BadmintonPhoto: Pedersen/Rytter Juhl (DEN) Olympic Games semi-final 2016
European Women’s doubles ready for historic final
Date: 8/16/2016 10:19 AM
Published by : Emma Lollike

Women's Doubles Semi-finals: Denmark has never had a Women’s doubles in an Olympic final, for China, it is a completely different story – a great example would be the all-Chinese final in London 2012. Despite of these facts, the Danes, Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl walked out on court looking remarkably relaxed. 

In the beginning of the first set, the two pairs kept each other company all the way to 7/7, before the Danes pulled away from Tang Yuanting/Yu F Yang [2] and took the lead to 11/8.

Smiles, a happy attitude and good composure brought the Danes ahead in the whole set. At 19/13, it looked like a comfortable win, but the Chinese crawled back up to 19/16. But nothing could shake Pedersen and Rytter Juhl at that point of the game apparently, and they took the first set: 21/16.

In the second set, Tang and Yu seemed to have made improvements and took the lead to 6/3 and held on to it all the way to 11/7. With a Chinese service fault and a great defense from Christina Pedersen brought the Danes only two points behind. 

In a first set, where everything seemed to go their way, the Danish duo had difficulties finding the outer lines at the back court and an insecurity grew in their game. And too many mistakes made a Danish comeback impossible and they lose the second set 14/21.

Going in to the third set, it was certain that the Danes needed to regain their confidence in order to win. And so they did. A defense that could help them hold their ground and a confidence to play the way they loved, ensured a quick Danish lead to 5/1. They had no intentions on slowing down after that, and with help from Tang and Yu’s mistakes, they shifted sides with the score: 11/4. 

The Danes maintained a lead on 3-4 points, and by 20/15 it seemed to be the end in the semi-final, the Danes having five match points to seal the game. But they needed four of them before they could call themselves Olympic finalists.

The other Women’s doubles semi-final, determined that Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi [1] of Japan will be the Danes' fellow finalists this Thursday.
Matsutomo/Takahashi seemed to have things under control during the first set, after a start where both pairs needed some time to get comfortable on court.
But the second set became more close, and they accompanied each other all the way to 8/8, before the Japanese pair left the Koreans behind for a 11/8 mid-set score. They worked hard for every point, and a strong defense on both sides of the net did not make winning points come any easier. But in the end, Matsutomo/Takahashi proved their 1st seeding by taking the last set with their first match point, winning 21/16, 21/15. 

For the first time ever, there will be no Chinese pair in the Women’s doubles final at an Olympic tournament. Instead the Danes will take on Matsutomo and Takahashi from Japan in the final on Thursday.

Men's Doubles Semi-finals
Chai Biao/Hong Wei of China vs V Shem Goh/Wee Kiong Tan of Malaysia was the first line-up in the Men’s doubles semi-finals. The Malaysians had the best start and reached 11 first, but the Chinese keeps pushing forward and they met again at 15/15. A service-fault and a hard smash from Malaysia brought them back in the lead, and they continued to maintain a small distance of 1 or 2 points until they met yet again at 18/18, where Goh and Tan finished the first game of with a score of 21/18. In the second game the Chai and Hong was the first to reach 11, and did not slow down until winning 21/12.

But the Malaysians gets the best start and take the lead early on leading to a 21/17 victory in the third game. Goh and Tan have never been in a Super Series final together before, so the final on Friday will be their first. Beating first seeds Lee/Koo of Korea in the Quarterfinal, they have proved that they are ready for the challenge. 

It is not the first time Chinese Fu Haifeng is in a semi-final in at the Olympics, but it is the first time with Zhang Nan. In London 2012, Fu won a gold medal with his former partner Cai Yun, but today they have the Team GB-surprise that is Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge as their opponents, who have shown that they have great play to match the surprise. 

Fu has the fastest smash in the world, and Ellis and Langridge have trouble finding their ground when Fu and Zhang take the early lead: 4/11. They never really seem to make their game work and being a bit behind every time, and an 14/18-lead by the Chinese is turned into a 14/21 win.

In the second set, Ellis and Langridge got a better start and kept up with the Chinese in the first half until the score 7/8, where the Fu and Zhang take the lead to 7/11. The British duo crawled back to 11/12, trying to get a hold on the hard-hitting Fu and Zhang. As soon as they seem to be catching up, the Chinese increased the lead, and Ellis and Langridge always halted two or three points behind. Contact was obtained at 15/15, and they got ahead by 1 point for the first time in the match, only to be behind 16/17 shortly after. 17/18 becomes 18/20 and the Chinese become the second Men’s doubles finalists of the day. 

Ellis/Langridge have a shot for a bronze medal Aug 18 against Chai Biao/Hong Wei, see what time here  
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