Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lost But Advance to Semi-finals

Roger Federer wipes sweat when he plays against Juan Martin del Potro

Both Roger Federer and Robin Soderling lost in their last match of their group but they progress to the semi-final of ATP World Tour Finals. Both topped the group with 2 points. Federer failed to revenge his loss to Juan Martin del Potro in US Open 2009 final as he was conquered 2-6, 7-6 (5), and 6-3, while Soderling was defeated by Nikolay Davydenko 6-7 (4), 6-4, and 3-6.

Del Potro's Win Knocks Murray Out

In the group A, following Andy Murray's 6-4, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3) victory over Fernando Verdasco this afternoon, the only scenario that could see Murray miss out was a del Potro win in three sets.

That would then see the three players tied on match wins and sets won and lost, with the semi-finalists decided on percentage of games won.

And it all came down to one game, with Federer winning the group and del Potro pipping Murray courtesy of his 45 games won to 43 lost, while the Scot's record read 44-43.

"I knew if I won the match then there was only one way I couldn't go through, and that was del Potro winning in three sets and then I think it would go down to the games won," Murray said after the match.

"I just had to focus on winning and then there's a very slim chance of me going out."

Unfortunately for Murray, that slim chance proved to be the reality as Del Potro won the final set with the only score that would put Murray out - 6-3.

Federer said: "There are certain rules and these are the rules. Sometimes unfortunate, sometimes fortunate.

"This time they're very hard for Murray, who didn't get through, but he got so close. How can we imagine that we all play three sets and it comes down to a couple of games?"

World Number Two in the Bottom of Group B

In the Group B, world number two Rafael Nadal as he went down 6-7 (5), 3-6 to Novak Djokovic. Nadal, suffered back injury in the second set, exits the tournament without having won even one set.

Meanwhile, Djokovic, who was successful in Paris Masters and Basel by beating Nadal and Federer in the finals, did not qualify to the semi-final. The Serb's game percent was worse than Soderling's and Davydenko's.

Federer vs. Davydenko and Soderling vs. del Potro in Semi-finals

Davydenko will set up a semi-final clash with the four-times Tennis Masters Cup champion Federer today. He is hopeful to beat Federer. But his head-to-head against Federer is bad. He never won a match against the world number one for their 12 meetings. Moreover, Federer has won 14 straight sets against Davydenko.

In the night session, Group B winner Soderling will take on del Potro. Soderling, who play in the ATP World Tour Finals because he replaces world number six Andy Roddick who withdrew, tied 1-1 with del Potro in their winning record.

Group A Final Standings

1. (1)Roger Federer 2-1
2. (5)Juan Martin del Potro 2-1
3. (4)Andy Murray 2-1
4. (7)Fernando Verdasco 0-3

Group B Final Standings

1. (8)Robin Soderling 2-1
2. (6)Nikolay Davydenko 2-1
3. (3)Novak Djokovic 2-1
4. (2)Rafael Nadal 0-3

* () = seed


picture by reuters

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Federer Masters Murray

Murray congratulates Federer

London (11/24) - Roger Federer will end this year as world number one as he outclassed British Andy Murray 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the ATP World Tour Finals second round robin match.

The O2 Arena, with hardly an empty seat, gave both players a rapturous welcome and they were immediately rewarded with a fabulous opening point, an epic baseline rally eventually won by Federer when Murray mis-hti a forehand so badly it hit the scoreboard.

The Swiss was broken twice as Murray, who also hit six aces, wrapped up the first set. But Federer upped his game in the second set and made a decisive break in game six to level the match at 1-1.

Murray's serve, which had been so dominant early on, faltered as Federer broke threee times to wrap up the win.

"I played a great match and him as well. I'm glad it lived up to the expectation. Andy was playing well and I couldn't get a proper read on hsi first serve. He's also one of the best returners in the game and when you're behind against the top guys it's not easy. But's it's a huge improvement and gives me confidence," said Federer, the 15-time Grand Slam champion.

Juan Martin del Potro beat Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 3-6. 7-6 (1) in the earlier match.

The result leaves Federer top of Group A with two wins while Murray is in second place with one win and one defeat.

Neither man is guaranteed a place in the semi-finals but his victory guarantees Federer will end the year as world number one.

Group B Monday (11/23) results:

Robin Soderling def. Rafael Nadal 6-4. 6-4
Novak Djokovic def. Nikolay Davydenko 3-6, 6-4, 7-5

Federer drinks water during a match against Murray

pictures by reuters

Arsenal 2-0 Standard Liege

Arsenal won Champions League Group H with something to spare after dismissing Standard Liege 2-0 at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

After taking 10 points from their opening four games, Arsenal were virtually through before kick-off anyway. This result just rubber-stamped their passports for the Knockout Stages.

Arsenal were pressing after the kick-off. A goal seemed likely. It should have arrived five times in the 15th minute.

It all started when Fabregas took a corner, and Arshavin's point-blank shot was saved. Then Vela's collected the rebound and planted the ball against the post. Then Gallas had two efforts blocked by the keeper. And finally Vermaelen's vicious shot beat everyone, hit Arshavin on the line and flew wide.

On the half-hour, Gallas nudged a header over the bar from a Fabregas cross. The Frenchman clashed heads with Arshavin in executing the chance. Both players needed lengthy treatment. The Russian had gash on the top of his head and Gallas had swollen eye worthy of a heavyweight boxer.

The home side had not yet returned to 11 men when they took the lead. Given the bizarre events so far, it was relatively mundane. Vermaelen punted the ball forward towards Nasri and Landry Mulemo, the covering defender, slipped as he tried to intercept. The Frenchman pounced then lifted his shot over the keeper and into the far corner of the net at the 35th minute.

It was so nearly 2-0 a couple of minutes later. Nasri slipped a clever ball to Arshavin who drove a low shot inches past the keeper's left-hand post.

Fabregas nearly rubbed salt in the wound seconds later when he whistled a low drive across goal and beyond the far post.

On the whistle, Gibbs tapped the ball to Denilson 25 yards out. He took a touch, looked up and thumped it. Keeper Sinan Bolat, so brilliant early on, could only parry the ball into his own net. Nevertheless it was an excellent strike.

Denilson celebrates his goal

In the second half, Arsenal makes two substitutions: Gallas to Mikhail Silvestre and Nasri to Theo Walcott. However, no goals were created. At the 87th minute, Standard played with 10 men after Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez was given a red card. He had been going head to head with Fabregas.

But Fabregas was also handed a yellow card for that action.

Finally, Arsenal qualified to the next stage after winning in the first half and keeping Standard under control.

That was the only concern on a crushingly comfortable night at Emirates Stadium.
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Defending Champions Reign in Shanghai

Lee Yong-dae and his partner Jung Jae-sung celebrate win

Shanghai - Defending champions dominate China Open final as they won four events. Last year winners are Lee Yong-dae/Lee Hyo-jung, Yong-dae/Jung Jae-sung, Lin Dan, Jiang Yanjiao, and Zhao Tingting/Zhang Yawen. This time, only women's doubles winner is different - Tian Qing partnering with Zhang.

Great Lee Yong-dae

Lee Hyo-jung and Lee Yong-dae reacts during a match against Zheng Bo and Ma Jin

It was a perfect fairy-tale ending for Yong-dae in China, earning two titles from mixed doubles and men's doubles. Yong-dae, pairing with Hyo-jung, prevailed over local favorite Zheng Bo/Ma Jin who beat the Koreans four times this year.

The world number one pair claim their first title after 2-months absence with a 21-18, 15-21, 21-15 win in 1 hour 16 minutes. They always led the match in the final set as Zheng/Ma only equalized one times 14-14.

Two hours later, Yong-dae was back on court to play his second final of the day. With Jae-sung, he challenged world number one Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong.

The Koreans and Malaysians each gave their best to win the match, which featured rallies lasting even longer than the women’s doubles. Kien Keat and Boon Heong returned smash after punishing smash from the second seeds as Yong-dae/Jae-sung finally outshone the Malaysians 21-13, 19-21, 21-18 and win their second title in a row. That proves the number twos are better than Kien Keat/Boon Heong.

"Today I'm very happy that I had a great match today. It can be considered a world class game. I'm very happy of our performance even if we lost," said Kien Keat at the press conference.

Yong-dae said that the match was fun: "Koo and Tan's defense is very good and that really got the fans going. It was very tiring and if we hadlost, we would have really regretted it. Overall, it was really a fun match to play."

Yong-dae has collected 4 China Open titles.

Too Good for Jorgensen

Lin Dan poses with Jan O Jorgensen

China's best men's singles player Lin Dan was too strong for unexperienced Jan O Jorgensen. Lin Dan triumphed over the Danish in an easy 38-minute two sets, 21-12, 21-12.

"I feel that this year, compared to other men's singles players on BW circuit, my results were not the best," said Lin Dan.

'This is mainly because Bao Chunlai won four competitions and I also won four and same for Lee Chong Wei. Everything was quite balanced. But for me, in 2009, I am very happy that I had a smooth sailing year."

However, what Lin Dan said is not quite right since his teammate Bao Chunlai only won 3 titles this year.

"Winning a home is always a great feelinga nd I am glad I did as I had some injuries before the tournament. It's the end of the year and I am quite satisfied with my performance after the Olympics.

"I've grown to be a better player from 2004 to 2008, and now, I am also seking to be even better. I feel like I still have a lot in me and I would like to prepare the best I can for London Olympics," stated Lin Dan.

All-Chinese Women's Finals

Hong Kong Open finalist, Jiang Yanjiao, ends her title drough in 2009 as she gains women's singles title. She repeated her last-year success in China with a victory 21-19, 22-20 over unseeded Wang Xin.

Zhang Yawen/Tian Qing humbled 2008 Olympic gold medalists, Yu Yang/Du Jing, 21-14, 21-14. This win may delay Zhang's retirement as she has planned a retirement because of several injuries.


pictures by and internationalbadminton

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Satisfactory Saturday

Shanghai - Lee Yong-dae and Lee Hyo-jung produce a satisfying result in China Open semi-final as they reached their first final after two-month absence. Nevertheless, the top seeds had to strove hard to shatter the dream of Thailand's last and only hopes, Songpol Anukritayawan and Kuchala Worawichitchaikul.

Yong-dae (21) and Hyo-jung (28) beat Songpol/Kuchala 21-13, 20-22, and 21-15 to oppose. In fact, the Olympic gold medalists had led 20-19 in the second set, but seventh-seeded Songpol and Kuchala chased the points and won the second set 22-20. In the third set, Yong-dae/Hyo-jung controlled the match since they left Songpol/Kuchala 5-2.

Next Yong-dae/Hyo-jung will have a final showdown with world number three who are seeded second, Zheng Bo/Ma Jin.

Yong-dae Mighty Is He Lee Yong-dae

Once again, Lee Yong-dae showed how mighty he is as he and Jung Jae-sung join in the men's doubles final. Yong-dae played six sets and two deuces in a day: three sets and a deuce in mixed doubles as well as in men's doubles.
Next the world number two will give a real test for Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong whether Kien Keat/Boon Heong deserve world number one title or not.

Yong-dae/Jae-sung, two-time world championship finalists, outstripped fourth-seeded Carsten Mogensen and Mathias Boe with a tough 21-16, 19-21, 23-21 triumph in an hour 19 minutes.

The Korean pair was left behind 3-10 in the final set and trailed behind, equalizing 13-13 and 16-16 before they began to chase point after point to 23-21 win.

Contrary to 2008 All England champions' difficult victory, 2007 All England winners -Kien Keat/Boon Heong easily advance to the final after 21-15, 21-13 win over unseeded Chen Hong-Ling/Lin Yu-Lang in just 26 minutes.

“We do not have a good record against them. The last time we played against them was in the Malaysian Open this year and we were beaten in the semi-finals," Boon Heong commented about the final against the Koreans, quoted from thestar.

Seeded vs. Unseeded

Home player, second-seeded Lin Dan, will have a duel with unseeded Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark in the men's singles final. Lin Dan, who has a group of prestigious title such as Olympic gold medal, world champion for three times in a row, and four-times All England champion, mastered Korean Park Sung-hwan 21-10, 21-11.

Meanwhile, O Jorgensen, who never win even one first-rate title, made a big effort to hinder all-Chinese final as he brought disappointment to Lin Dan's countryman Chen Jin 11-21, 21-18, and 22-20.

Saturday (11/22) Semi-final Results:

Women's singles
6-Jiang Yanjiao (CHN) def. Wang Shixian (CHN) 21-17, 21-14
Wang Xin (CHN) def. Li Xuerui (CHN) 21-19. 21-19

Women's doubles
6-Tian Qing/Zhang Yawen (CHN) def. 3-Wong Pei Tty/Chin Eei Hui (MAS) 21-17, 21-8
2-Yu Yang/Du Jing (CHN) def. 4-Ma Jin/Wang Xiaoli (CHN) 22-20, 21-18

Friday, November 20, 2009

Songpol/Kuchala Challenges Top Seeds

Thailand's Japan Open winners, Songpol Anukritayawan/Kuchala Worawichitchaikul, will challenge Korea's world number one pair of Korea, Lee Yong-dae and Lee Hyo-jung, after subduing Chen Hong-Ling/Chou Chia-Chi in tough three sets, 11-21, 21-17. and 21-16.

Yong-dae and Hyo-jung cruise to the semi-final with a straight-set 21-18, 21-15 win over China's Tao Jiaming/Tian Qing in 41 minutes. 2008 Olympic gold medalists are looking for their third title of this year.

Local players Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei and world number three Zheng Bo/Ma Jin also progress to the semi-final. Zhang/Zhao beat Indonesian tough new pair Lilyana Natsir/Devin Lahardi 21-14, 14-21, and 21-14 while Zheng/Ma defeated Taiwan's Lee Sheng-Mu/Chien Yu-Chin 21-12, 21-16. Lilyana used to be Nova Widhianto's partner and Devin was Lita Nurlita's.

Yong-dae Fabulous He Lee Yong-dae

As usual, 21-year-old Lee Yong-dae has a good stamina and wonderful performance that he is able to reach two semi-finals. In the men's doubles, Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung (27) overpowered home players, Guo Zhendong/Xu Chen 21-14 and 21- to compete against fourth seeds, Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen.

However, Yong-dae/Jae-sung's success is not followed by countrymen Shin Baek-cheol/Cho Gun-woo. Baek-cheol and Gun-woo, both of whom had been Yong-dae's partners, bowed down to Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong after giving a tough fight. Kien Keat and Boon Heong struggled hard before winning the match 15-21, 21-18, 21-18.

Singles' Semi-final-Ticket Bookers

In the men's singles another Korean player, Park Sung-hwan, has the opportunity to meet one of the world's best badminton players, Lin Dan. Sixth-seeded Park needed to pay the semi-final ticket with a marathon match against China's Du Pengyu, 23-21, 18-21, and 21-14, in an hour and 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, world champion Lin Dan just needed 37 minute to humble Indonesian Simon Santoso in a comfortable 21-12, 21-12 win. In the top half, Lin Dan's teammate Chen Jin defeated Simon's teammate, Sony Dwi Kuncoro, 21-16, 15-21, and 21-12, to take on Danish Jan O Jorgensen.

O Jorgensen, who shocked top seed Lee Chong Wei by giving Lee a first round exit, continued his success to the last four after prevailing over Thailand's number one Boonsak Ponsana 21-11, 21-19.

In the women's singles, Wong Mew Choo failed to prevent all-Chinese semi-final by surrendering to China's Wang Shixian 10-21, 22-24. Mew Choo, the China Open 2007 winner, led 11-7 in the second set and left Wang 20-19 and 22-21. Nonetheless, she could not maintain her position and let Wang equalized the score 22 all and then won 24-22.

Wang will play the only seeded player, Jiang Yanjiao, in the semi-final. In the bottom half, qualifier Li Xuerui stunned world champion Lu Lan in only two sets, 21-17, 21-19, to face Wang Xin in the semi-final.

ATP World Tour Final Opening Match

Roger Federer poses with car prize in Shanghai after winning Tennis Masters Cup 2007 against David Ferrer

British Andy Murray will open the first day of ATP World Tour Final with a match against 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in the afternoon round robin match on Sunday (11/22). The following match will be world number one and four-time Tenis Masters cup champion, Roger Federer, facing Fernando Verdasco in the evening session.

Federer, Murray, Del Potro, and Verdasco are in a Group A.

Spanish world number two Rafael Nadal will play Swede Robin Soderling in a Group B match on Monday as defending champion Novak Djokovic will meet last year finalist Nikolay Davydenko during Monday's evening session.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shining in Shanghai

Shanghai - Lee Yong-dae and Lee Hyo-jung, who completed their revenge to Fran Kurniawan and Pia Zebadiah 21-11 and 21-14 in the first round, successfully passed the second-round test from Flandy Limpele and Cheng Wen-Hsing with a 18-21, 21-17, and 21-7 triumph. In the quarter-final, the world number one will confront Tao Jiaming and Tian Qing of China.

Lee Yong-dae also shines in the men's doubles. He and Jung Jae-sung also progress to the quarter-final following a 22-20 and 21-13 victory over Tao and Sun Junjie in just 31 minutes.

Another Chinese pair who stand in their way are Guo Zhendong and Xu Chen, who sank Indonesia's Rian Sukmawan and Yonathan Suryatama Dasuki 21-17 and 21-19.

Astonishingly, former world number one Hendra Setiawan and Markis Kido crashed out to Fang Chieh-Min and Lee Sheng-Mu 19-21, 21-11, and 21-15. The Taiwanese pair will meet fellow countrymen, Chen Hung-Ling and Lin Yu-Lang.

Another teammate clash happens in other quarter-final match. Last week Hong Kong finalists Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen will face Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen.

Meanwhile, at the top of the draw, Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong are challenged by Korea's young Shin Baek-cheol and Cho Gun-woo.

Local Favorite Lin Dan Marches On

Defending champion Lin Dan moves to the quarter-final of China Open Super Series after defeating his junior Chen Long 21-12 and 21-15 in 38 minutes. Next, he will play Indonesia's Simon Santoso.

Also through to the quarter-finals are two other local players, Chen Jin and Du Pengyu. Fourth seed Chen will meet another Indonesian, Sony Dwi Kuncoro, while Du will face the tough Korean Park Sung-hwan, who beat Wong Choong Hann 21-15, 21-16 previously.

In the topmost half, Jan O Jorgensen, who surpassed Lee Chong Wei in the first round, will play against Thailand's number one Boonsak Ponsana.

Wong Mew Choo among 7 Chinese

After an unsatisfactory run in Hong Kong, Wong Mew Choo surprisingly stunned the world number one from China, Wang Yihan, in an only straight-set match, 21-18 and 21-17. However, she is surrounded by other seven quarter-finalists, who have the advantage of playing in their own homeland. Wong will take on China Masters winner, Wang Shixian, who defeated Maria Kristin of Indonesia.

Besides Lu Lan, Wang Xin, and sixth-seeded Jiang Yanjiao, three qualifiers made it to the quarters as well. Unexpected Xia Jingyun ousted seventh seed Saina Nehwal; Wang Xin downed second-seeded Tine Rasmussen, and Lu Lan eliminated her higher-ranked junior, Wang Lin.

Four of eight quarter-final berths for the women's doubles have been captured by local players: Cheng Shu/Zhao Yunlei (seeded 1), Yu Yang/Du Jing (2), Ma Jin/Wang Xiaoli (4), and Tian Qing/Zhang Yawen (6).

The rest are taken by Ha Jung-eun/Lee Kyung-won, Duanganong Aroonkesorn/Kuchala Worawichitchaikul, Wong Pei Tty/Chin Eei Hui, and Wang Pei-Rong/Chien Yu-Chin.

pictures by and

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

An Opportunity to Revenge

Top-seeded Lee Yong-dae and Lee Hyo-jung have the opportunity to revenge against Indonesia's Fran Kurniawan and Pia Zebadiah who defeat the Korean pair in last week Hong Kong Open second round, 19-21, 19-21.

Yong-dae/Hyo-jung will face Fran/Pia in China Open first round that will start tomorrow (11/18). If they pass Fran/Pia, they will receive a challenge from compatriot Ko Sung-hyun/Ha Jung-eun or Indonesia's Flandy Limpele and Taiwan's Cheng Wen-Hsing.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hong Kong Open Final

  • Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung Are Too Good

    Korean best men’s doubles pair, Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung won Hong Kong Open title with a 13-21, 21-15, and 21-8 triumph over 2003 world champions, Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen, in 50 minutes. 21-year-old Yong-dae and Jae-sung (27) were too powerful for the veterans.

    In the third set, Yong-dae and Jae-sung successfully made big gap in their points as they left the Danishes 17-3 and they ultimately ovecame Paaske/Rasmussen 21-8. This is Yong-dae's fourth men's doubles title of this year after Indonesia Open, German Open, and Malaysia Open.

  • Surprising Winners

    Mateusiak and Nadiezda Kostiuczyk of Poland surprised former world number one pair, Nova Widhianto and Lilyana Natsir, by upsetting in straight sets. 2007 world champions suffered 20-22 and 16-21 loss in 32 minutes. It was the shortest match of the day.

  • So-so Matches

    Lee Chong Wei (27) exceeded another Danish finalist, Peter Gade, 21-13, 13-21, and 21-16. Chong Wei needed to rise and fall to finish the third seed. However, his win is not surprising because he played better than Gade and his rank is higher than Gade.

    China's Wang Yihan subdued teammate Jiang Yanjiao 21-13 and 21-15. Wang Xiaoli/Ma Jin claimed women’s doubles title as they beat 2008 Olympic gold medalists, Yu Yang and Du Jing, in 58 marathon, 16-21, 21-19, and 21-12.

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First Final after Two-Month Absence

Hong Kong (11/14) - Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung cruise to Hong Kong Open final as they edged Indonesia's Alvent Yulianto and Hendra Gunawan out 21-15, 21-14 in 31 minutes at Queen Elizabeth Stadium. This is the Korean pair first appearance after their two-month absence because of Yong-dae's injury. And the world number two pair prove they have the quality of world class by achieving the final.

In the first set, Alvent/Hendra led 6-4 before the third seeds, Yong-dae/Jae-sung, turned back the points to be 18-13 and won the set 21-15.

The second set was like the first set when Yong-dae/Jae-sung was left 1-8. They chased the points and when it was 8-8, it became their turning point. After that, the 2008 All England champions always led the set, defeating Alvent/Hendra 21-14.

Yong-dae and Jae-sung will take on Lars Paaske/Jonas Rasmussen of Denmark. Paaske/Rasmussen progress to the final with a 13-21, 21-11, and 21-17 victory over eight-seeded Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah.

Tan Fook and Wan Wah failed to repeat their quarter-final successful win, blowing second seeds, Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong, out easily in just straight sets, 21-12 and 21-17. Although Tan Fook/Wan Wah controlled the third set 10-3 and 12-8, Paaske/Rasmussen equalized their score several times and even left them behind 21-17.

China Gain Two Women's Title

Hong Kong (11/14) - China clinch two Yonex Sunrise Open titles after they put all-Chinese women's final in tomorrow matches. Women's singles player, Jiang Yanjiao, began the women's Chinese domination by beating teammate top seed Wang Lin 21-18, 21-14.

Women's doubles pair, Yu Yang/Du Jing, continued China's reign as they prevailed over, Wong Pei Tty/Chin Eei Hui, in a tough 12-21, 21-18, and 21-16 match. They will take on Ma Jin/Wang Xiaoli who stunned another Chinese pair, Cheng Shu/Zhao Yunlei, 21-19, 21-14.

Wang Xin contended against women's singles world number one Wang Yihan before submitting in a three-set battle, 8-21, 21-13, and 17-21.

However, China's women's outcome is not followed by their only men's singles semi-finalists, Bao Chunlai. The unseed crashed out after a 17-21, 12-21 defeat to Lee Chong Wei. Chong Wei will meet Danish third seed Peter Gade who overthrew surprising Kenichi Tago of Japan 21-12, 21-13.

In the mixed doubles, 2008 Olympic silver medalists of Indonesia, Nova Widhianto/Lilyana Natsir, sail to the final with a 21-14, 21-13 win over countrymen Hendra Gunawan/Vita Marissa whom they beat in French Open final last two weeks. The former world number will play Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Kostiuczyk.

The Poland pair create a surprise by achieving their first super series final. They surpassed Fang Chieh-Min/Wang Pei-Rong 16, 21-16, and 24-22.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung Breeze to Semi-final

Korea's top men's doubles player Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung breezes to Hong Kong Open semi-final after prevailing over Anthony Clark and Nathan Robertson 17-21, 21-16, and 21-16.

They will play sixth-seeded Indonesian Hendra Aprida Gunawan/Alvent Yulianto who surprsingly stopped 2008 Olympic gold-medalists Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan's journey with a 21-11, 21-18 win.

In the quarter-final, Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah will challenge second-seeded countrymen, Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong, after beating Luluk Hadiyanto and Joko Riyadi in an easy match, 21-7, 21-13.

However, Tan Fook and Wan Wah's success was not followed by compatriot Chan Chong Ming/Chew Choon Eng who bowed down to Hendra Wijaya and Hendri Saputra after a 21-17, 12-21, 22-24 fight in the second round.

Indonesia Make Sure of Mixed Doubles Finalists

After Nova Widhianto/Lilyana Natsir's win over He Hanbin/Yu Yang, Indonesia make sure of a final spot since Nova and Lilyana will face either Hendra Aprida Gunawan/Vita Marissa or Fran Kurniawna/Pia Zebadiah.

In the men's singles, Lee Chong Wei survived to the semi-final after struggling to beat Muhammad Hafiz Hashim. Hafiz gave a tough fight to Chong Wei even though Hafiz finally lost 21-10, 15-21, and 22-24.

Chong Wei will take on China's Bao Chunlai. Bao Chunlai conquered qualifier Dionysius Rumbaka of Indonesia 21-15 and 21-15. Indonesia place no players in men's singles semi-final after Simon Santoso failed to beat third seed Peter Gade. Simon lost 12-21, 8-21 in 35 minutes.

China book three women's doubles semi-final tickets and make sure a final place as Cheng Shu/Zhao Yunlei will compete against Ma Jin/Wang Xiaoli. Cheng/Zhao defeated Kim Min-jung/Park Sun-young of Korea 21-11, 23-21 while Ma/Wang downed another Korean pair, Ha Jung-eun/Lee Kyung-won, 21-13, 21-16.

Ha is Kim's former partner while Lee Kyung-won usually played with Lee Hyo-jung. However, in this tournament, Lee Hyo-jung only played in mixed doubles with Lee Yong-dae. Hyo-jung and Yong-dae had lost in the second round.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Eduardo: We Can Win Trophies


Arsenal striker Eduardo believes his side can surprise many observers and end their trophy drought this season.

The Gunners currently lie in second place in the Premier League, five points behind London rivals Chelsea, but with a game in hand.

And they welcome the Blues to the Emirates later this month in a certainly vital game for both clubs as they pursue Premier League glory.

Speaking to the Press Association, Eduardo stated, "At the moment we are improving a lot and feel stronger mentally - the atmosphere inside the squad is good, we are very together.

"We are doing very well at the moment and I hope we can produce a big suprise this year."

Arsenal is in superb form now, having won five of their last six Premier League matches and scoring at an astonishing rate of over three goals per game.

When asked about his injuries, Eduardo responded, "I am feeling good. At the beginning of the season, I had a few injury niggles, but I am okay now and ready to help the team rise to the top of the table, as well as progressing in the Champions League."

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Hong Kong Open First Round Selected Results

First Round, Wednesday (11/11) Selected Results:

All mixed doubles first round matches were played on Tuesday (11/10).

Men's Doubles
1-Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan (INA) def. Fang Chieh-Min/Lee Sheng-Mu (TPE) 23-21, 21-19
Chan Chong Ming/Chew Choon Eng (MAS) def. Songpol Anukritayawan/Sudket Prapakamol 23-21, 22-20
8-Choong Tan Fook/Lee Wan Wah (MAS) def. Chen Zhiben/Shen Ye (CHN) 21-12, 21-13
Rian Sukmawan/Yonathan Dasuki (INA) def. Chen Hung-Ling/Lin Yu-Lang (TPE) 21-9, 21-19
Cho Gun-woo/Shin Baek-cheol (KOR) def. Candra Wijaya/Flandy Limpele (INA) 21-19, 18-21, 21-16
2-Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong (MAS) def. Howard Bach/Tony Gunawan (USA) 21-19, 21-16

Men's Singles
Hu Yun (CHN) def. 4-Chen Jin (CHN) 22-20, 11-7 retired
Bao Chunlai (CHN) def. Arvind Bhat (IND) 19-21, 21-11, 21-16
Kenichi Tago (JPN) def. Wong Choong Hann (MAS) 16-21, 21-19, 21-14
Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (THA) def. Sony Dwi Kuncoro (INA) 21-13, 19-21, 21-16
Dionysius Rumbaka (INA) def. Boonsak Ponsana (THA) 22-20, 21-19

Women's Singles
2-Zhou Mi (HKG) def. Fransisca Ratnasari (INA) 21-19, 21-18
4-Tine Rasmussen (DEN) def. Wong Mew Choo (MAS) 21-15, 21-19
Yao Jie (NED) def. 8-Saina Nehwal (IND) 21-16, 21-12
Salakjit Ponsana (THA) def. Maria Kristin (INA) 16-21, 21-18, 23-21
5-Pi Hongyan (FRA) def. Sayaka Sato (JPN) 21-17, 21-12

Women's Doubles
5-Ha Jung-eun/Lee Kyung-won (KOR) def. Chang Yun-Hsin/Chou Chia-Chi 21-11, 23-21
Duanganong Aroonkesorn/Kuchala Worawichitchaikul (THA) def. Jenny Wallwork/Gabrielle White (ENG) 21-18, 11-21, 22-20

Cesc Will Celebrate One Year Captaincy on November 25

Cesc points after scoring Arsenal's third goal to Wolverhampton

Cesc Fabregas insists that the responsibility of captaining Arsenal has not changed him at all.

The Spanish midfielder was just 21 when he was handed the armband by Arsene Wenger last year and will celebrate the anniversary of his first game as skipper on November 25.

A serious knee injury diluted his influence last season but Cesc has led by example this term. He tops Arsenal's scoring charts with nine goals and has helped the team to second place in the Premier League and to within a point of the Champions League knockout stages.

Cesc appears to have taken the captaincy in his stride and the 22-year-old believes his teammates have made the job easier for him.

"The captaincy hasn't changed me at all," he said.

"My teammates have done a great job for me as well, to be honest. They showed me they believe and help me with everything. There has never been any trouble so I am very happy with how things are going."

This time last year Arsenal's team spirit was questioned during the final days of William Gallas' captaincy but Cesc insists he leads a united dressing room.

"The issue with William is gone for us," said Cesc.

"We don't think about it anymore and are happy with the way things are going at the moment. The dressing room has alaways been really together and kept believing.

"Even if we didn't win anything last year, we were really close and in all the competitions right until the end. So the mood in the dressing room is always really positive."

picture by

Lee Yong-dae Is Back

Hong Kong (11/10) - Korean doubles player Lee Yong-dae won in his first appearance after a two-month absence due to injury. He played with Lee Hyo-jung in mixed doubles first round. The world number one pair overcame Thailand's Sudket Prapakamol/Saralee Thungthongkam in straight sets, 23-21 and 21-13.

The 2008 Olympic gold medalists will take on Fran Kurniawan and Pia Zebadiah of Indonesia. Other Korean mixed doubles pairs, Ko Sung-hyun/Ha Jung-eun and Shin Baek-cheol/Kim Min-jung also progress to the second round. Ko Sung-hyun and Ha Jung-eun beat Koo Kien Keat/Wong Pei Tty in a tough match, 21-18, 17-21, and 21-19, while Shin Baek-cheol and Kim Min-jung easily won over Albertus Njoto/Chan Hung Yung. 21-11 and 21-15.

Lee Yong-dae, pairing with Jung Jae-sung in the men's doubles, did not need to play a first round match because their opponent, Guo Zhendong and Xu Chen, withdrew. In the second round, Yong-dae and Jae-sung will face Hirokatsu Hashimoto and Noriyasu Hirata of Japan.

Lin Dan Withdraws

Three times world champion and four times Hong Kong Open winner, Lin Dan, withdrew from Hong Kong Open due to an ankle injury. His absence will make the race of men's singles title more competitive. His place is taken by lucky qualifier Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand. Tanongsak will play Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the first round.

Besides Lin Dan, China's number one mixed doubles pair Zheng Bo and Ma Jin, seeded 2, also withdrew, giving Henry Tam and Donna Haliday of New Zealand a free second-round berth. Men's doubles world champions, Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng, also withdrew.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Federer Eases to the Final

Federer waves his hand as he arrives on the court for his semi-final match


Basel (11/7) - Roger Federer overpowered compatriot Marco Chiudinelli to set up final clash with Serbian Novak Djokovic at Davidoff Swiss Indoors.

The world number one, who has won this title for the past three years, was troubled by his sometime doubles partner but Federer was better in the class that he won the tie-break in the first set and and then broke early in the second on his way to a 7-6 (9/7), 6-3 victory.

Federer serves

Federer, 28, created 42 winner and 4 aces compared to Chiudinelli's 36 winner and only one ace.

Roger celebrates his win

Meanwhile, second-seeded Djokovic battled hard to defeat Radek Stepanek 6-7 (4/7), 7-5, and 6-2, to book his place in the final. Roger celebrates his win

Djokovic's record against Federer reads only four win from 13 meetings, although they are level from four matches this year.


pictures by reuters and espnstar


Arsenal Sends Warning to Premier League Current Top Two


Arsenal temporarily goes up to second place in Premier League standings after a 4-1 win in Wolverhampton's Molineux Stadium, extending its unbeatable run in the last 13 matches.

The home side put the Gunners under pressure for the first twenty minutes, yet their ineffectual ball-clearance nestled two goals into their own net.

First, Ronald Zubar poked Cesc Fabregas' corner kick into his own net in the 28th minute. Then, only seven minutes later, Jody Craddock headed Eduardo's flipping shot past his own goalkeeper, Wayne Hennessey.


In the additional time, Fabregas continued Robin van Persie's assist to make it 3-0.

In the 65th minute, Andrei Arshavin gunned his fourth goal in the Premier League this season from quite a distance. His ball passed a crowd of Wolverhampton players in front of the goal before piercing Hennessey's net. Arshavin was then replaced by Samir Nasri in the 74th minute.

Jody Craddock climbs over Andrei Arshavin -

Wolves gained a consolation goal from Craddock in the 88th, marring Arsenal's hope for a clean sheet.

Though the Gunners obtained three points from their 4-1 victory, Fabregas and the manager Arsene Wenger voiced their disappointment of conceding a goal.


The Arsenal captain told ESPN, "It was disappointing to concede from a set-piece like that. They played well. We were not at our best but still managed to score four."

Likewise, Wenger said, "We conceded a goal, but overall it was a good performance. They made a strong start - but once we got ahead, we controlled it.

"I'm pleased, because we had the Champions League game in midweek and we won today 4-1.

"Our belief is there; we want to give our best in every game. We have great potential and we can go from strength to strength."

This win gives a warning to the current Premier League top two, Chelsea and Manchester United, which clash on Sunday. Robin van Persie admitted that Arsenal hoped for a draw,even though it means Arsenal will remain in the third position with 25 points (Chelsea has 27 points already, and Manchester United 25), because they are benefitted by having a game in hand.

Wenger's statement seemed to confirm van Persie: "We were already out of it (the title race) last year. Two years ago, we were very close to winning it, and people forget that. And last year we were out very early because in 14 games we had lost five. Now it is very different. We are in a strong position because we have a game in hand. Let’s keep strength in our belief, keep humility, and enjoy our game."


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lin Dan Gives China Third French Open 2009 Title

Paris (11/1) - Lin Dan triumph at Paris after an easy 21-6, 21-15 win over Indonesia's Taufik Hidayat.

Top seed Lin Dan never let Taufik even equalize his score in the first set. He left Taufik 10-6 and progressed to win 21-6. In the second set, Taufik gave Lin Dan a better fight. But the four times All England winner showed his greatness when he led 18-15 and won the second set 21-15.
Even though Taufik played his best such as backhand smash and net play, it was not enough to overcome the three times world champion.

"I played very well today and I'm very happy with my performance," said Lin Dan after he won his first French Open title. "I expected more from Taufik, but he looked a little off the pace, which may have been a result of his tough match against Peter Gade yesterday. Now I will continue to train haird and be ready for the Worlds here in this stadium next year."

Lin Dan's win makes China have more title than Indonesia's 2 titles.

Easy Final Matches

The final matches went easily that most of them were won in 0nly two matches.

China won their other 2 titles from women's matches. Third seed Wang Yihan subdued top seed Wang Lin 21-9 and 21-12. Women's doubles second-seeded pair Cheng Shu/Zhao Yunlei lost to compatriot Ma Jin/Wang Xiaoli 13-21, 8-21.

Indonesia grabbed men's and mixed doubles titles mixed doubles' second seeds, Nova Widhianto and Lilyana Natsir, vanquished their teammates Hendra Aprida Gunawan and Vita Marissa 21-7 and 21-7 to end their 10 months drought.

Markis and Hendra Are Better

2007 world champions and world number one men's doubles of Indonesia, Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan, were better now than the only non-Chinese or non-Indonesian finalists, Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong. The Malaysians could not continue their success of winning Denmark Open last week.

In the only three-set match of the day, defending champions beat Kien Keat and Boon Heong 15-21, 21-15, and 21-14 in only 39 minutes. A minute longer than Lin Dan's match.

Even if Kien Keat and Boon Heong showed some greatness, as Kien Keat sitting on the floor at one point, sending back two smashes then winning the rally, they could not claim the title.


Lin Dan Achieves French Open Final


Four times All England champion Lin Dan advances into French Open final with a 21-19, 23-21 win over countryman Chen Jin in a 36-minute match. He will take on Taufik Hidayat in the final. The Indonesian defeated Peter Gade 22-20, 21-14.

Indonesia ensure a title from mixed doubles as their two pairs have a final clash. Nova Widhianto/Lilyana Natsir worked hard to surpass Olympic bronze medalist He Hanbin/Yu Yang 25-27, 21-14, and 21-17 in an hour and 17 minutes. It was the longest match of the day. On the other hand, seventh-seeded Hendra Aprida Gunawan and Vita Marissa gained a straight-set victory over Tao Jiaming/Zhang Yawen 22-20, 21-17.

In the men's doubles, Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan seal a final spot through a 21-19, 21-17 win over Sun Junjie/Tao Jiaming. The world number one pair who are looking for their first European title of this year will meet last week Denmark Open champions, Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong.

Kien Keat and Boon Heong played a repeated match against Carsten Mogensen and Mathias Boe of Denmark, whom they overcame in Denmark Open final last week. The same result occured as the second seeds ousted Mogensen and Boe in straight sets, 21-18 and 21-19.

China will certainly bring home two women's titles. In the singles, third seed Wang Yihan will challenge top seed Wang Lin after shuttering France's last hope, Pi Hongyan, 21-13 and 21-11. Wang Lin surmounted other European Chinese-born player, Yao Jie, 22-20 and 21-8.

In the women's doubles, Cheng Shu/Zhao Yunlei walk straight to the final without a match after Yu Yang and Du Jing withdrew. Their next opponents will be Ma Jin and Wang Xiaoli who eliminated Indonesian Greysia Polii/Nitya Krishinda comfortably 21-4 and 21-18.

Arsenal Remain Supreme in North London Derby


London (10/31) - Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspurs have always been rivals in North London, even if Arsenal is included in the Big Four of English Premier League, and Tottenham is not. Now they encountered each other in the Emirates Stadium.

Tottenham has never beaten the Gunners since 1993, and today was no exception. Robin van Persie struck twice, seeming to celebrate the recent birth of his second daughter Dina Layla, while Cesc Fabregas' middle goal added to his goal tally of five.

Van Persie shot right on the target in the 43th minute, while Fabregas doubled Arsenal's lead only 11 seconds later. Straight from Tottenham's kick-off, the skipper won the ball and headed straight for the Spurs goal. He evaded three challenges and rifled a shot into the corner.


Then in the 60th minute, van Persie made it 3-0.


This win marked the comeback of goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, who was absent for more than a month. It was also his first Premier League clean sheet of the season.