All of Chinese players officially went to final matches after beaten their opponents last night. Two of them crashed favorite winner, Lee Yong Dae/Lee Hyo Jung in mixed doubles and Lee Hyo Jung/Lee Kyung Won in the ladies event. But although dominate in 4 category, unfortunately none of them were envoy in men’s doubles. After Xu Chen/Guo Zhendong lost in their first match and ended of Fu/Cai’s era, China still has critical regeneration problem in this sector as their weakest category.
The ‘mighty’ China once again showed their domination in this category last night. Gold medalist Olympic Beijing as defending champion, Lee Yong Dae/Lee Hyo Jung (1) should put down their crown after loosing their match over world #64, semifinalist China Open and Hongkong Open 2008, Zheng Bo/Ma Jin in easily straight match.
Since the beginning of first set, duo Chinese keep their lead from 4-1 into 7-4 with their aggressively attack. Zheng Bo who also plays very well in front of the net not giving any chance for Olympic champion to develop their match. Duo Lee comeback with their beautiful net winner and close their gap 12-14 but Zheng/Ma took 5 consecutive points before ended the match 21-14.
In the second set, Lee/Lee changes their strategy and play more aggressive to attack with their smash and drop shot. It’s ran very well when they have huge lead from 8-4, 13-8 into 16-9. This game like belongs to Korean but Zheng/Ma stuck up their gun and lock up them in 17-all. Ma Jin has very great defense in front of the net and beautiful placing when Zheng Bo came to attack with his drive and drop shot. Leading 19-17, Zheng/Ma finished the game 21-18.
Back again to 2006 when the last time Ma Jin played against Lee Yong Dae was in the 2006 World Junior Championships, when they were both playing with younger partners and Lee beat Ma in both the team and individual finals to win gold. Now they’re both back and playing with older partners. Lee has won the Olympics already while Ma is still looking for her first title but now she is playing with Zheng Bo, who was playing with Gao Ling before.
On the other court, China also showed their dignity when Xu Chen/Zhao Yunlei (5) buried Indonesia’s last hope, Flandy Limpele now partnering with Russian, Anastasia Russkikh in rubber set match. Although with some errors, their aggressiveness breezed Flandy/Anastasia 10-2 in the first set before reached match point 20-10 and wrapped up 21-12.
Flandy/Anastasia finally succeeded to force rubber set after tight contest in the second game. Went down from 3-6, Indonesia-Russia’s pair raised their wings to tied the Chinese from 6 into 8-all. Flandy/Anastasia took the lead from 12-9 to 15-12 but then Xu/Zhao reversed the score with their attack into 18-16. Flandy becomes to be hero in the end when he secured critical points 18 and 19-all then grab this game 21-19.
Decider game finally belongs to Chinese after Flandy and Anastasia ran out of gas. With so many errors in return, Indonesia-Russia’s pair tried to push their attack but not very good in the end. Fallen behind 9-15 and 18-9, they finally lost it 12-21.
Bao Chunlai as the first seeded also guarantee men’s singles title to China’s team after beating the only non-Chinese left, Eric Pang in 49 minutes. This match looks very easy for Bao in the first set when he took care of Eric 21-14 in the first set. But Eric found his magic in the second game when he fallen behind 9-16 then tied up the scores into 17-all. Feeling under pressure with Eric’s attacking smash and his own errors, Bao surrendered 21-19.
Eric actually has his second chance after locked off the Chinese from 7-all into 12-all after he drowned 4-7 in the beginning of decider. Bao then played clever as he gave beautiful placing outside of Eric’s reach. Eric tried to push his smash when he stepped out 12-15 and 14-17. But with 4 consecutive points, Bao ended this match 21-17.
In the final match, Bao will face his junior’s compatriot, Gong Weijie who crashed Chen Long’s dream, 21-19, 21-19. Chen has expert skills in the whole of match to level Gong experiences but obviously he’s not very good in the end when he has to clinch critical points and finish the game.
Lee Hyo Jung seems has to through her bad dream once more in this category with Lee Kyung Kwon. As defending champion in Mixed Doubles and Women’s Doubles last year, now she’s got nothing except as semifinalist title as she played not at her best performance last night. Against the winner Japan Open SS and French Open SS 2008, Cheng Shu/Zhao Yunlei (3), their defense as the basic modals to play in this sector not ran very well although they had beautiful attacking smash.
Duo Lee also lack of placing shot when they fallen behind 8-14 and 13-17 in the first set before lost their game 17-21. The aggressiveness of Chinese pair looks more clearly in the second when most of their points taking from their attacking smash. Leading huge lead 9-0, 14-4 and 17-5, Cheng/Zhao frustrated Olympic silver medalist 21-11 in the second set.
This results also makes All-China Final in the last battle as in the previous match, Pan Pan/Tian Qing destroys another Korean pair, Ha Jung Eun/Kim Min Jung (2) in two straight games. Pan/Tian might not played as aggressive as Cheng/Zhao but they could combined between attacking smash and net playing very well. Taking lead 15-4 in the first, they shut the door with 21-7.
Pan Pan who also played in mixed doubles with Xu Chen before then changes her partnership with Tao Jiaming continued her best perform in the second set. The Korean tried to pull Chinese with their placing on the backcourt. They net plays also develop so well and create more points. Meanwhile, Pan/Tian still elaborates their attacking and placing but having not less in defense. After tight match with 1-2 gap points from 0 into 17-all, Ha/Kim played not very taugh in the end. The Chinese finally ended the show 21-18.
Zhu Lin (1) and Wang Yihan (6) also crawled Chinese domination in the ladies single event after fighting for almost 1 one hour in rubber set tight contest. Zhu opened the chance for her first title in this year when she beats Netherland’s Judith Meulendijks, Zhu has great attacking in the first but then lack of focus with so many errors when she fallen behind 6-11 and 8-13. She tried to wake up and tie up the score 14-all. Judith who also has beautiful net play raised up once again 17-15 and reached match point 20-16 before clinched the game with her smash 21-18.
Everything were going to be different in the second set as Zhu forced to play in front of the net. When Judith did many errors in return, Zhu flew away 17-4 and 19-7 then closed this game 21-8. Same strategy happen in decider set. Judith minimized her errors, tried to play aggressive and gave more pressure. After fallen behind 2-9, Juidth could manage her gap 8-10 and 10-12. But Zhu don’t let her chance slipped away and reached critical points first 19-13 before sealed 21-14 victory.
Local representative, Xu Huaiwen (2) failed to stop Wang Yihan and prevail All China Final. After tight match with 1-2 gap points since the beginning of the match, Xu taking her first chance to huge lead 11-8 in the toilet’s break. Yihan who plays well in front of the net and having great attack tied up 13-all before reversing the score 15-13 and 17-15. Xu don’t want to miss her chance and locked the score 17-all. Having bad luck in the end, Xu should surrender 18-21.
The second game went so easy for Yihan. She’s taking huge lead 12-5 and 19-15 in the critical point but couldn’t finish it well as Huaiwen took 7 consecutive points to force rubber set 21-19. Lost from her power, Huaiwen fallen behind 5-12 and 8-17 in the decider set. Yihan reached match point 20-9 then finished it off 21-10.
Although lost his chance with Hyo Jung in mixed category, Lee Yong Dae as the last shuttler from Korea did perform superb with his new partner, Shin Baek Cheol last night. Both of them booked final ticket to face Japanese new raising star, Kenichi Hayakawa/Kenta Kazuno. Lee/Shin played with their solidifying heart in the beginning when they lead the score 8-2 and 11-7 against #2 seeds, Robert Blair/Chris Adcock.
But Blair/Adcock found their truly game in the end and stepped up 16-12, 18-14 and 19-16. This game looks belong to England but Lee/Shin didn’t give up easily as they took 3 consecutive points and tied up 19-all. Blar/Adcock reached match point first 20-19 but then they blew it away as the other 5 match points that they had. In the end, Korean won this tight battle 28-26.
The game was different in the second set. Lee/Shin ruled all the way from 12-5 to 16-7 and 18-10 before celebrated their glory 21-16.
Another interesting match represented by world #41, Kenichi/Kenta against America’s Tony/Howard (6). These two Japanese who played very well in front of the net playing clever with their placing and not only force attacking smash. After fallen behind 10-13, they changes the score in the end 19-16 and closed it 22-20.
As a new pair, both of Japanese players having great soft skill as Kenta who enjoyed his match and played relax until the end of set also Kenichi with his unpredictable smashing in their position fallen behind. Like in the second set, they’re stepped out 5-11 then tied up the score 14-all. Once again they missed their chance 14-18 but succeeded to equal the score 18-all. Gunawan/Howard reached match point first, 20-19 but then Kenichi’s net play and smash rolled out the score 21-20. Japanase secure their second match point 22-21 before ended the match 23-21 and reserved their first final international match.