Aviva Newsroom - 11 June 2006

Aviva Open Singapore - Smashing success

11 June 2006

Gade won the Aviva Open Singapore 2006 Men's Singles title

Thousands of boisterous fans turned up at the Singapore Indoor Stadium to catch the exciting action of Aviva Open Finals. All–time favourite Gade has finally won the Aviva Open Singapore 2006 Men's Singles title, and he did so in convincing style.

He beat fellow Dane Kenneth Jonassen in the Finals at the Singapore Indoor Stadium with a masterful display, leaving his opponent totally devastated.

The score line, which read 21–14,21–10, tells the story of how Gade, the No. 1 seed in the five–star international tournament, totally dominated the proceedings.

Deceptive at the net, and deadly with his smashes, Kenneth just had no answer to Gade's performance and ultimately surrendered the crown he had won in 2004.

For the 30–year old Gade, victory was such sweet satisfaction. Especially when it came after nine attempts to win with the closest being the 1998 edition when he lost to Indonesia's Hendrawan in a pulsating final.

"Finally, I have done it and winning [the Singapore Open title] means so much to me. I have come to Singapore so many times but I've not been able to win once. I'm very happy with my performance on the courts. And it means a lot to me to have finally won one of the big ones " said Gade.

There was little doubt right from the very first shuttle that the money was on Gade in his match against Jonassen.

Gade trapped Jonassen at the net often, and attacked with smashes that he could not handle.

As Jonassen said later, "Gade never gave me a chance to settle down. He was almost perfect and I must apologise to the fans for not being able to give Gade a better fight."

France's Pi Hongyan lifted the Women's Singles crown with her 22–20,22–20 win over Netherland's Mia Audina in a display of true grit and determination.

Audina had held the match point in both games but her opponent fought back to force a duece before storming home to secure her victory. As Pi admitted after the match, "I was chasing the game throughout the match and had to come from behind to snatch victory. That's why it's such a satisfying victory for me," said Hongyan who left China in October 2000 for permanent residence in Paris.

Seeded No. 2 in the tournament behind Audina, Pi's victory in Singapore yesterday came almost a year after she won the Danish Open, beating another former Chinese teamate Xu Huawen who is now wearing German colours, in the final.

For Audina, born and bred in Indonesia, it was a painful loss.

Especially so when victory was already within sight.

"I can only feel pity for myself for not taking the chances and bag the title. But to Hongyan's credit, she fought hard and she fought well. Looking back I should have attacked her when I held match point in both sets, but I let go and paid the price," said Mia.

In the Women's Doubles Final, which was an all–China affair, the pair of Zhang Jiewen and Yang Wei, who between them, have won the Singapore Open nine times, triumphed yet again yesterday.

They beat Zhang Dan and Zhao Tingting 21–18,21–18 to pocket US$10,370.

The Mixed Doubles Final saw a titanic clash between the world's best two pairs – Indonesia's Nova Widianto and Lilyana Natsir and England's Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson.

It was a clash between the reigning world–champion versus the Olympic 2004 Silver Medallist, respectively.

Finally after a three–game battle, the Indonesian pair won 21–16,20–22,23–21 to pick up their second Aviva Open Singapore crown, the first being in 2004.

Indonesia picked up their second title when Men's Doubles pair of Sigit Budiarto and Flandy Limpele defeated Denmark's Thomas Laybourn and Lars Paaske 21–8,21–16 to avenge their defeat at the hands of Danish combination in the third round of the Indonesian Open last week.

"We are a new combination and [the Aviva Open Singapore 2006] is only our second tournament together. To be frank I don't know what's next for us. It's up to the Indonesian Badminton Federation to decide. But I feel we are comfortable with each other, as today's victory suggested," said Sigit who won the Aviva Open last year with Chandra Wijaya who has since retired from the National team.

RESULTS of the Aviva Open Singapore 2006:

Men's Singles Final

Peter Gade (1), Denmark, defeated Kenneth Jonassen (2), Denmark, 21–10, 21–14

Women's Singles Final

Pi Hongyan * (2), France, defeated Mia Audina Tjiptawan (1), Netherlands, 22–20 22–20

Women's Doubles Final

Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen (1), China, defeated, Zhang Dan and Zhao Tingting, China, 21–18 21–18

Men's Doubles Final

Flandy Limpele and Sigit Budiarto (7), Indonesia, defeated Thomas Laybourn and Lars Paaske, Denmark, 21–8 21–16

Mixed Doubles Final

Nova Widianto and Lilyana Natsir (3), Indonesia, def. Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms (1), England, 21–16 20–22 23–21

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