PETALING JAYA: Unheralded Joel Eipe-Rasmus Kjaer and Jeppe Bay-Lasse Molhede served up a doubles delight for the Danes despite falling by the wayside at the Denmark Open.
World No. 125 Eipe and Kjaer proved that they are the stars of the future although their fairy-tale run in the men’s doubles ended in the semi-finals in Odense yesterday.
Eipe-Kjaer put up a fighting display before going down 20-22,16-21 in 51 minutes to Rio Olympics bronze medallists Chris Langridge-Marcus Ellis of England in the semis at the Odense Sports Park.
Although they came up short in becoming the first home pair to reach the final since Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen won in 2010, Eipe and Kjaer, both 23 and 22 respectively, have showed plenty of promise.
It marked the pair’s best result having previously finished runners-up in the lower-tier Spanish International Challenge and Austrian Open last year.
While Eipe-Kjaer have certainly capitalised on the absence of the world’s top pairs this week due to Covid-19 fears, they still performed admirably well. In particular was their shocking victory over their fourth seeded compatriots Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen in the last 16.
Denmark will also hope Bay and Molhede, their world No. 91, will continue to impress in the future after their run to the last eight.
They nearly knocked out former All-England champions Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov of Russia before losing 21-15,13-21,19-21 on Friday.
The two pairs’ run will be cherished by Denmark who are desperate to fill the void left in the men’s doubles department due to the retirement of several long-serving veterans this year.
Former world No. 1 Boe and Mogensen, together with Mads Conrad-Petersen, were the three doubles specialists who had hung up their racquets.
Denmark will need at least another strong pair to beef up their doubles line-up if they are to contend for the Thomas Cup trophy in the postponed Finals that they will host next year.
Astrup-Rasmussen are the country’s highest-ranked pair at world No. 12 while Mathias Bay-Smidt-Lasse Molhede are at a distant No. 51.
Men’s doubles: Marcus Ellis-Chris Langridge (Eng) bt Joel Eipe-Rasmus Kjaer (Den) 22-20,21-16.
Women’s singles: Carolina Marin (Spa) bt Yvonne Li (Ger) 21-17,21-11.
Women’s doubles: Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota (Jpn) bt Christine Busch-Amalie Schulz (Den) 21-18,21-6.
QUARTER-FINALSMen’s singles: Rasmus Gemke (Den) bt Max Weisskirchen (Ger) 21-13,21-10; Kenta Nishimoto (Jpn) bt Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (Den) 21-12,21-12; Anders Antonsen (Den) bt Jan O Jorgensen (Den) 21-12,21-10; Chou Tien-chen (Tpe) bt K. Srikanth (Ind) 20-22,21-13,21-16.
Men’s doubles: Marcus Ellis-Chris Langridge (Eng) bt Christo Popov-Toma Junior Popov (Fra) 21-19,21-17; Joel Eipe-Rasmus Kjaer (Den) bt Fabien Delrue-William Villeger (Fra) 21-18,21-18; Ben Lane-Sean Vendy (Eng) bt Jones Ralfy Jansen-Peter Kaesbauer (Ger) 21-18,21-13; Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov (Rus) bt Jeppe Bay-Lasse Molhede (Den) 15-21,21-13,21-19.
Women’s singles: Yvonne Li (Ger) bt Lianne Tan (Bel) 15-21,21-12,21-17; Carolina Marin (Spa) bt Zhang Beiwen (US) 17-21,21-17,21-14; Michelle Li (Can) bt Mia Blichfeldt (Den) 21-17,21-7; Nozomi Okuhara (Jpn) bt Julie Dawall Jakobsen (Den) 21-6,21-12.
Women’s doubles: Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota (Jpn) bt Chloe Birch-Lauren Smith (Eng) 13-21,21-16,21-19; Christine Busch-Amalie Schulz (Den) bt Julie Macpherson-Clara Torrance (Sco) 22-20,21-9; Gabriela Stoeva-Stefani Stoeva (Bul) bt Emilie Lefel-Anne Tran (Fra) 21-5,21-8; Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara (Jpn) bt Maiken Fruergaard-Sara Thygesen (Den) 21-19,21-15.
Mixed doubles: Julien Maio-Lea Palermo (Fra) bt Sam Magee-Chloe Magee (Irl) 21-15,21-15; Chris Adcock-Gabrielle Adcock (Eng) bt Gregory Mairs-Victoria Williams (Eng) 19-21,21-11,21-16; Mark Lamsfuss-Isabel Herttrich (Ger) bt Mathia Christiansen-Alexandra Boje (Den) 21-16,19-21,21-14; Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith (Eng) bt Jeppe Bay-Sara Lundgaard (Den) 23-21,21-12.
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