Danish Open: All Europeans are Out

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Youngsters trying once more

Farum, Denmark, 23 November 2002. The two 14 year old Chinese GUO Yue and LI Xiaoxia are on their way to their 5th Pro Tour final in Women’s Doubles. Today they had to fight hard against the Hungarian pair Csilla BATORFI and Krisztina TOTH.

The Chinese were leading 3-1, but TOTH/BATORFI fought back to 3-3 and even had a match point in the decisive game. The Hungarians got an edge ball to go to 10-9 , but the Chinese survived and finally won the 7th game with 12-10 .
GUO Yue and LI Xiaoxia are Chinese champions - the youngest ever, but they have not yet won a Pro Tour together. They might succeed with the fifth attempt.

First they will have to beat the German pair Nicole STRUSE and Elke WOSIK in the semi-finals. The other semi-final will be a matter between ZHANG Yining/LI Nan (CHN) and Ai FUJINUMA/Hiura REIKO (JPN).

Steff took her revenge

Farum, Denmark, 23 November 2002. Mihaela STEFF from Romania took her revenge in the round of the last 16 in Women’s Singles against KIM Kyung Ah of Korea. In the finals at the Japan Open STEFF lost to the Korean, but on Saturday she won in a very good match 11-8 in the 7th game. When the quarter finals will be played later on Saturday STEFF is the only European left.

It was a classic match with STEFF attacking and KIM desperately defending with a lot of beautiful rallies.
STEFF lives a dangerous life at the Farum Danish Open. In the previous round she won 12-10 in the 7th game against compatriot Otilia BADESCU.

“I am very tired now, but I will be fit for the next round”, says STEFF who will face LIN Ling (HKG).

“I have never met her before. It will be a difficult match, but I will fight for my chance”.

Top Korean RYU Jia Hae had to give up fighting for her chance for qualifying for the Grand Finals. RYU lost to SONG AH Sim (HKG), and the Korean will not be in Stockholm

Ma still going strong

Lausanne, Switzerland, 23 November 2002. MA Lin (CHN) looks to be on his way to win his 2nd Pro Tour Title in a row. After winning the Polish Open last week he is running over anybody who gets in his way at the Farum Danish Open as well. In the 3rd round MA steamrolled Adrian CRISAN (ROM).

MA won all the first three games 11-4. Then he took a break and CRISAN got a single game before MA finished the match in the 5th game.
Next obstacle might be a little bit more difficult for MA Lin. In the quarter finals he will face Korean RYU Seung Min, like MA Lin one of the fastest moving players on the World scene.

Werner SCHLAGER (AUT) who lost to MA Lin in the final in Poland, still has the chance to get his revenge. The opportunity will come in the semi-finals if MA Lin beats RYU – and if SCHLAGER beats Swede Peter KARLSSON.

The two other quarter finals will be rematches as well. Timo BOLL (GER) meets KONG Linghui (CHN) whom he beat in the World Cup final few weeks ago.

Dane Michael MAZE is obviously feeling fine at home. He beat Danny HEISTER (NED) 4-1 and will now face Swede Jens LUNDQVIST in the quarters. MAZE beat the Swede last week in Poland.

No Europeans left

Lausanne, Switzerland, 23 November 2002. The last European in the Women’s Singles left the Farum Danish Open, when Mihaela STEFF (ROM) lost to LIN Ling (HKG) in the quarter finals.
STEFF could follow the strong Hong Kong player to 2-2, but in the long run the Romanian could not resist.

LIN took to the victory 4-2 to advance to the semi-finals on Sunday morning against top seed ZHANG Yining (CHN). ZHANG Yining beat easily SONG Ah Sim (HKG) 4-0.
14 year old Chinese GUO Yue still has time to become the youngest Pro Tour Singles Champion ever. She is still in after beating compatriot CAO Xingni 4-2.

Maze broke the pattern

Lausane, Switzerland, 23 November 2002. Many top players – even Pro Tour title winners – have difficulties when they play in front of their home crowd. What about Zoran PRIMORAC and the Croatian Open, Jan-Ove WALDNER and the Swedish Open and BLACZSZYK and KRZEZEWSKI and the Polish Open.

Young Dane Michael MAZE on Saturday broke that pattern, surprisingly going to the semi-finals at the Farum Danish Open after beating Swede Jens LUNDQVIST 4-1 in the quarters.
“For me it was really wonderful to go so far - especially at home, says MAZE.

Before the Farum Danish Open started MAZE knew that he needed a good result to qualify for the Grand Finals in Stockholm – and he got it. Now he will face German top star Timo BOLL on Sunday morning. BOLL – once more – beat the Olympic Champion KONG Linghui (CHN).

“I did not make many mistakes. My attacks and return were very good , and I really felt well. Now I have a positive score against KONG, says a pleased BOLL after his victory

BOLL and MAZE already years ago seemed to be the new European stars, but in the meantime BOLL took some big steps forward – without MAZE. Now the Dane has the chance to get even.

The other semi-final will be a rematch of the final at the Polish Open. Polish Champion MA Lin (CHN) meets runner up Werner SCHLAGER (AUT).

MA Lin beat Korean RYU Seung Min who could only follow the Chinese to 2-2. Then MA ran away and won the match 4-2. SCHLAGER overcame Swede Peter KARLSSON in a thriller of a match winning only 11-8 in the 7th.

Boll bat the Olympic champion

BOLL, Germany played fantastic well when he qualified to the semifinal in the men singles beating the olympic champion KONG Linghui, China 4-1 .

- I think I played very well and did not make many mistakes. My attacks and return were very good , and I really feell well, I have a positive score against KONG and I am happy I succeded again , BOLL said after his victory

Tomorrow the German European champion will meet the Dane MAZE Michael, who bat LUNDQUIST, Jens Sweden 4-1. MAZE is in his second semifinal. The first one was in this years Brasil Open.

- For me it was really wonderful to qualify into the semifinals in a Pro Tour - and especially when it is on the homeground , said a happy MAZE after his quarterfinal.

The last semifinal will be between number one in the world MA Lin and SCHLAGER Werner, Austria who won 11-8 in decisive set against KARLSSON, Sweden

Rendez-vous with teenagers

Farum, Denmark, 23 November 2002. For the first time ever two 14 years old meet each other in a Pro Tour semi-final. That is a fact after the quarter finals in Womens Singles at the Farum Danish Open.
GUO Yue (CHN) will be in her fourth semi-final this year (Austrian, German, Polish and now the Danish Open).

She will meet her compatriot Li Xiaoxia who is also only 14. Together they are also in the semi-final in doubles, where they will meet the German pair Nicole STRUSE and Elke WOSIK.

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