Sunday showdown for Lee and Gade
Denmark's Peter Gade, seeded third in the India Open Super Series, almost didn’t make it through the first round where he had played a much younger Japanese player Kazushi Yamada.other Updated: Apr 30, 2011 23:37 IST
Denmark's Peter Gade, seeded third in the India Open Super Series, almost didn’t make it through the first round where he had played a much younger Japanese player Kazushi Yamada.
Three matches later, Gade is eyeing the title with top seed Lee Chong Wei being the only hurdle.
As the weekend crowd cheered Gade, he made his way past Korea’s Park Sung Hwan with a 21-15, 21-19 win.
For someone who was on the verge of being eliminated on the opening day, reaching the final after beating three Japanese and a Korean player has not been a smooth ride. But the ever-cheerful Gade didn’t want to think about the past as he is now in the final.
He has played world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei 11 times till date and has lost on 10 occasions. “Park is a great player and I had to bring my A-game for this match,” Gade said. About Sunday’s final, he said in jest, “Oh, that would be A+++++…”
The 34-year-old, who is one of the fittest and most consistent players in the world, is now looking for his first Super Series title since the 2009 Korea Open victory.
“For the past one year, I haven’t gone beyond the quarterfinal and semifinal stages, I am in the final and have a shot at the title now. I am very pleased about that,” he said.
Lee was yet to play his semifinal match, and Gade said he would “bet his house” that Lee would be in the final.
LEE DOES A FEDERER
And sure enough, the tournament favourite beat eighth seed Hu Yun of Hong Kong 21-11, 21-15 to book a date with the Dane.
In the second game, when Lee was leading 8-5, Yun picked up a difficult smash to send the Malaysian to the back of the court. Lee chased the shuttle to the end of the line and hit it between his legs --- like tennis ace Roger Federer often does. Badminton being a speed-sport, it’s not easy to play such shots. But not only was Lee able to hit it perfectly, he was able to send it across the net much to Yun’s bewilderment. The rally continued, but Yun won the point.
“I don’t know about that shot!” Lee said, shaking his head. “I was just lucky (to have hit it perfectly).”
The women’s singles final will be played between third seed Korea’s Bae Yoo and Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk. In men’s doubles, the Japanese pair of Hirokatsu Hashimoto and Noriyasu Hirate reach the final.