Morten Frost is probably the greatest player ever in recent badminton history. He was famous for being able to adapt his play to his opponent.
Morten has won practically everything worth winning except a World Championship. He reached the final twice but lost both times in 1985 and 1987. At the World Championships in Calgary in 1985 all Danes watched nervously when Morten lost his 8-3 lead in the third set as Han Jian got 12 points in a row and won the final. It was a real thriller of a match that many people remember.
At the World Championship in Beijing in 1987 the headlines read “He failed again” and “The world’s greatest badminton player is not likely ever to become World Champion”. Morten Frost said: “The draft in the huge hall with 16.000 spectators was, as it is when it is worst at All England in the Wembley Arena, and one could feel it in all 251 WC-matches. There was a “right” side and a “wrong” side, and in those matches with almost equal opponents, the winner was the one who after three sets finished on the “right” side”.
The Chinese started on the “right” side, and Frost was literally blown out. He only got two points. In the second set, Frost’s eminent defensive took over. Yang continued his fine and aggressive play but the more strokes Morten returned, the more tired the Chinese became. For the first time in the match, Morten took the lead with 11-10 and finished the set 15-13, as Yang declined from a setting to 17. Then disaster came – Yang started on the “right side” again, and everybody prayed that Morten would manage to get just four or five points before they had to change sides, but no! Despite an enormous use of strength in the first two sets, Yang still found the energy to get eight points to zero before he had to play on the “wrong” side, from where he changed the score to 10-1.
Even though it looked that way, Frost hadn’t given up. He too had an unused storage of strength left and he slowly climbed to 13-12, but then disaster stroke again. A stroke from Yang was obviously out but the line judge saw it differently and the score was now 14-12. If Frost had gotten the serve, as he should have, it would probably have been 13-13 instead, and the match would still have been open. Now Frost sent the last stroke of the match out and the Chinese won the match 15-2, 13-15, 15-12. In such an intense and long WC-final of 83 minutes, it is impossible to avoid errors from the line judges but as a Dane it is hard not to be affected by the fact that they were all to Frost’s disadvantage. It is very frustrating when an error occurs at such a time that one cannot help but think that it settled the match.
Morten has always triumphed at All England and he became champion in men’s singles in 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987 and no. 2 in 1989.
He is a Nordic Champion in singles in 1978-1984 and again in 1988, and in men’s doubles with Steen Fladberg from 1980-1982 and in 1986.
Morten Frost also became a European Champion in men’s singles in 1984 and 1986. Furthermore, Morten has won all the major Grand Prix tournaments, e.g. Danish Open from 1980-1986 and in 1989. Morten Frost holds the record of matches for the national team with 78 in the years 1976-1991.
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