Frost’s First Major Title11 June, 2018
As everybody will remember Indonesia was by far the most successful nation at the World Championships in Jakarta a year ago with four titles and only one for Europe.
At the Danish Open in March in Brondby Hallen near Copenhagen it was the reverse. Four titles for Europe and one for Indonesia with Denmark's Morten Frost and Lene Koppen winning the singles. England's Nora Perry/JaneWebster and Mike Tredgett/Nora Perry winning the ladies and mixed doubles respectively leaving only men's doubles to the World Champions Christian Hadinata/Ade Chandra.
As Danish Open 1982 will be staged at the former venue, KB Hallen in Copenhagen, due to World Championships in ice skating in Brondby at the same time, this year's tournament was regarded as the dress rehearsal for the World Championships 1983 - the same venue and almost all the international top players led by the seven current World Champions.
The All England Champion in Ladies Singles Sun Ai Hwang from South Korea played her first matches in Europe during Danish Open. She was joint top seed with Lene Koppen but did not impress the Danes when she lost in the quarterfinal to Canada's Wendy Carter. However, Sun Ai Hwang and her team-mates only arrived from Korea a few days before the tournament started. They had the usual problems with time difference, acclimatization etc. and proved their skill in the following European tournaments.
The men's singles final was a match between the two 3-4 seeds, Morten Frost, Denmark, and Prakash Padukone, India, who now plays for the Danish club Hvidovre. Both overcame the top seeded Indonesians in the semi finals, Frost beating Hadyanto 15-4, 15-6 and Prakash beating the World Champion Rudy Hartono in an exciting three-game match 5-15, 15-9, 15-6. Hartono conducted the first game with beautiful strokes. But the seven years younger Prakash had the stamina and took control from halfway in the second game. In the final Frost forced Prakash to play defensively. The Indian had difficulties in answering back and with 15-7, 15-5 Frost won, however strange it may sound, his first major title in international Badminton.
Like Frost, Lene Koppen didn't concede one game on her way to the fifth open Danish championships. Strangely enough her opponents at the start scored the most points. Michiyo Tomida, Japan, got eight and Lene Axelsson, Sweden, 12. But Lene finished with 11-4, 11-6 over World Champion Verawaty, Indonesia, in the semi final and 11-1, 11-2 over Saori Kondo, Japan in the final.
The Swedes were the toughest opponents to Christian and Chandra in Men's Doubles. After beating a Danish and an English pair in the opening matches the Indonesians had great difficulty beating Claes Nordin/Lars Wengberg in the quarter final. The result was 15-9, 11-15, 15-12.
Semi final was against Stevens/Tredgett, England, and despite setting the match was won in two games 15-12, 18-13. And then again three 'Swedish games" in the final, 15-5, 15-18, 15-10 over Thomas Kihlstrom/Stefan Karlsson.
In return the Swedes had had a very hard semi final against the young Danish pair Michael Kjeldsen (17) and Mark Christiansen(18). The youngsters were probably the biggest surprise in the Danish Open. After having beaten Kevin Jolly/Eddie Sutton, England, in second round they took care of the seeded Japanese Masao Tsuchida/Yoshitaka Iino and went on to fell Danish No 1 doubles Flemming Delfs/Steen Skovgaard in the quarter final. With no respect for the famous Swedes they won the first game of the semi final against Kihlstrom/Karlsson and led 9-0 in the second. But from that point the Swedes closed the door scoring 12 points in a row and dragging the morale out of the internationally inexperienced Danes. Swedish victory 15-17, 15-10, 15-3.
The Korean pair of Yun Ja Kim/Sang Hee You caused the only upset in Ladies' Doubles beating 5-8 seeded Danes Lene Koppen/Anne Skovgaard in the second round. The Koreans went on to the semi final losing 9-15, 10-15 to the eventual champions Nora Perry/Jane Webster who beat Yoshiko Yonekura/ Atsuko Tokuda, Japan, 15-12, 18-15 in the final. The Japanese pair outclassed in their semi final the other English top pair Gillian Gilks/Paula Kilvington with 15-3, 15-5.
Mixed Doubles was after the book up to the quarter finals where two 5-8 seeds beat the two 3-4 seeds. Martin Dew/Barbara Sutton, England, won 15-9, 11-15, 15-9 over Steen and Anne Skovgaard, Denmark, and Steen Fladberg/Pia Nielsen, Denmark, beat Billy Gilliland, Scotland/Wendy Carter, Canada, 15-6, 15-4. Both pairs, however, lost their semis to Christian/ Imelda, Indonesia, and Mike Tredgett/Nora Perry respectively while the English pair got a powerful revenge in the final for their defeat in Jakarta winning 15-5, 15-2.
Most of the matches in men's singles starting the second day were only watched by a very few people. Not because the spectators stayed away but because almost everybody was in a nostalgic mood and wanted to witness a particular match - Probably the last one ever between two giants, Rudy Hartono and Svend Pri. The 35 year old Dane was very close to victory in the very well played first game but couldn't prevent his good friend from winning 15-12, 15-4.
-- By Hans Moller - World Badminton, June 1981