General

So close yet so far for Astrup and Rasmussen (Photo: Badminton Photo)
-It all ends here
Date: 12/15/2018 7:11 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
The semi-finals at the HSBC BWF World Tour finals in Guangzhou, China was a spectacle to behold. Players left everything on court today in their attempt to reach the finals, to be crowned the best of the best in this season finale.

Europe’s sole representatives today featured in the final four Men’s Doubles pairs fighting to play in tomorrow’s final. Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen of Denmark performed valiantly in a very tough Group A. Losing in three competitive games, against the world number ones Gideon and Sukamuljo, as well as the current World Champions Li and Liu. But recording an impressive victory against Han and Zhou despite the strong home support. Following the world number ones’ withdrawal due to injury, the Danes found themselves in the semi-finals against Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe.

We gave it our best
It was clear from the outset that the Danes were very well up for the match, storming into a lead and showing a lot of dominance in the rallies. However, despite leading throughout the first game, they allowed the game to reach a very tight and tense conclusion. It was the Japanese pair who were able to hold their nerve and play a successful counter attacking game, winning 21-19. The Danes then lost their flow in the 2nd game and were not able to regain control. This was echoed in comments made by Kim Astrup today after the match

-We are disappointed that we didn’t get that 1st game, and even more disappointed with the way we didn’t manage to stay in the match mentally in the 2nd game… we gave it our best, that just wasn’t good enough today.
 
Astrup and Rasmussen’s semi-final result is a continuation of their good form in China, after a title win at the China Open in September and a quarter-final finish at the Fuzhou China Open just last month. Understandably disappointed by the match today, but they have done Europe proud. Astrup aptly signs off the year by saying

-It all ends here... semi-final loss to a very well playing Endo/Watanabe . Hats off to both of them and good luck tomorrow…Thanks for the support all week, it has been a pleasure 

The final match-ups tomorrow:

Women’s Singles - P.V. Sindhu (IND) vs Nozomi Okuhara (JPN)

Mixed Doubles – Zheng Siwei/ Huang Yaqiong (CHN) vs Wang Yilyu/ Huang Dongping (CHN)

Men’s Singles – Shi Yuqi (CHN) vs Kento Momota (JPN)

Women’s Doubles – Misaki Matsutomo/ Ayaka Takahashi (JPN) vs Lee So Hee/ Shin Seong Chan (KOR)

Men’s Doubles – Li Junhui/ Liu Yuchen (CHN) vs Hiroyuki Endo/ Yuta Watanabe (JPN)

For the full fixtures and results, click here.

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