Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Confident Arsenal Beat Chelsea

Playing beautiful football, having talented young players, and staying in the top 4 of the English Premier League is not enough.

Last season Arsenal lost all four of their matches against Manchester United and Chelsea. And this season they had lost in Stamford Bridge and, recently, in Old Trafford. It seems that the only rival they surpass is Liverpool, which is now below their usual form.

However, on Monday (12/28), Arsenal proved that they could overcome with last season's title winner Chelsea. The Gunners beat the Blues 3-1 in an attractive London derby to go back to second spot in the English Premier League before Manchester City, which have played two matches more than Arsenal, overtook them on Tuesday.

In the first half Arsenal had a couple of chances by Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri but it was hard to penetrate Chelsea's defense. Didier Drogba fired a threatening shot but it was wide.

Then, one minute before half-time, Alex Song gave Arsenal a 1-0 lead at the same time Cesc Fabregas was felled by Paulo Ferreira.

In the 50th minute, Theo Walcott found a way through Chelsea's defense and skipped over Michael Essien and Petr Cech, passing to Fabregas who gave an accurate finish. 2-0 for Arsenal.

Three minutes later, Fabregas returned the favor and assisted Walcott to score a third goal for Arsenal.

Chelsea attacked back through Branislav Ivanovic's goal in the 57th minute.

However, the match ended 3-1 and Arsenal was satisfied.

pictures from

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Korea 1, China 4

World number seven Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung clinch China Open title with a 21-15 and 21-12 win over China's Chai Biao and Zhang Nan. Their victory erased China's hope for a clean sweep.

Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung crushed the Chinese pair with fiery powerplays and tricky net shots, never allowing them to pass their score. Chai Biao and Zhang Nan tried to put on a good fight in the first game, in which they came up short at 15-21 but could barely mount a challenge to the defending champions in the second and eventually succumbed 12-21.

The Koreans are the first non-Chinese players to win the China Open three times in a row. 22-year-old Lee Yong Dae matches Gao Ling’s record of 5 China Open titles, three in men’s doubles and two in mixed with Lee Hyo Jung.

Other China Open results:

Men's singles
5-Chen Long (CHN) def. 8-Bao Chunlai (CHN) 9-21, 21-14, 21-16

Women's singles
4-Jiang Yanjiao (CHN) def. 3-Wang Shixian (CHN) 21-16, 21-19

Women's doubles
2-Cheng Shu/Zhao Yunlei def. Ma Jin/Zhong Qianxin (CHN) walkover

Mixed doubles
Tao Jiaming/Tian Qing (CHN) def. 5-Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei (CHN) 21-18, 21-17


Defending Champions Reach China Open Final

Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung of South Korea set up a final clash in China Open Super Series with Chinese Zhang Nan/Chai Biao. Lee and Jung, who are 2008 and 2009 China Open winners, only needed 29 minutes to upset compatriots Ko Sung-hyun and Yoo Yeon-seong 21-10 and 21-15.

Meanwhile, fifth-seeded Chen Long will challenge his senior Bao Chunlai in the men's singles final after beating third seed Chen Jin in tough rubber sets, 22-20, 18-21, and 21-18 while Bao Chunlai overcame Du Pengyu 22-20 and 21-16.

China makes sure of other 3 titles. In the women's singles final, Wang Shixian who stunned top seed Wang Xin 21-18 and 21-16 will play fourth seed Jiang Yanjiao.

Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei will face Tao Jiaming and Tian Qing. Zhang/Zhao subdued Malaysia's Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying 21-17, 21-18 as Tao/Tian vanquished teammates He Hanbin and Ma Jin 21-17, 8-21, and 21-13.

In the women's doubles, world number eight pair Cheng Shu and Zhao Yunlei defeated Tian Qing and Pan Pan 21-14 and 21-13 to meet Ma Jin and Zhong Qianxin in the final. In the last four, Ma and Zhong conquered Korean Ha Jung-eun and Jung Kyung-eun 11-21, 21-8, and 21-18.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Maestro Reigns in London

London (11/28) - Roger Federer of Switzerland overmastered world number one Rafael Nadal 6-3, 3-6, and 6-1 to win Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in front of 17,500 fans at London's O2 Arena.

Federer created a record-equaling fifth title at the year-ending finale, matching the feat of Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras.

Federer fired down 32 winners in the one hour 37 minute contest to Nadal's 11 as he beat the Spaniard for eight times.

"It's fantastic. I'm really thrilled the way I played all week. To win a fifth time is obviously amazing, for the third time in a different place," said Federer.

"I'm just really happy the way I was able to finish the season in style, playing some of my best tennis, really saving the best for last.

"Obviously beating Rafa in the final makes it extra special because of the year he had."

Nadal refused to say that he was defeated due to tiredness.

"I'm not going to say I lost the match because I was tired.

"What I'm going to say, and what I feel, is I lost the match because I played against a very good Roger Federer on one of his favourite surfaces. And when he's playing like this, it is very difficult to stop him.

"I had little chances, I was there, but it wasn't enough. He played unbelievable. I think in the beginning he was unplayable.

"I just can congratulate him for his victory and another great tournament for him," said Nadal who never won ATP World Tour Finals.

pictures from reuters

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Federer Chases His Fifth ATP World Tour Finals Title

London (11/27) Four times Tennis Masters Cup winner Roger Federer is looking for the fifth as he overcame world number three Novak Djokovic in the semi-final of ATP World Tour Finals. Federer dispayed a virtuoso match, winning 6-1, 6-4 at O2 Arena.

"Obviously I'm really looking forward to playing against Rafa tomorrow," Federer, who can emulate Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl by winning the year-end title for a fifth time, told reporters. "Who wouldn't? I'm no different."

Federer serves the ball to Djokovic

Federer conjured 31 winners in a one-sided 80-minute contest against Djokovoic, who beat him at this year's U.S. Open.

"Every ball kind of listens to him," was Djokovic's eloquent description of 16-times grand slam champion Federer's sublime performance. "He's maybe playing the best tennis in 2010."

In the final, Federer would face Rafael Nadal who battled in three hours and eleven minutes to subdue local favorite Andy Murray 7-6(5), 3-6, and 7-6 (6).

"I just love playing against him," said Murray, who hugged his rival across the net at the end. "As a sportsman, I don't know if there's been many better than him ever in terms of the way he conducts himself.


Arsenal to the Top for Two Hours

Andrei Arshavin celebrates his goal with Jack Wilshere

Arsenal was back to a winning form with a 4-2 victory over home Aston Villa. The visitors bossed the first half but had to wait until 39 minutes until Andrei Arshavin fired home. On the whistle a corner from the Russian, excellent on the day, was volleyed in by Samir Nasri.

Ciaran Clark fired Villa a lifeline six minutes after the restart but Marouane Chamakh replied almost immediately to restore the visitors' two-goal cushion.

Clark headed home with 20 minutes to go but, despite the odd scare, Arsenal were untroubled.

Jack kisses Arsenal badge

In the final seconds, Chamakh squared to Wilshere who headed home into an empty net from barely a yard. Wilshere successfully sealed it.

Because of this result, Arsenal topped the English Premier League with 29 points before Manchester United won 7-1 over Blackburn Rovers. Chelsea, having 28 points, will play on Sunday.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Asian Games Badminton - Fabulous Final

Lin Dan Completes Title Collection with Gold Medal

Guangzhou (11/21) - 2008 Olympic gold medalist Lin Din of China won his first Asian Games gold medal as he mastered the same opponent as in Beijing 2008, Lee Chong Wei. Lin Dan who was the Asian Games 2006 silver medalist, becomes the first man to win the four main titles, overpowering the Malaysian 21-13, 15-21, and 21-10. Now Lin Dan has 4 All England titles, 3 world championship titles, an Olympic gold medal, and an Asian Games gold medal.

“I have reached my target. I have won all the major titles that a player can win. This is really a wonderful moment for me,” Lin Dan said whose victory made his meeting record against Chong Wei 14-5.

“Of all the titles that I have won, the 2004 Thomas Cup Finals, however, will hold a special spot for me. It was the beginning of my rise as a player. And the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was an important one too.”

“This is my best Asian Games final. There was pressure on both of us. We played well even though it was so tough. Honestly, I was the lucky one to win.

“I give my due respect to Chong Wei. He really fought very hard today,” said Lin Dan

Meanwhile, sad Chong Wei refused to speak in the media conference.

One Gold for Each Indonesia and South Korea

In the men's doubles, Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan succeeded to present Indonesia's third gold medal in Asian Games, upsetting defending Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong who had beaten Markis and Hendra in Asian Games 2006 semi-final.

The 2007 world champions confronted strong shots from Kien Keat and Boon Heong before winning 16-21, 26-24, and 21-19 in 58 minutes. The match went tough that Kien Keat even fell many times to return the Indonesian pair's hits. It was also his fault tht Markis and Hendra clinched the winning point.

“Before this match, I had played badly. But today, Boon Heong and I gave it our all, especially at the crucial times.

“We fought hard and it’s disappointing to settle for silver. It should have been better. But overall, we do not regret with the way we played in losing the match,” commented Kien Keat.

He was disappointed about that they failed to win the second game.

“We let it slip through our hands. Then, it was difficult for us to focus after they took a big lead in the rubber game. We managed to chase and even led but, eventually, it did not end in our favour,” he said.

In the all-Chinese women's singles final, Wang Shixian beat compatriot Wang Xin 21-18 and 21-15. In the women's doubles final, Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei of China defeated teammates Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli 20-22, 21-15, and 21-12.

South Korean Shin Baek-cheol and Lee Hyo-jung ended China's Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei's dream in reaching gold medal in Guangzhou with a 21-19 and 21-14 victory.

Asian Games individual results:

Men's Singles
Gold - Lin Dan (China)
Silver - Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia)
Bronze - Park Sung-hwan (South Korea) and Chen Jin (China)

Women's Singles
Gold - Wang Shixian (China)
Silver - Wang Xin (China)
Bronze - Yip Puy Yin (Hong Kong) and Eriko Hirose (Japan)

Men's Doubles
Gold - Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan (Indonesia)
Silver - Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong (Malaysia)
Bronze - Lee Yong-dae/Jung Jae-sung (South Korea) and Muhammad Ahsan/Alvent Yulianto (Indonesia)

Women's Doubles
Gold - Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei (China)
Silver - Wang Xiaoli/Yu Yang (China)
Bronze - Kim Min-jung/Lee Hyo-jung (South Korea) and Ha Jung-eun/Lee Kyung-won (South Korea)

Mixed Doubles
Gold - Shin Baek-cheol/Lee Hyo-jung (South Korea)
Silver - Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei (China)
Bronze - He Hanbin/Ma Jin (China) and Chen Hung-Ling/Cheng Wen-Hsing (Chinese Taipei)

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Asian Games Badminton - China on Zenith

Guangzhou (11/15) - China won both men's and women's badminton medal in Asian Games 2010 at the Tianhe Gymnasium.

In the men's final, China overcame South Korea 3-1. Lin Dan gave China the first victory as he defeated Korea's striving Park Sung-hwan 19-21, 21-16, and 21-18.

“The start was not satisfactory, I was not doing well and I lost several points,” said Lin Dan, who also led his team winning Asian Games gold medal in Doha 2006.

Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung kept Korean hope alive as they equalized the score 1-1. They downed their usual opponent Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng 21-17, 20-22, and 23-21.

However, Chen Jin beat Shon Wan-ho and Xu Chen/Guo Zhendong conquered Ko Sung-hyun/Yoo Yeon-seong to secure the win for China.

In the women's final, China was too powerful for Thailand, clinching a 3-0 triumph. World number one Wang Xin responded hard resistance from young Ratchanok Intanon, who replaced Salakjit Ponsana, before winning the first match 20-22, 21-17, and 21-14.

"I was prepared but did not expect the match could be so hard, I think I was a little nervous," said Wang, who just turned 24.

Wang Shixian added more point for China after subduing Nitchaon Jindapol 21-13 and 21-12. Finally, Jiang Yanjiao mastered S. Taerattanachai, 21-15, 21-10, to present a gold medal for China.

Meanwhile, Indonesia gained two bronze medals, Thailand won a bronze from the men's team, and South Korea won a bronze from the women's team.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Federer Reaches Stockholm Final

World number two Roger Federer overcame an early break of serve to defeat Croatian Ivan Ljubicic 7-6 6-2 in the semi-finals of the Stockholm Open on Saturday.

The Swiss will meet German Florian Mayer, who beat Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 4-6 6-4 7-6, in Sunday's final.

The big-hitting Ljubicic started strongly before Federer broke back to take the first set on a tie-break.

He then gained an early advantage in the second when a lucky bounce off the net cord helped him convert a break point.

Federer said he had enjoyed a slice of luck but added he had felt his opponent had tried to force his game too much and had started to make too many errors.

"(In the first set) I had a tough service game that didn't really work well. I missed a couple of shots, next thing you know you're down break point.

"I missed another stupid forehand because I was still lacking rhythm and that's how it goes against big servers.

"He was serving well when he had to, doing all the right things and he really made it hard for me. He gave me a couple of chances, I was able to take them and then played a really good tie-breaker."

In the other semi-final, Mayer saved five set points on his serve in the first set before Nieminen finally converted the sixth.

Mayer, ranked 47th in the world, then upped his game to take the second and set up a tense climax in the third.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Big Three Reach Shanghai Semis

Federer Invalidates Soderling

Shanghai (10/15) - Former world number one Roger Federer who was seeded 3, displayed a tremendous performance as he upset fifth seed Robin Soderling of Sweden with a 6-1, 6-1 triumph.

Federer scored 4 aces in the end and finally won the 53-minute match with a jumping smash. Next he will play second-seeded Novak Djokovic who overthrew Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2 and 6-3.

"I don't think Robin had his best day," Federer told Sky Sports. "You'd think a top-five player doesn't have days like these, but they do happen.

"In best-of-three-set matches, things can get ugly rather quickly.

"I didn't expect a result like this, but I'll take it any day."

Asked whether he felt more motivated to take on Djokovic in the wake of his defeat at Flushing Meadows, he added: "I'm not much of a revenge guy, but I like playing against the top guys.

"[But] after the US Open, the fans are looking for a rematch."

Meanwhile, Jurgen Melzer of Austria failed to continue impressive victory after he surrendered to unseeded Juan Monaco. Melzer, who defeated top seed Rafael Nadal in the third round, was crushed in tough three sets, 6-7(6), 7-5, and 6-3. 41-ranked Monaco will face British Andy Murray in the semi-final.

Monaco will play British Andy Murray in the last four. Murray conquered Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2, 6-2.

"He struggled a little bit on his serve and wasn't serving as big as usual, so I managed to get into a lot of the return games," said Murray.

"I served well and didn't give him any chances on my serve. I was hitting the ball really cleanly from the back of the court, so it was a good start," he added.

pictures from

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Home Clinches Clean Sweep in China Masters

Changzhou (9/19)- China repeated successful Paris results as they won all titles in China Masters Super Series. Defending Lin Dan won his third China Masters crown with a 21-15, 13-21, and 21-14 victory over teammate Chen Long in an hour and 10 minutes.

“It is good to win the title after the disappointment of losing in the World Championships and it is a good confidence booster for me,” said Lin Dan who suffered a quarter-final defeat in World Championship last month.

“Chen Long gave me a tough fight and made it difficult for me but I am happy to have won the title.”

2010 World Championship finalist Wang Xin triumphed in women's singles final after she surmounted Denmark's Tine Baun 21-13, 21-9.

“She (Wang Xin) played really well and deserved to win. I just have to go back and work on my game to improve myself,” said Tine who beat world number one Wang Yihan in the semi-final.

In the men's doubles, world champions Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng vanquished fourth-seeded Ko Sung-hyun and Yoo Yeon-seong of Korea, 21-14 and 21-19.

In the all-Chinese finals in mixed doubles final, Tao Jiaming and Tian Qing emerged as the winner as they subjugated newly-paired Xu Chen and Yu Yang in an easy straight sets, 21-11 and 21-14. In the women's doubles, Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli beat teammates Bao Yixin and Lu Lu 21-8 and 21-8.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

China Gain All Titles

Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng's Third Title

China repeated history as the players clinched all gold medals at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin in Paris. Men's doubles player Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng presented the last gold for China as they stumbled Malaysian Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong 21-18, 18-21, and 21-14 in an hour and 3 minutes. As far, the Chinese pairs collect three world championship titles, including in Madrid 2006 and Hyderabad last year.

“We weren’t thinking about the four golds that China had already won. We just wanted to play our own game and take it a point at a time,” said Fu Haifeng. “Winning the World title, even if three times, is to us only a process, a learning experience in preparing us for the 2012 Olympics.”

The first set was a tough one. Both of the two contenders displayed strong defense and powerful smashes. Even though Cai and Fu led six times, Koo and Tan equalized 12-12 and left the Chinese 16-12 before ending the set 21-18. In the second set, Koo and Tan never led the match after the players chased each others points in the early set. They were left 12-17 and lost with the same score as they won in the first set.

The final set was easier than the first two. Cai/Fu showed the winning sign as they always led the match. Apparently, Koo and Tan were distracted after a second-set loss. Eventually, Koo Kien Keat brought victory for the Chinese pair when his return struck the net. Then, Cai and Fu knelt jubilantly.

“It was great to get off to a good start but we got into problems in the second game. We were too eager to win and attacked without any game plan,” said sad Boon Heong.

"We were mentally prepared but it is unfortunate that we did not have a good finish,” added Koo Kien Keat who won his fourth medal at the world championship.

Kien Keat then changed his focus to Asian Games: “We were the Asian Games champions four years ago. We will go back and work towards hitting peak form in Guangzhou. Along the way, we also hope to do well in the New Delhi Commonwealth Games (October)."

The 'Elderly' Cannot Balance The Young One

It is very obvious that worn-out Taufik Hidayat was too slow for active Chen Jin. The fourth seed of China rained Taufik with smashes and won the match 21-13 and 21-15. Chen Jin seemed to stroll easily 7-0 in the first set. However, Taufik was able to push Chen Jin stretching around the court, also falling and getting up again, that Chen Jin bit his disturbing necklace. Taufik won the point, making the score 3-10.

Taufik tried to find Chen Jin's weak link by playing a lot in front of the net but Chen Jin finally won the first set 21-13. In the second set, Chen Jin clinched the championship point 20-12, but Taufik's crossing return delayed Chen Jin's celebration. Chen Jin's mistakes gave Taufik two more points until Taufik's return was out of the court. Chen Jin won the second set 21-15. He hugged his coaches and ran to the manager Li Yongbo and the Chinese officials in the spectator bench.

“It was an emotional moment for me on the winner’s podium but the moment I got down, I believe it starts from zero all over again,” Chen Jin stated. “There are still many competitions waiting for me! I am my biggest competitor. Winning this title has been an invaluable learning experience. There are still many areas for me to improve on and to still be learning from the likes of Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei, Taufik.”

There was former tennis star from Switzerland, Martina Hingis, in the men's singles ceremony.

Exultant Wang Lin And Sick Wang Xin

Wang Lin was crowned as the women's singles world champion as she upset teammate Wang Xin in tough sets, 21-11, 19-21, and 21-13. It was good comeback for Wang Lin after she was dropped for Chinese squad in Uber Cup due to lack of form.

The match went predictably in first set. In the second set, Wang Lin protested the umpire since she though Wang Xin's return was out. Yet Wang Xin's return was still considered in that finally Wang Xin won the second set 21-19. Wang Lin screamed as she won the deciding set 21-13.

“This is my first world title and I am very happy even though my gold medal is broken,” said Wang Lin who trains under Olympic and former world champion Zhang Ning.

However, Wang Lin also gave credit to her worthy opponent.

“Wang Xin was down with stomach ailment before coming to this tournament.

“Despite that, she managed to reach the final. I am sure that she would have given a stronger fight if she were in better physical condition.

“That is how close the competition is among the women’s singles players in China,” she said.

World Championship Title for Yu Yang and Du Jing

Yu Yang and Du Jing completed their grand titles collection with a world championship title. After winning Olympic gold medal in 2008 and 2010 All England title, Yu Yang/Du Jing assassinated top seeds Ma Jin and Wang Xiaoli's 21-9 and 21-17. This is the shortest match in the final.

Yu Yang and Ma Jin also played in the mixed doubles final which was played earlier. Yu Yang, pairing with He Hanbin, was defeated by Ma Jin/Zheng Bo, 14-21 and 10-21. It was Zheng Bo's first world title after he was expelled from Chinese national team for indiscipline.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lin Dan Comforts Wang Yihan

Three-time world champion Lin Dan advised the 22-year-old Yihan to pick up the pieces and move on to become a world champion one day.

He said that Yihan should learn from her defeat against Eriko Hirose of Japan and not give up – although her form has dipped since winning the prestigious All-England title last year.

Her hopes of becoming a world champion were dashed at the 2009 series in Hyderabad when she lost to Juliane Schenk of Germany in the third round. She has also lost to young and unknown players in China during the local league.

Lin Dan then went on to explain how he rose from an unknown to become one of the greatest players ever to have graced the badminton court.

He said that in 2002, he used to be called Lin Yi Lun, after a popular Chinese singer.

Lin is similar to his name, Yi means first and Lun refers to round. And, at that time, the spiky-haired Lin Dan used to be beaten in the early rounds.

“It was a tough beginning for me too. I used to struggle to establish myself. But I continued to persevere and throw all my energy into training to become stronger – physically and mentally,” he said.

“Just a year later, I began to reap the rewards of my hard labour.

“I continued to build on my momentum from there. And now, I am called Super Dan. One should never give up.”

The 27-year-old Lin Dan said that Yihan had many good years ahead of her.

“Sometimes, painful defeats make one stronger. She is young and talented and there is still time for her to come back and dominate the women’s singles event.”


Eight Chinese, Three Others into World Championship Final

Paris - China dominated Yonex-BWF World Championship semi-final by putting three singles players and five doubles pair in the final tomorrow (8/29). In the first match of semi-finals, eight-seeded Zheng Bo and Ma Jin edged Korean Ko Sung-hyun/Ha Jung-eun out with a 15-21, 21-11, and 21-16. Zheng and Ma will play compatriot six-seeded, He Hanbin and Yu Yang, who mastered Taiwan's Lee Sheng-Mu and Chien Yu-Chin easily 21-13 and 21-8.

It is all-Chinese final in the women's singles also as Wang Lin toppled fourth-seeded Danish Tine Baun who suffered elbow injury, 21-11 and 21-8. The seventh seed will face third seed Wang Xin who defeated teammate Wang Shixian in rubber sets, 21-19, 11-21, and 21-16.

“I prepared very well for this match today and watched many videos of Tine. But in the end I was surprised I beat her so easily as she is truly a great player. We got new kits today for the semi-final and I was so happy to get blue as blue is my favourite colour,” Wang Lin revealed after her victory.

"She got a lot of confidence when she saw I wasn't as sharp as I used to," said Baun. "She didn't have to be ready for my hard smash."

In the men's singles, China's Chen Jin clinched the final ticket after fighting hard to beat veteran Peter Gade of Denmark, 19-21, 21-8, and 21-11, in the last four.

“Peter was also psychologically defeated as he failed to maintain his composure,” 24-year-old Chen Jin commented. “Peter kept forcing himself to play at the same intensity as he did in the first game, which is clearly not possible as he had obviously used up so much of his energy and was clearly digging into his reserves in the second and third sets.”

Afterward, The 2008 All England winner will meet 2005 world champion Taufik Hidayat. Taufik ousted Korean Park Sung-hwan 21-10 and 22-20.

“I committed way too many mistakes, which absolutely need to be corrected when I’ll be back in Korea with my coach Li Mao,” admitted Park after the match.

Defending Champions vs. Top Seeds

Defending champions Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng will confront top-seeded Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong in the final. Cai and Fu, seeded fifth, subdued 2008 Olympic gold medalists Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia 21-16 and 21-13 while Koo and Tan blew Chinese Guo Zhendong and Xu Chen out in a 39-minute match 21-14 and 21-18.

“Boon Heong and I are fitter – compared to our form in the Thomas Cup Finals. Malaysians have been branded as failures at the final hurdle but we will try to change that tomorrow,” Koo said.

Ideal Final

The women's doubles final is the only final of first seeds meeting second seeds. World number one pair Ma Jin and Wang Xiaoli booked the final match with a 10-21, 21-10, 21-13 triumph over last year finalists, Cheng Shu and Zhao Yunlei. Meanwhile, second-seeded Yu Yang and Du Jing outlasted Taiwanese Chien Yu-Chin and Cheng Wen-Hsing 21-16 and 21-15.

It will the seventh straight all-Chinese final since Gao Ling and Huang Sui played Zhang Jiewen and Wei Yili in World Championship 2001.

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Andrei Brings Arsenal Win

Arsenal visited Blackburn for the third match of the new Premier League season. This time, their two World Cup finalists, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie, played as starters.

Only 20 minutes had passed when van Persie slid the ball to Theo Walcott, who then aimed it right into the far right corner of Paul Robinson's net. 1-0 for the visitors.

Blackburn responded quickly. Seven minutes later, El-Hadji Diouf went unguarded by Laurent Koscielny and Mame Biram Diouf got the full control of the ball, just to equalize the score 1-1.

However, van Persie had to go off early as he seemed to be injured. Marouane Chamakh replaced him in minute 34.

Six minute into the second half, Andrei Arshavin gave Arsenal a second lead. Bacary Sagna attacked from the right and passed to Fabregas, who shot but was blocked. However, Arshavin got the rebound and fired among the guarding home players.

Arsene Wenger decided to rest his captain as Tomas Rosicky substituted Fabregas in the 68th minute. And in the 83th minute Jack Wilshere came in for Arshavin.

The Gunners had a few chances in the time remaining, but no more goals happened. 1 2
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Surprises

There are seven surprises at Yonex-BWF World Championship quarter-finals in Paris, France. The main shocking defeats are suffered by defending champion Lin Dan and world number Lee Chong Wei. However, world number one pair of Indonesia, Nova Widhianto and Lilyana Natsir, opened the better-seeded player lose syndrome as they were beaten by Chinese Zheng Bo and Ma Jin in a 53-minute match, 19-21 and 21-23.

Zheng Bo and Ma Jin are newly paired again after Zheng Bo was sent out from Chinese national team. However, this mixed doubles pair could not be disparaged. They could win in straight sets since old Nova was not agile anymore.

Following the match, second-seeded Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl of Denmark were downed by six seeds He Hanbin and Yu Yang 19-21, 17-21. He Hanbin/Yu Yang will play Taiwan's Lee Sheng-Mu/Chien Yu-Chin who dazed Chinese tenth-seeded Tao Jiaming/Zhang Yawen in tough three sets, 14-21 21-18 21-17.

No Lin Dan, No Fun

It seemed that men's singles semi-final will not be quite exciting because Lin Dan was expelled earlier. The third seed was flabbergasted by Korean Park Sung-hwan 13-21 and 13-21. Park Sung-hwan will meet Taufik Hidayat.

Fifth-seeded Taufik defeated Lee Chong Wei who never won world championship 21-15, 11-21, 21-12. Refusing to admit that the opponent played better than him at that time, Chong Wei complained that he is always unlucky at the world championship.

“I am just not lucky when it comes to the world meet. This has happened too many times,” he said.

“I know this will sound as a lame excuse but I had picked up a back injury. I have never been down with this injury before."

About his future plan he said that he is not sure about his plans after this. "It is best that I get proper treatment for the injury first,” the top seed said.

The other semi-final contenders are Chen Jin and Peter Gade. Chen Jin strove to surmount Hsueh Hsuan-Yi 22-24, 21-5, and 21-13 while Gade beat Kazushi Yamada 21-19 and 21-12.

Yong-dae Is Not at the Zenith

Lee Yong-dae seemed that he had not wholly recovered from his elbow injury that he and Jung Jae-sung were defeated by Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong 25-23, 13-21, and 14-21.

In the first set, Koo and Tan appeared to be nervous that Koo fell twice. However, they are finally adapted to the situation. Lee and Jung left Koo/Tan 17-12 but the rivals could equalized 18-18. Finally Lee's smash ended the the first set 25-23.

In the next two sets, Lee and Jung created a lot of mistakes that they gave their opponents many points. Koo and Tan's strong defense also helped them to win the match. This result made Lee and Jung's head-to-head with Koo/Tan 8-2. Koo and Tan's last defeat from the Korean pair was in Taiwan Open semi-finals last month. They celebrated the win with hugging, an action they seldom did after winning.

Koo commented the heat in the stadium. “It's not really hot, but it’s really humid. Because the hall is small, there is less oxygen.”

In fact, Tan was breathless because of the heat. In the last four, they will take on Chinese Guo Zhendong and Xu Chen who overcame 2003 world champions Lars Paaske/Jonas Rasmussen, 21-16, 23-21.

2007 world champions Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan booked a place in the semi-finals with a quarter-finals win over Lee Sheng-Mu/Fang Chieh-Min, 21-14 and 21-14. They will meet defending champions Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng of China who beat Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen 21-11, 21-18.

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World Championship 3rd Round

Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung plays against Singaporean pair

Two-times world championship finalists Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung warmed up for the quarter-final clash with Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong in Stade de Pierre de Coubertin. Yong-dae and Jae-sung overpowered Hendri Kurniawan Saputra and Hendra Wijaya 21-14 and 21-8.

Meanwhile, Kien Keat and Boon Heong defeated Chinese Zhang Nan and Chai Biao 21-17, 21-17. Kien Keat said that they would have to play better tomorrow.

“There will have to be more accuracy and better quality from us. We cannot make errors like we did today,” he said.

In the mixed doubles, Lee Yong-dae and Lee Hyo-jung surprisingly lost to Taiwan's Lee Sheng-Mu/Chien Yu-Chin 17-21 and 20-22.

In the men's singles, former world number one Lin Dan bombarded teammate Bao Chunlai 21-16 and 21-13 to face South Korean Park Sung-hwan. Lin Dan is looking for his fourth world championship title in a row.

Also China's Chen Jin make it to the last 8 by downing Ashton Chen 21-17 and 21-10. Later, the fourth seed will play Hsueh Hsuan-Yi of Taiwan.

Eriko Stuns World Number One Wang

Top seed Wang Yihan of China was eliminated from women's singles competition as she was humbled by Japanese Eriko Hirose 22-20, 16-21, and 18-21.

“It’s my first world championship in the last three years as I was injured, I was so happy to enter the tournament but also to play the world number one, I am extremely happy to have won the match,” said excited Eriko, who just couldn’t stop smiling at everyone.

“It’s my first time beating a world number one, I am just too happy,” added her. “I came in Paris to get a medal and I’ll do everything I can to get it.”

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Smooth Starts for Seeded Players

Paris - In the first day of Yonex-BWF World Championship, almost every seeded players surpassed challenges from their opponents as they advanced into the second round. Men's singles top seed Lee Chong Wei opened the tournament by defeating Guatemala's Kevin Cordon 21-7 and 21-11. He will meet compatriot Muhammad Hafiz Hashim.

2008 Olympic gold medalist Lin Dan is looking for his fourth world championship title in a row as he dominates over Ali Shahhosseini 21-4, 21-10 in just 26 minutes. The world number three will play Swedish Henri Hurskainen in the second round. Before Lin Dan played, Chinese Bao Chunlai, seeded 10, had crushed Chan Yan Kit 21-11 and 21-17.

In the men's doubles, Kristof Hopp and Johannes Schöttler of Germany shocked 16th-seeded Choong Tan Fook/Lee Wan Wah in tough three sets, 22-20, 17-21, and 21-18. Moreover, another seeded pair Tony Gunawan and Howard Bach, who are also 2005 world champions, suffer loss from England's Anthony Clark and Nathan Robertson in an easier match, 9-21 and 20-22.

In the women's doubles, Thailand's thirteenth seeds Savitree Amitapai and Vacharaporn Munkit were defeated by Imogen Bankier/Emma Mason 17-21, 21-15, and 15-21.

Shining in Cincinnati

Cincinnati (8/22) - Roger Federer ended his Masters title drought after winning his second-straight Cincinnati Masters. He also collected his fourth Cincinnati Masters title after 2005, 2007, and 2009. The world number two defeated American Mardy Fish 6-7 (5), 7-6 (1) and 6-4. Federer was barely on the court all week because his opponents got hurt and his game was so good.

Federer was pushed to the limit. Fish kept it as close as could be, dropping the final set after the match's only service break.

"Maybe I was just a touch fitter than him today," Federer said.

The Swiss star ended a streak of three straight losses in tournament finals, winning his first Masters event since Cincinnati last year. His 63rd career title tied Bjorn Borg for fifth place in the Open Era. Pete Sampras is fourth at 64, and Jimmy Connors holds the record with 109.

It took him 2 hours, 40 minutes -- a long match compared to how the rest of the week went. Federer had spent only 3 hours, 17 minutes on court while getting to the title match.

Federer sailed through his next two matches, winning each in two tidy sets. Fish provided his first real test.

The 28-year-old American is on the best stretch of his career, going 17-2 since July with titles at Newport and Atlanta. He'd won five in a row against top-10 opponents, gaining confidence with each upset.

The title match was an opportunity for a breakthrough win. Fish had reached only two other Masters finals -- including Cincinnati in 2003 against close friend Andy Roddick -- and lost both of them.

"I desperately want to sort of have my career maybe be remembered by a big tournament or something like that," he said. "So I've wanted badly to win a real big one. This would have been perfect."

Three games into the title match, Federer knew it wouldn't be easy.

With Fish serving, the third game dragged on for 13 minutes -- nearly half as long as Federer's opening match -- and 24 points. Fish fought off a pair of break points before holding serve with an ace.

"You lose that game there, and you know he might steamroll you," Fish said.

Fish's serve dominated all week, matching the tournament record with 87 aces. He struggled with it early but hung on, extending the opening set to the place where he's been best -- a tiebreaker.

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Roger Federer clinchis his fist after breaking Mardy Fish in the third set

Fish is 18-5 in tiebreakers this season, showing a lot of confidence when it comes down to a few pressure points. Federer went ahead 5-4 in the tiebreaker and was serving the next two points with a chance to close it out.

Instead, Fish hit an overhead winner and Federer dumped a backhand into the net. Fish then finished it with a 126 mph serve.

It was the first set that Federer lost during his brief week on court. It lasted 70 minutes -- as long as Federer's semifinal match on Saturday night.

The second set was even tighter, with Federer fighting off the only break point. He was more aggressive in this tiebreaker, coming to the net to take control, then closing it out with a 122 mph ace.

Federer got the only service break of the match to go ahead 5-4 in the final set, leaving him in a good frame of mind heading into the U.S. Open.

Mardy Fish congratulates Roger Federer

"I've been playing well the last couple weeks, and today was just another proof that I'm playing really well," said Federer, who won five straight U.S. Open titles before losing to Juan Martin del Potro last year. "It's nice knowing that the hard work already in the offseason after Wimbledon pays off right away."

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

BWF World Championship Draw

Defending champion Lin Dan of China is looking for his fourth world championship title in Paris which will start on Monday (8/23). The third seed who is in the upper half will play Ali Shahhosseini in the first round. The Chinese seems that he will not face tough opponent until the third round where he probably will meet teammate Bao Chunlai who is seeded ten.

Lin Dan might take on seventh-seeded Nguyen Thien Minh or Korean Park Sung-hwan of Korea before he may meet Lee Chong Wei or Kenichi Tago in the semi-final.

Meanwhile, Indonesian sixth-seeded Sony Dwi Kuncoro withdraws due to injury. Thus, his opponent Misha Zilbermann progresses to second round.

In the men's doubles, Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung receives a bye in the first round. The two-times finalists will meet Matthew Fogarty and David Neumann in the second round.

The Korean pair could meet Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong in the last eight after competing Chinese Guo Zhendong/Xu Chen or Indonesian Hendra Gunawan/Alvent Yulianto in the third round. In the semi-final, Lee and Jung could play Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen of Denmark.

Korean mixed doubles players Lee Yong-dae and Lee Hyo-jung are looking for their first world championship crown. They seems not facing any difficulties until quarter-final whereas they could meet Chinese tenth-seeded Tao Jiaming and Zhang Yawen.

If Lee Yong-dae and Lee Hyo-jung win, they are expected to meet second seeds Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl or sixth-seeded He Hanbin and Yu Yang of China.

Federer to Face Baghdatis in Cincy Last Four

Cincinnati (8/20) - Roger Federer advances into Western & Southern Financial Group Masters semi-final, defeating Russian Nikolay Davydenko 6-4, 7-5. The three-time Cincinnati champion will take on unseeded, Marcos Baghdatis, who earlier stunned top seed Rafael Nadal 6-4, 4-6, and 6-4.

Federer hits the ball

The semi-final will be a rematch of 2006 Australian Open final where Federer became the champion.

In the other semi-final, American Andy Roddick will meet countryman Mardy Fish as in 2003 Cincinnati final. Roddick crushed second-seeded Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5 while Fish conquered world number four Andy Murray 6-7 (7), 6-1, and 7-6 (5).

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Murray Defends His Rogers Cup Title

Andy Murray (left) poses with finalist Roger Federer

Toronto - Fourth-seeded Andy Murray defends his Rogers Cup Title as he downed former world number one Roger Federer 7-5, 7-5 on Sunday (8/15). Murray becomes the first man to repeat as champion since Andre Agassi in 1995.

"Winning a tournament is always great," Murray said. "This is the first time I've beat Roger and Rafa in the same tournament, which is probably the most pleasing thing. And I didn't drop a set against either of them -- so it's good for the confidence for the next few weeks."

The players last met in the Australian Open final, an easy win for Federer that gave him 16 Grand Slam titles, most in tennis.

Swiss Roger Federer stretches to reach the ball

Rain delayed the start of the match by 15 minutes, and when play finally began, Murray seemed intent on blasting Federer from the stadium before fans could dry their seats, breaking Federer twice in the first 10 minutes.

"I thought he played well," Federer said. "He wasn't giving me much and he clutch-served at the very end when he had to. He deserved the victory."

Federer's last action before this tournament was his quarterfinal loss at Wimbledon. He even worked with a coach, American Paul Annacone, and declared he would "love to win another 10 Wimbledons, another five French Opens, an Olympic gold in London, a Davis Cup and whatever -- you name it."

After being held to only two points through the first two games on Sunday, Federer broke back to get to 3-1 and climbed all the way to 5-5 when Murray double-faulted his way to a break. But Federer lost his own serve before Murray served out.

Murray was on serve with Federer up 2-1 in the second set when another rain delay happened, this one more than 45 minutes. Murray held serve to level the second set at 2-2 when the chair umpire called the two men back to their umbrellas just moments after play resumed.

Andy Murray of Great Britain is shielded from rain as he leaves the court

A storm rolled in just after 4 p.m., causing about an hour-long delay. Federer perked up briefly when play resumed, but eventually Murray's serve was too much, and the Swiss superstar hit his final return long to end it.

"The rain delays completely kind of shut it down for me to get any kind of rhythm," Federer said. "It was played at a couple of points here and there. It didn't even feel like the end of the match, you know? All of the sudden, it was all over."

The tournament had the top four players in the semifinals. Federer beat Novak Djokovic and Murray beat Nadal.

"I felt pretty good this week, and I prepared well for the tournament," Murray said. "I just wanted to go for my shots more this week, you know, play the way that I felt like playing and it definitely worked."
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No Top Two Seeds in the Final

Federer in Final Again, Murray Surprised Nadal

Roger Federer progressed into Rogers Cup final after beating second-seeded Novak Djokovic 6-1, 3-6, and 7-5. The Swiss star improved his head-to-head 10-5 against Djokovic, who won Roger Cup title in 2007. Federer's victory brings him back to the world number two spot, downing Djokovic to the number three.

Roger Federer's forehand

"Once I make it to the finals I know where my game's at," said Federer, who stated his intent to regain the No. 1 ranking this season.

"I win more finals than I lose. Rarely do I go to a finals and play a shocker. But it's not the same playing a guy ranked 40 in the world and a guy No. 4. Murray who comes off a win beating Rafa. We all know how hard it is to beat Rafa and me, but it's been done in the past and that's why I have to be careful tomorrow."

Djokovic could not control his emotion in the 11th game as he smashed his before his elimination was sealed in the next and deciding game.

"It's a little bit frustratng that I haven't used the opportunity I had in the end," the 23-year-old Serb said. "But, you know, he (Federer) was realitstically a better player today."

Andy Murray shakes hand with Rafael Nadal after the match

Meanwhile, Scottish Andy Murray maintained his world number four rank by reaching the final. He thrashed top seed Rafael Nadal in the semi-final 6-3 and 6-4.

"You never expect to beat the best players in the world," Murray said. "But I think if I play my best tennis like I did today, I have a very good chance against all of them."

Improving his meeting 4-8 to Nadal, Murray is looking to be the first man to repeat as Rogers Cup champion since Andre Agassi defended his title in 1995.

Roddick Suffers Mononucleosis

Andy Roddick finally knows what's been getting him down the last few months -- a mild case of mononucleosis.

Roddick said on Saturday one of several blood tests came back positive for mononucleosis. Doctors told him he's probably had it for the last couple of months and should be nearly over it.

"I'm just glad that we found out something that was causing it," said Roddick, who is getting ready for next week's Cincinnati Masters. "It's weird, the fear of kind of the unknown and not knowing what's going on. There were some days where it was good, and some days where it was real bad. So it was like you would have one of those two or three good days, and it was like, 'OK, you're just being kind of a wimp.'

"So it's nice to have a little bit of clarity moving forward. It's not something that's going to affect me, anything super-serious."

Roger Federer had mononucleosis in 2008, leading to a decline in his wins and his ranking. Roddick has slipped to No. 11 in the world while struggling through a summer of out-of-character losses, making him wonder what was wrong.

Seeded fifth at Wimbledon, he lost to 82nd-ranked Yen-hsu Lu of Taiwan in the fourth round. He lost to Gilles Simon in the third round at Washington on Aug. 6, saying afterward that he didn't feel right. He got blood tests in Washington and more in Texas, and withdrew from the Rogers Cup in Toronto this week while awaiting results.

"I guess I've been dealing with a mild, mild case of mono for the last couple of months that I wasn't really sure about," he said. "So they think I'm fine now. They think I'm most of the way through it, if not all the way through it."

Roddick said he tired more easily this summer, prompting him to cut back on his workout schedule.

"I enjoy training all day and running all day long and doing all that stuff," Roddick said. "You know, I opted out of probably four or five workouts this summer -- that I've never done before. So that wasn't fun. It was just me wondering if I was out of shape or what was going on, why there was this lethargic feeling."

He expects to be fine for the U.S. Open, where he lost to John Isner in the third round last year. Roddick won the 2003 U.S. Open. He said his doctor was encouraging.

"He said, 'You know, the good news is you're probably ready to rock. Be a little careful, but you should be fine to go,' " Roddick said. "That was a relief."


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Roger into Rogers Cup Semi-final

Toronto - Former world number one Roger Federer strolls into Rogers Cup semi-final after he beat Tomas Berdych 6-3, 5-7, and 7-6 (5). Federer, who was defeated by Berdych in Wimbledon quarter-final last month, worked hard to win after left 2-5 in the third set.

Seventh seed Berdych served for the match at 5-3, but Federer broke to force a tie-break. He seemed to cruise easily as he led 4-0 but Berdych battled back to make it 5-5. However, two-times Rogers Cup champion Federer finally ended the tie-break 7-5 and won the match.

"It was a tough match to go through. I started off great, was doing all the right things," the 16-time Grand Slam winner told Sky Sports 4.

I had some opportunities to defend in the beginning of the second, where he had a couple of break-points early on in two of the service games and then I had really big chances of my own.

"I was struggling to see the ball in the night - that was tricky going from day to night.

"He also had one service game where he all of a sudden served two double faults and I had the same thing. I just couldn't take advantage of it and he could.

"The third set was lucky. I tried and he got into a good momentum. He started to play better, loosened up a bit and got in a lead, but I just tried to hang with him. Those are the kind of matches I lost earlier on this season so I'm happy this one went my way."

Federer paid tribute to his 24-year-old opponent, who is ranked seventh in the world.

"He's got a massive game," said the 29-year-old. "I'm happy for him that he's finally making his move because I thought back when he beat me at the Athens Olympics in 2004 that he was going to make his move in the next couple of years but he was not able to, so I'm happy for him."

Next, Federer will play against second-seeded Novak Djokovic who defeat Jeremy Chardy of France 6-2 and 6-3 in the quarter-final. In the upper half, defending champion Andy Murray moves into the last 4 after rolling David Nalbandian out 6-2, 6-2. The Scot must reach the final in order to maintain his world number four rank.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal fought hard to conquer Phillip Kohlschreiber 3-6, 6-3, and 6-4 in two hours to secure a place in the semi-final.

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