Lång a firm crowd favourite
Date: 11/22/2014 10:05 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
Ville Lång became a honorary Scot for the day in today’s semi-final of the Scottish Open Grand Prix at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow as the Finnish number one came from a set down to beat Ukraine’s Dmytro Zavadsky in a thrilling 85 minute encounter.

The bearded Lang (pictured) was pushed right to the wire by Zavadsky who has proved a formidable opponent for Lang in the past. Indeed both men had played each other no fewer than 9 times in recent years and Zavadsky had a decent 3 wins 6 loss record against Lang, where many players of the same calibre have failed miserably to trouble Lang for their entire career.

Zavadsky must have thought his luck was in once again, and after surviving a 3 match points in the very first round in Glasgow, the Ukrainian looked in control after taking the first game 21-18.

Those who know Ville Lang know that the Finn enjoys nothing more than a long haul match and after taking the second 21-17 the crowd got firmly behind Lang as he danced his way around the court and celebrated close points as only he could.

The third game proved to be a war of attrition and both men looked physically drained by the time match point came around for Lang. The Finn finally got across the finish line after 85 minutes and even he was unable to celebrate with his by now traditional ‘muscle salute’ as he looked completely out on his feet.

“The games between Dimi (Zavadsky) and I are always a battle.” said Lang. When asked about the length of the match and its demands Lang still had time for a joke, “Was it that long? I could go for two hours if I needed”

When asked if he expected such a performance this week in Glasgow, Lang as always was forthright with his answer. “No I did not expect this result. I actually had a flight booked for earlier today as I expected to be heading home before the semi-finals.”

Lang will now meet Wang Tzu Wei in tomorrow’s final after the Taipei shuttler beat 2012 champion Anand Pawar from India in two games.

Danish young guns on the crest of a wave

Danish men’s doubles pair Mathias Christiansen and David Daugaard continue their rise up the world rankings and reached tomorrow’s final without dropping a set the entire week in Glasgow. The young Danes look the real deal as they saw off the threat of new English pair Matthew Nottingham and Harley Towler in two games in the first semi-final match on the TV court this afternoon.

Like Lång the young Danes had not expected such a run and had checked out of their hotel but were quite happy to have to search for an additional nights accommodation as they claimed their first ever grand prix final appearance.

The Danes will now play German duo Beck and Heinz in tomorrow’s final which is sure to be an all action encounter given the all-out attacking style of both pairs.

Elsewhere Lauren Smith and Heather Olver showed their undoubted potential as they cruised into their first final after only four tournaments together. The English are sure to have their hands full in Sunday’s finale where they will meet the Stoeva sisters from Bulgaria who disposed of the home threat of Gilmour and Bankier with apparent ease.

It proved to be a poor day for the queen of Scottish badminton as Gilmour lost out in the semi-final of the women’s singles to Sayaka Sato and the Japanese will now play Spanish number two Beatriz Corrales in tomorrow’s final.

There was some light at the end of a dark Scottish tunnel as defending champions and top seeds Bankier and Blair did come through in their mixed doubles semi-final and will now play one of the hottest mixed doubles tickets on the European circuit, Niclas Nohr and Sara Thygesen in the final in what is sure to be a packed arena with very vocal support for the home heroes.

All results from Scottish Open GP can be found by clicking HERE
For a full Facebook semi final photo gallery click HERE

Article and Images by Mark Phelan (Live in Glasgow for Badminton Europe)
© All rights reserved.

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