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Jorgensen's run continues, Koo/Tan impressive

http://www.sports.cn/ 2009-11-22 00:16:00

Saturday, November 21, 2009 - By Raphael Sachetat.

Jan Jorgensen secured his ticket for the final of the LI-NING China Open after beating Chen Jin in a suspenseful match where Chen was down with cramps and injury.

Coming to China, Jan Jorgensen probably never imagined he was about to live his best ever tournament. On Saturday, the 22 year old Dane could still not believe what had happened to him after another long and thrilling match against the Olympic bronze medalist. He had just beaten him 22/20 in the decider.

The match however was clearly a different one to watch than any other in this tournament, for one specific reason - Chen Jin, half way into the second game, injured his right foot and in spite of a comfortable lead, wasn’t able to convert the second game after winning the first game 21/11.

Leading 16/12 in the second game, the Dane then understood he had to keep the rallies going. “I saw that he was struggling to move so I just kept the shuttles in hoping that I would get the chance to level up. But at times, he was jump smashing and hitting hard so I didn’t know what to think,” said Jorgensen.

The latter managed however to crawl back into the game, cheered by his only compatriot in the Hall, his coach Klaus Poulsen and clinch the second game 21/18.

A whole new game was starting in the third and during the first half; Chen tried to forget about the pain and pushed his limits, attacking the shuttle quite early into the rallies to avoid spending too much energy. It worked until both players changed ends at 11/16 for the Chinese.

But few minutes later, he was calling for the doctor, strapping his right ankle. Back on court, he was limping and obviously bothered by cramps. At this very specific point, he still was four points ahead of Jorgensen at 16/12.

“It was very difficult to play against him. I knew he was injured and I knew I had all the chances to win. I started catching back and things started going around in my head, like playing Lin Dan in the final. I did a lot of thinking as the end of the match was approaching but fortunately I was able to focus again on what was happening on court,” added the Dane.

At 16/15, the Chinese found the resources to hit down the line with one of his famous round the head attacks, but it was all he could do as he seemed to be limping harder and harder after each point, looking often at his coach Xia Xuanze, probably asking himself whether he should just give up or keep fighting.

When both players reached 18/18, the fans cheered for Chen Jin ever more than throughout the rest of the match, but the Dane was in charge, making the Chinese walk the four corners. The latter fought as hard as he could, using his wrist and his amazing technique to try to make up for his injury, but Jorgensen played cleverly and placed two good attacks down the line to lead 20/19 before finally wrapping up the match.

For Chen Jin, the loss had a bitter taste and he was very angry coming out of the match, even if he admitted he did his best. “Losing is losing. I was injured but I don’t want to talk about that. I tried my best and that’s what was important today,” he said.

Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong seem to be back at a career high. With a victory in Switzerland, another one in Denmark and a final the following week in Paris, the duo has climbed the ladder again to find themselves at the top of the world ranking.

And their fare in China will make it an even more comfortable lead even if their closest rivals Lee Yong Dae and Jung Jae Sung could be their opponents in Sunday’s final in Shanghai. The Malaysian duo clearly enjoyed themselves on court today, back at their best, but also, back at their usual tricky and fun mood, to the fans’ delight.

“It’s true every time we play without pressure – we play well. But it’s not easy to be without pressure all the time. For this tournament, it’s easier as we almost pulled out because we were just exhausted after Hong Kong. We still gave it a shot and now we’re in the final, it’s great and we couldn’t expect so much. Maybe this is why we have been able to play so relaxed today,” said Kien Keat.

Koo/Tan beat Chinese Taipei’s Chen Hong Ling/Lin Yu Lang 21/15, 21/13 and will play Korea’s Lee Yong Dae and Jung Jae Sung in the final. The Koreans beat Denmark’s Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen 21/16, 19/21, 23-21.

However, there was no cheer for Malaysia’s women’s doubles pair of Wong Pei Tty and Chin Eei Hui after they were beaten by China’s Zhang Yawen and Tian Qing. The fight was even in the first game, but after the Chinese won 21/17, the second went by much more quickly 21/8.

Korea’s Lee Yong Dae and Lee Hyo Jung also entered the mixed doubles final after a great match against Songphon Anugritayawon and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul  who didn’t go down without a fight. The Koreans won 21/13 – 20/22 – 21/15 and will meet Zheng Bo/Ma Jin in the final.