The shuttlecocks that are being used at the ongoing 2021 Denmark Open were too fast, according to many players including Viktor Axelsen and Lee Zii Jia.
Shuttlecocks come in different speeds and the shuttlecock with the optimum speed is used depending on the ambient temperature, humidity and air pressure of a stadium.
The common shuttlecock speeds are 76, 77 or 78; 76 being the slowest and 78 being the fastest.
78 was the speed of the shuttlecocks used in the Denmark Open till yesterday. They were suddenly changed to 77 near the end of the session yesterday.
Axelsen told TV2, “It is very difficult to play here because the shuttle is very fast. I hope it will be changed because even though it is nice, it’s fast, it’s not exactly good badminton that is being played.”
Lee Zii Jia was also of the same opinion and said, “The shuttles are really fast today, which is something I did not expect. You can see there were a lot of errors in the first game. I was trying to slow (my shots) down and keep it in.”
After receiving such complaints from the players, the tournament referee asked Danish player Mikkel Mikkelsen to test the speed of the shuttlecock.
It was discovered that the shuttles were indeed too fast.
The tournament referee then ordered that the shuttles used for the matches be immediately changed from speed 78 to 77.
Normally shuttlecock speeds are only changed between sessions and not during a session. Players are also informed in advance that the speed of the shuttlecock has been changed.
However, yesterday at the Denmark Open, no player except Mikkel Mikkelsen was notified about the change in the speed of the shuttlecock.
4-time Denmark open winner Joachim Fischer Nielsen said, “You should preferably play with the same speed all day, but when the shuttles are too fast, it is a good idea to test them again.
“If you then choose to switch, you have to make sure that ALL players from the remaining matches are informed. Otherwise, it is deeply unprofessional.”