Japan Open in Tokio 06.-11.04.04
After the Korea Open in Chungju City
we continued to Tokyo to the Japan Open, where I took care for the biggest
surprise of the tournament. Due to
the many tournaments, I had already played on 25 international Tournaments
within a year, I did not take part in the single start, in order to concentrate
me fully on the double with Juliane.
It is not always easy to dance on two weddings simultaneously and so far
my decision was always gold correct.
In Japan I wanted to start again in both disciplines. However, when I saw
my draw, I thought that it would have been probably better not to play.
Actually, I had to play directly in the first round against the last year’s
winner Camilla Martin, who was set at position six on this tournament. After her
injury at the All England Open in the middle of March in Birmingham it was the
first test for her on an international level. During the warm up I noticed the fact
that she moved still somewhat carefully and had problems to reach my drops.
Well, I tried to play just my game and not to deal too much with their
situation. At the result of 2-0 we changed services very frequently without
managing to make points. Then I managed finally to make a very long ball change,
so that she had to move properly. After a short time I led with 7-2 and could
win this set also with 11-2. I made suddenly no more errors and I tried to play
controlled and offensive, and I succeeded to do it very well. In the second set Camilla became more
confident and it was more difficult for me to keep up. She had many incredible tricky hits, so
that it was important for me not to move too early. At the midle of the set I
noticed that I became somehow tired, but I held against it and kept on
fighting. At the result of 10-8 I
had my first match ball and became somewhat more nervous. I mean, it does not often happen that
someone has a match ball against Camilla Martin. After I could not use that, I made a
direct point with 11-11 with a long service, about which she was very
annoyed. That is why she made an easy mistake
in the ball change thereafter and I could win the play after 33 minutes. Unbelievable, but she gave me a chance
and I used it. What Camilla said
about the game you can read on http://www.worldbadminton.net/ under Sayonara Camilla,
Exactly four hours later were the
eighth-finals, where I met the current European champion Yao Yie from
Holland. One year ago I already had
the pleasure to play against her here and could win in three sets. But this time it seemed from the
beginning on not good for me at all. I had not been absolutely up to the speed
in the first set and gave it up quite clear with 3-11. At the result of 4-8 I exploded and from
then on I dominated the game.
Finally, I led like against Camilla 10-8 but again could not make the
final point. Then Yie led with
12-10, but fortunately she made two slight mistakes and I could win the set with
13-12. In the third set I felt
myself confident from the beginning and could lead directly with 6-2. I managed to enlarge my advantage
through long rallies and it was not to overlook that my opponent was tired. This motivated me more and I gave all my
power and strength . This time I
let it no longer burn with 10-4 advantage and realised directly the first match
ball. Thus I stood in the this
year’s quarter-finals of the Japan Open.
What a wonderful day!
After I defeated the European
champion I met in the quarter-finals the current world champion Zhang Ning from
China. Already during the warm up I
noticed that I do not meet the balls correctly, because it was totally windy in
the hall. Just before my game the
air conditioning system was switched on, since it was in an inhuman way hot in
the hall. Unfortunately I was too
busy with the wind to concentrate myself on the game. I made so many easy mistakes, since I
had absolutely no control of my hits.
Instead of to play the balls over the center I tried to set them on the
line with the result that they blew all in out. Despite everything the game was okay and
I had to give myself with 6-11 and 2-11 up.
In the doubles we had this time one
of the most difficult draws at all.
We played (and we played really good) against the third in the World Rank List
RA and Lee from Korea (9-15/6-15), but we did not really have a chance to win a
set. We kept up good with, playing
long rallies, but the Koreans had mostly the better end. It was good that we managed to reach the
eight-finals in Korea and we did not need the points here necessarily.
Immediately after this tournament
comes the European championship in Geneva, which will be the last tournament in
the Olympic qualification. Of
course, it would be a beautiful ending, if I would come back at home with a
medal. I hope you think of me and
wish me luck! I will keep you up to