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.

pictures by reuters

What A Sun-Dae

Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung of South Korea are crowned as Taiwan Grand Prix Open winners after overpowering teammates Cho Gun-woo and Kwon Yi-goo in the final on Sunday (8/8). Lee and Jung only need 27 minutes to end the match 21-10 and 21-16. They won their second title of this year after Korea Open.

In the all-Korean women's doubles final, Lee Hyo-jung/Kim Min-jung emerge as the champions as they subjugated Lee Kyung-won/Yoo Hyun-young 21-14 and 22-20. However, Korea's singles players fail to bring joy as they lost to their opponents. Bae Seung-hee was beaten by local player Cheng Shao-Chieh in tough three sets, 11-21, 26-24, and 17-21. Meanwhile, Simon Santoso of Indonesia won the men's singles final with a 21-14, 21-11 triumph over Shon Wan-ho.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hunting for First Title after Five-Month Drought

Lee Yong-dae Shows That He Is Still Supreme

Yong-dae displayed a powerful return in men's doubles. The twenty-one-year-old Korean reaches his first men's doubles final after injury with Jung Jae-sung despite of a quarter-final loss in the mixed doubles yesterday. The former world number one stopped Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong's errand with a tough three-set semi-final victory, 21-23, 21-18, and 21-17 in 59 minutes.

In the final, the third seeds will play compatriots Cho Gun-woo and Kwon Yi-goo. Cho and Kwon defeated fourth-seeded Fang Chieh-Min and Lee Sheng-Mu 21-19 and 21-14.

Another All-Korean Final

Korean women's doubles pairs also progress to the final. Unseeded Lee Hyo-jung and Kim Min-jung surprised second-seeded Cheng Wen-Hsing and Chien Yu-Chin with a 24-22, 18-21, and 25-23 win. Meanwhile, Lee Kyung-won and Yoo Hyun-young eased to the final after conquering Japanese Rie Eto and Yu Wakita 21-11 and 21-10 in just 34 minutes.

Simon Suceeds, Dionysius Disappoints

In the men's singles, Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka fails to create an all-Indonesian final as he lost to Shon Wan-ho of Korea 17-21 and 19-21. Earlier, Dionysius' teammate Simon Santoso, who was seed third, moves into the final after defeating top seed Nguyen Thien Minh of Vietnam 21-16 and 21-18.

Third seed Bae Sung-hee of Korea defeated Indonesia's Aprilia Yuswandari 21-19, 15-21, 21-18 to sets up a final-clash with local favorite Cheng Shao-Chieh who overcame another Korean Bae Youn-joo 21-14 and 21-14.

Although fail to have all-Indonesia final in the singles, Indonesia put her two mixed doubles pair in the final. Tontowi Ahmad and Lilyana Natsir surmounted Chen Hong-Ling and Cheng Wen-Hsing 21-17, 21-13 while Hendra Gunawan and Vita Marissa fought hard to win over countrymen Fran Kurniawan and Pia Zebadiah, 21-19, 15-21, and 21-16. This is a repeated final of Macau Open last week which was won by Lilyana and Tontowi.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Yong-dae, Hyo-jung, and Jae-sung to Last Eight

Lee Yong-dae and Lee Hyo-jung book a quarter-final ticket after struggling to subdue Indonesia's Muhammad Rijal and Debby Susanto in rubber sets, 21-13, 20-22, and 22-20. Next, Yong-dae and Hyo-jung will play another Indonesian pair Tontowi Ahmad and Lilyana Natsir. However, their success is not followed by their teammates, Ko Sung-hyun and Ha Jung-eun, who bow down to Yohan Wiratama and Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong, 21-14, 17-21, and 21-17.

Indonesia has more two contenders in the mixed doubles quarter-final, Hendra Gunawan/Vita Marissa and Fran Kurniawan/Pia Zebadiah. Hendra and Vita will face Thai Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thungthongkam while Fran and Pia will meet Wiratama and Tse.

To the Men's Doubles Quarter-final

Lee Yong-dae also achieves men's doubles quarter-final with Jung Jae-sung. They edged out countrymen Kim Ki-jung and Shin Baek-cheol easily 21-18 and 21-14. Afterward, the third seeds will take on local players, Chen Hong-Ling and Lin Yu-lang.

Meanwhile, veteran Candra Wijaya, partnering Luluk Hadiyanto, surpassed Korean Ko Sung-hyun/Yoo Yeon-seong who won in Macau last week, in straight sets, 26-24 and 21-15, to compete against Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong in the quarter-final. In the second round, Koo and Tan won a comfortable 21-12, 21-7 victory over Ross Smith and Glenn Warfe.

In the upper half, fifth-seeded Choong Tan Fook/Lee Wan Wah defeated teammates Chan Chong Ming and Chew Choon Eng 21-15, 14-21, and 21-19 as Cho Gun-woo and Kwon Yi-goo mastered Indonesian tough qualifier Fernando Kurniawan and Wifqi Windarto 19-21, 21-19, and 21-14.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lee Yong-dae Is Back

After more than a long rest because of injury for months, former world number one Lee Yong-dae will play in Chinese Taipei Grand Prix which starts today. Partnering with Jung Jae-sung in men's doubles, the third seed will face qualifiers Tseng Ching Chung/Wang Chia Min in the first round. Lee and Jung might take on compatriot Kim Ki-jung and Shin Baek-cheol in the second round and face top seeds Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong in the semi-final.

In the mixed doubles, Lee Yong-dae still pairs with Lee Hyo-jung. The second seeds will compete against Thailand's Thitipong Lapho and Vacharaporn Munkit. After probably meeting another Thailand pair Songpol Anukritaywan and Kuchala Worawichitchaikul who were seeded fifth in the semi-final, they can face top seed Hendra Gunawan/Vita Marissa or fourth-seeded Ko Sung-hyun/Ha Jung-eun in the final.