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(Photo: Badminton Photo)
The Danish doubles title hopes dashed by Japan
Date: 3/20/2021 8:12 PM
Published by : Yash Sharma
In the men's doubles category, both the semifinals featured Danish vs Japanese showdowns. As it turned out, both went Japan's way.

The defending champions were a class above their opponents as they demolished the Danish challenge 21-13, 21-11 in just 36 minutes. The young pair of Jeppe Bay/ Lasse Mølhede tried their best, but could not come up with anything to trouble the fourth seeds. 

- Our tactic is to never give up. We kept playing our style today and that's why it was a good win. We haven't seen them play, we've only studied them on video. We just stuck to our tactics and maintained our play, Watanabe was cheerful. 

A positive outlook

Bay/ Mølhede acknowledged the superior level of their opponents.

- We knew that there would be a lot of long rallies. They have a very strong defence, so every time we come forward they just pushed us back again. We knew it was going to be tough today and they played really well, Mølhede said. 

- After the first game, we didn't really change our game plan. Just to try to get a little more speed in our legs and arms to get some energy on court. We tried to take our chances but against such a good pair, it is not easy to get it done, Bay added further. 

- We've played some really good badminton in this tournament. I thought we also played really well in patches today. A lot of positives for us!

Astrup/ Rasmussen fall short

The other semifinal was quite contrasting. The Swiss Open champions Kim Astrup/ Anders Skaarup Rasmussen started really well and led 16-11 in the first game. However, the third seeds raised the bar to eventually claim it 21-18.

- We started off very well, we played a good first game. Losing the first game from 16-11 up is not good enough and we have to take advantage of our chances to put extra pressure on our opponents. They played a very good game and made it difficult for us, Astrup admitted.

- In the second half of the second game, we got a little bit frustrated. We were not playing that well and used up too much energy on the negative side. That's a bit frustrating right now but we played well and tried our best, he continued.

- We couldn't play our best in the first game. After that, we focussed on serving and receiving, so that we could play our style, Kamura explained.

The match was theirs on the 45th minute, after winning 21-14 in the second game. 

Despite having had a great week so far, the Danes were not happy about missing out on a chance to contest the All England final.

- We've had a good week and had other good weeks, but losing the chance to play in an All England final is a tough one to take; no matter how good the week has been, Rasmussen was straightforward.

History in making

An all-Japanese men's doubles final will be played out for the first time in the badminton's oldest tournament. 

- It's a fantastic tournament. We're very pleased to play and we'll be focussed tomorrow, Watanabe said.

- We are meeting the Japanese in the final and we'll enjoy it. Since the opponents are the last year's champions, we feel it is a challenge against them, Kamura noted.

While the third seeds will hope to equalize the record against their compatriots, Endo/ Watanabe will look forward to a successful defense of their All England crown.
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