China’s Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei have reserved their place in the Mixed Doubles quarter-final after beating Korea’s Sung Hyun Ko and Hye Won Eom in the round-of-16 match of the 2011 French Open Super Series, at Paris, France, on Thursday, October 27.
The World Number One couple of Nan and Yunlei had to dig deep to beat the Korean opponents in a thrilling three-set contest which took 48 minutes of quality badminton from both sides. However, the Korean couple failed to play well in the third game and lost the match.
The Chinese shuttlers played positive game in the opening set and won it with a reasonable score. However, they lost focus in the second set against the Koreans and lost it without putting up strong resistance. In the final set, Nan and Yunlei delivered their best performance and won it with a one-sided score.
Both couples put up strong show in the opening set when they played attacking game to take an early lead. However, they failed to create a gap in the opening half of the game as the score remained close.
After the break, the Chinese shuttlers started to play well at net and earned many points by taking weak returns. The Koreans failed to play positive game in the second half against the in-form Chinese shuttlers, who finished up the set with a margin of 21-17.
In the second game, the Koreans changed their strategy and employed attacking strokes. It worked well as they remained successful in pushing the Chinese couple on the back foot. Nan and Yunlei committed many mistakes and lost the set with a huge margin of 11-21.
In the decider, the top seeds came in the court in a different mood. They displayed phenomenal performance in this set by controlling the pace of the rallies. Their aggressive strokes spared no chance for the Koreans to make a comeback in the game.
Nan and Yunlei won the third set with a striking margin of 21-11. This 48-minute pre-quarter-final battle ended in three games with a 21-17, 11-21 and 21-11 margin on the score board.