service turn when he was faulted on his topspin backhand low serve for not having the rackethead completely below his wrist.

Gade then scored with a backhand off-speed smash, after which he lost his serve and then got it back with an attacking rally that saw Hidayat losing his footing as he blocked a smash. That slip gave Gade an open court into which he sent the featherball.

The Dane tied up the score 10-all on his next service turn. After swapping services, Gade gained the lead when his tight tumbling net shot forced Hidayat into an errant lift. After some more scoreless turns at serve, Hidayat scored when Gade hit a shot into the net. The Dane took the serve back and, on the ensuing rally, stuck a net skimming low serve which Hidayat returned into the net. Gade was in the lead again 12-11.

Hidayat and Gade then battled for several rallies without a score. Gade finally broke thru when he finished off an exchange with a round-the-head clipshot winner. Hidayat again fought Gade's serve off and the two again swapped service turns.

When Gade again had the serve, he once more struck a netskimmer serve. Once again Hidayat tried to do too much with the shuttle, attempting to spin the featherball crosscourt only to send it into the net and give Gade game point at 14-11.

Hidayat did not fold. He saved one game point but Gade took the service back.

On his next turn, Gade put the pressure on. He went on the attack and finished the set off with a rushing killshot.

In the second game, Gade tried to be aggressive but Hidayat defended well, blocking the Dane's attack shots over the onrushing Gade's reach. Gade tried to clip down one such block but mishit it, giving the Indonesian the chance for a scoring jumpsmash. Hidayat's steady play coupled with Gade's aggressive miscues quickly gave the Indonesian a stunning 7-0 advantage.

The Dane tried to fight back but the lead was too much even for Gade's talent. Hidayat took the second set 15-7 with his last two points coming on errors by Gade.

In the decider, Gade drew first blood on a Hidayat miscue - crosscourt leaping dropshot that found the net. In the next rally, Gade was on the attack, had rushed towards the net and struck a guaranteed point-scoring kill. But the Indonesian had other ideas - he reached out to block the shuttle and surprised Gade when he managed to strike the shuttle. To Gade's relief, Hidayat's block went wide and anded the Dane point number two.

After several scoreless service turns, Gade burst out to a 5-0 lead via a Hidayat drive that went long, a well-struck round-the-head clipped dropshot and a very tight net spinner.

Hidayat battled back and the two were stalemated for several service turns. It was the Indonesian who finally got a score when Gade struck a driving service return long. Hidayat then came back on several Gade misplays and closed in on the Dane with the score at 4-5.

After the Indonesian was once again faulted on his topspin backhand low serve and then retrieving the serve, he tied up the score at 5-all and even gained the lead at 6-5.

Gade pulled even quickly, winning a rally with a very well-disguised net shot that wrongfooted Hidayat. He then scored five times for an 11-6 lead - first with a half-court smash, then with a round-the-head crosscourt fast drop, a sliced smash to the sideline, a killshot off a loose net shot service return from Hidayat, and a backhanded killshot to finish off an attacking flurry.

Hidayat got a point back when Gade mistimed a killshot and pounded the featherball into the net instead. But Gade prevented an Indonesian surge by inducing a lift which he then hammered with a jumpsmash.

Gade scored his twelfth point of the set when Hidayat jumpsmashed to the crosscourt and sent the shuttle flying out-of-bounds.

The game Indonesian battled back but could not score. The two again went through several scoreless service turns as Hidayat tried to stave off defeat.

Gade gifted Hidayat with a point when he returned the Indonesian's low serve into the net. Then, after getting the serve back, the Dane pressured Hidayat into a netshot mistake to put the score at 13-8.

Hidayat clawed back 2 more points after that, but Gade was not to be denied the title. The Dane reached championship point with a round-the-head clip drop and then scored the title winner when he pressed Hidayat into a backhanded push shot that flew long.

Gade had won the 1999 All-England men's singles title, the most prestigious of all the tournament titles that he has won so far.


Posted With The Permission Of The Copyright Holder.

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