Badminton Life



What a Final at Richmond

After the excitement of the Ladies event Final at the Richmond Pro Open Finals, it was going to be hard for the Mens event to live up to the expectations but any fan who left the Richmond Pro Badminton Centre after witnessing both finals would have had nothing to complain about with regards excitement and value for money for either of the events.

The Mens Final may not have had the turnaround that Sarah Kong supplied to clinch the title but Kyle Foley and Kiran Bogevelli still managed to wow most of the watchers. Bogevelli was quickly into his stride in the opening set and by breaking into a 6-2 lead showed that he was not waiting around and was keen to follow up his impressive Semi-Final triumph over Richard Liang. Equally, perhaps Kyle Foleys controversial victory over Chris Lee was playing on his mind as he struggled to keep pace with Bogevellis blistering start.

Bogevelli maintained this intensity in the first set and extended the lead to 11-5 but this was the point where Foley finally got into the game and by strengthening his close net play the set was squared at 17 games each and it was hard to predict who of the two would be able to push on for victory. Perhaps this was the wake up call that Bogevelli required and it did seem to galvanise his play as he eventually too the first set by a 21-18 margin.

The first set is an important victory but if you are unable to follow it up with a clinching victory in the second set, it can lead to some nervous times, so there was still everything for Bogevelli and Foley to play for as they resumed for the second set. Perhaps mindful that he had to win to stay in the Final, Foley started like a steam train and roared into a 9-2 lead but just like the first set, the game took a twist just when it looked as though one player was set to run away with the set.

Bogevelli reduced the deficit from 7 to 2 as Foley held a lead of 16-14 and again, it was hard to pick who was going to win the set. A particularly exhausting rally took place which Foley just managed to steal and he used this as his catalyst and wrapped up the second set by a margin of 21-16.

The first two sets were interesting in that they followed a very similar pattern but being reflected in opposite players. In both sets, one player raced into an early lead only to have it hauled back but then regain their composure and wrap up the lead which at first looked comfortable.

The deciding set was perfectly poised with everything to play for and amazingly after two such fantastic sets, the players produced another epic encounter where the lead changed hands and power plays changed hands frequently until the set was balanced on a knife-edge with a 20-19 lead in favour of Kevin Foley. Given that Foley had lost the first set to be in with a game of winning the title was a fantastic achievement but Bogevelli knew that if he won the tie, there was a strong chance that it would be he who would be crowned champion.

The winning point was fit to win any match of badminton as Foley shot seemed to hang on the net before it tantalizingly dropped onto Bogevelli's side and this was enough to clinch the title for Kevin Foley at the Richmond Pro Open Finals.












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