Emerging Danish junior Anna Thea Madsen created the biggest stir today at semi finals stage of the Forza Denmark International as she advanced to her very first senior final at the tender age of just 17. Madsen has been spent much of the past year in the shadows of more high profile emerging juniors such as Sandra Maria Jensen and Line Kjaersfelt but today emerged as one to watch out for in the future after a pair of well constructed wins at quarter and semi finals stages.
The stock of the diminutive Madsen went up a few points in the quarter final as she defeated National team stalwart Karina Jørgensen in three games. Madsen then went on to defeat Nicola Cerfontyne at the semi final stage in another three set game with a display of controlled badminton as she held her nerve to see out the match 21-19 in the third set.
“After beating Karina in the quarter final I felt confident ahead of the semi final against Nicola but I knew that I had to really stay focused and in the moment to beat her. I felt good but got very nervous towards the end and really did not know which way to serve as I felt I was not getting enough length in my long serves. But this is only my second senior tournament so obviously I am very happy to be in the final” said Madsen to Badminton Europe.
It will be an all Danish women’s singles final as another of the young Danish brigade, Sandra Maria Jensen ended the impressive run of Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour to book her spot in tomorrow’s final.
Reigning mixed doubles champions Kolding and Houmann are back into another final and are really floating on the crest of a wave after their run to silver medal at the Europeans two weeks ago. The top seeds have beaten some top quality opposition this week and showed great resolve in coming back from a set down to beat fellow national players Bonde and Helsbøl to advance. Their opposition tomorrow will be the young Danish pair of Kim Astrup and Line Kjærsfeldt after the European Junior Champions took care of Olver and Mills with ease in the semi final.
In the men’s singles Swedish favourite Henri Hurskainen got off to the slowest of starts against fellow Swede Gabriel Ulldahl and trailed 11-3 in the opening game and looked completely off the pace. But as easy as flicking a switch the European silver medallist slipped into another gear after the internal and came right back to take the opening game 21-15. Hurskainen then powered home in the second to keep his winning streak going.
“I was not mentally there for the beginning of the match but I soon found my focus and was luckily fortunate enough to come back and win” commented Hurskainen. The Swede will now play a rejuvenated Rune Ulsing in tomorrow’s final after the Dane destroyed top seed Brice Leverdez in two games.
The reigning women’s doubles champions, Ropke and Kruse look on track to retain their title but will come up against stiff opposition in tomorrows final in the shape of the new English pair Gabrielle White and Lauren Smith.
Finally and as expected the men’s doubles final will be all Danish after Kolding/Skovgaard came through against English Duo Mills and Langridge. The number 2 seeds will face the unlikely duo of Antonsen and Bonde in the final after their semi final victory over top seeds Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup.
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Article and Image by Mark Phelan (Live in Frederikshavn)