The recently concluded Denmark Open gave an opportunity for not so well known players to earn a place for themselves at the international level.
Three players in particular attracted our attention.
The following is an assessment of the players here at 360Badminton.
1. Nhat Nguyen, Current rank 63
Nhat Nguyen played against the world No. 2 Chou Tien Chen, the highest seed in the tournament, in the round of 16. Even though he lost the match 8-21, 16-21 he showed really good signs of becoming a good player in the future.
Nguyen has good shot quality with good control of the shuttle and a decent netplay. He plays with a good amount of deception and he is quick on his feet. His attack is well balanced with his defence as well.
His idol is Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei and just like his idol, he fights for every single point. It was a real pleasure to watch him play his first Denmark Open.
While commenting on Nhat, BWF commentator Steen Pedersen said, “We see he has the acceleration of a dangerous player. “
He is the gold medalist at the 2016 European U17 Championships in boy’s singles event. He won the bronze medal in the doubles event at the same championships.
2. Joel Eipe, Current rank 125
Joel Eipe and Rasmus Kjaer played the eventual tournament winners Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis in the semifinals of the men’s doubles. Eipe in particular showed a lot of potential in this particular match.
Eipe has a good tactical mind and he has a good follow up. He has good clears, strategic shuttle placements and a good interception capability at the net. He is not particularly a tall athlete but his smashes are steep.
He seems to be a calm and collected personality on court.
Morten Frost: “Quick on his feet, shows tremendous fighting spirit.”
He is a silver medalist at the 2015 World Junior Championships in the Boy’s doubles event.
3. Toma Junior Popov, Current rank 62
France, MS, MD
The DANISA Denmark Open 2020 was Toma Junior Popov’s first Denmark Open. And it would be safe to say that he has done very well for himself. He reached the Round of 16 in the men’s singles discipline and the semi-finals at the men’s doubles discipline.
Popov has nice angles to his shots and seems to be a stable player on the court. His steep smashes are an added bonus as well. His experience as a doubles players adds to his gameplay in the single’s discipline. His sharp flat exchange technique can be attributed to his doubles experience as well.
He almost gave Jan O Jorgensen a run for his money in the round of 16.
He was the European champion in three disciplines at the 2017 European Junior Championships. He won the boy’s singles, boys’ doubles and mixed doubles at the event. He is the only non-Dane to achieve this feat.
Played men’s doubles with his younger brother Christo Popov, who is also a singles player at the Denmark Open and they reached semifinals.