All England: Delightful Day for Dutch

It was an eventful day for the Netherlands with Selena Piek/Cheryl Seinen and Mark Caljouw making the semifinals of the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships 2021 for the first time.

Both got past Indian opponents – Piek and Seinen weathered a stiff opening game against Ashwini Ponnappa/Sikki Reddy in women’s doubles, 24-22 21-12, while Caljouw was taken the distance by Lakshya Sen in men’s singles, 21-17 16-21 21-17.

Mark Caljouw made his way into the semifinals getting past Lakshya Sen.

Ponnappa and Reddy had three game points and then two more in the first game but with the Dutch fighting off the deficit, the Indians’ game unravelled in the second.

“Winning the first game would’ve made a difference. We were playing from the harder side in the second, it was a lot slower and we should’ve used more force; there was a drift from the side, and we kept playing to that side,” said Ponnappa.

The Dutch duo, delighted with their first All England semifinals, couldn’t hide their excitement.

“It’s a surreal feeling, of course we take note that the Indonesians are not here. But we’re really happy that we have won our matches and that we’re here. It’s still the semifinals at the All England. I’m very, very pleased,” said Piek.

“We were fresh from the start. We were pretty surprised that they beat the Stoeva sisters as they are seeded and we expected to play them but we prepared ourselves physically and mentally to play a long match, especially with the drift here. We really handled that well and it was so important to us to take the first game.”

For Caljouw, the semifinals is the furthest he has gone at an event of this level.

“It feels like a dream. It’s totally different from the other years, but yeah, just the semifinals at the All England feels amazing. It was a good match. There was a drift and it kept changing all through the match, and even in the third game as well when we changed sides. So it was up and down.

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