Piek & Muskens deliver on home soil
Date: 10/12/2014 10:52 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
Coming into today’s final of the Yonex Dutch Open the home nation had a pair opportunities to land gold in both the mixed and women’s doubles. In the end one from two was not a bad return as Selena Piek and Eefje Muskens added the Dutch Open Grand Prix to the Belgian International they secured back in September.

The Dutch world number 11 have been eager to prove themselves against tough Asian opposition and this week in Almere they had their chance to do just that. Their opponents in today’s final were the well-travelled Vita Marissa and her partner Shendy Irawati and after sharing the opening games the Dutch knew they were involved in a real battle.

It certainly was not vintage Piek and Muskens today, as they found it difficult to lift their game that had taken them to the semi-final, but winning is a habit and yet again the Dutch world number 11 pair pulled the victory out of the bag taking the third and fourth games in an exciting battle in the experimental 5 to 11 system.

“We kind of won ugly today as we didn’t play all that well. But to win playing not at our best is somewhat pleasing and to do it in front of our home crowd is a sweet success” said Piek after the victory.

Earlier Jorrit De Ruiter and Samantha Barning were unable to make it a 100% record for the home nation on finals day as they went down in a pulsating final against Widianto and Dili of Indonesia.

French flair shines through

All week the French duo of Careme and Labar had been defying the odds and yet again in today’s final the French duo were underdogs against the flamboyant duo Kuriawan and Putra from Indonesia.

The Indonesians took the opening game before the French bounced back to take the second and third games albeit in controversial circumstances. The Indonesians had game point in the third game at 10-9 before the French levelled it at 10-10. Ronan Labar played a flat drive to the base line in the deciding rally and though the shuttle looked out the line judge called it in to the utter disbelief of the Indonesians.

The French went on to take the fourth set and with it claim the Yonex Dutch Open title 2014.

Singles revenge for USA based Zhang

Zhang Beiwen claimed the women’s singles title and with it revenge for her defeat earlier in the summer at the Canadian Open to Pai Yu Po of Taipei. It was Pai who got off to the best start leading 8-3 in the opening set but that was as good as it got for the likeable Chinese Taipei girl and the American came right back to steal the opening game 11-9.

Zhang powered home in three games to add yet another title to her growing list of success’s and was obviously delighted with her victory.

“It was nice to get revenge over Pai today as she has been the only one this year to really beat me well at tournaments we have played.” Said the American after her victory.

In the men’s singles Ajay Jayaram completed a memorable comeback after 6 months out of the game with a shoulder injury to lift the Dutch Open title over Indonesian youngster Mustofa.

“This was a close match and I knew he wold run forever as he is young and full of life” said Jayaram

“To win after a tough year with injury is especially pleasing and I now look forward to building my ranking again before I get back playing some Super Series event.

Article by Mark Phelan (Live in Almere)
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