Sunday, January 30, 2011

Korea Open Super Series Premier Winners

Home favorites Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung triumphed in Victor Korea Open final with a 21-6, 21-13 victory over world number one pair of Denmark Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen in Seoul National University Gymnasium.

The sixth-seeded Koreans dominantly ended the match in only 33 minutes to secure the first men's doubles Super Series Premier crown. Yong-dae and Jae-sung, who are the defending champions, knelt down happily after the win. They deserve US$94800 prize money.

“We are sort of half and half against this Danish pair,” said Yong-dae.

“It seems each time we think we’ll beat them, we’ll lose and when we think we’ll lose, we beat them. Kido and Setiawan have really proven that they can come through in the big matches and they have a lot of experience doing so. This Danish pair is very difficult to play against but we always feel like we have more of a chance against them. It’s the same with Cai/Fu of China so we were actually hoping that it would be Boe/Mogensen who came up on the other side to the finals."

“The condition of my elbow has really improved and I feel so much more confident playing men’s doubles without having played mixed,” 22-year-old Yong-dae added.

“Coach Kang Kyung Jin coach has really had me working hard on the weights because my lack of power meant we were really at a disadvantage when I was rotated to the back. Now that my power has improved, we find it easier to rotate, knowing that we can both take on the attacking opportunities.

“There were so many people there today that I was really nervous at the beginning, especially when the 0-0 score went up on the board. It was only once we started winning and the crowd was behind us that I was able to settle down.

“We felt it was best to skip the Malaysia Open this year. After our loss in the final in Taipei, we really felt we needed more training. Also we lost in the first round there last year so we were glad to avoid being reminded of that this year.”

Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei pose

Lin Dan Reigns

In the men's singles, 2008 Olympics gold medalist and the three-times world champion 27-year-old Lin Dan showed his higher class to 28-year-old Lee Chong Wei in the men's singles final. The final was full of smashes and world-class shots that was eventually won by Lin Dan.

Lin Dan opened his arms after winning the third set. He jumped the advertisement board and ran to the crowds where he got the Chinese flag.

The former number one mastered the current number one 21-19, 14-21, and 21-16. Now their head-to-head is 15-5 for Lin Dan who won the last 7 meetings against Chong Wei.

In the mixed doubles, Chinese Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei won their second title in 2011 season by defeating compatriots Tao Jiaming and Tian Qing 21-17, 13-21, and 21-19.

Now it is Wang Yihan's turn to win because Wang Shixian had beaten her in Malaysia Open final last week. Wang Yihan vanquished Wang Shixian 21-14, 21-18 to grab the women's singles Korea Open title.

Zhao Yunlei failed to add her title collection as she and Tian Qing lost to Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang in the women's doubles final 18-21, 21-19, and 21-4.

Left to right : Tao Jiaming, Tian Qing, Zhang Nan, Zhao Yunlei

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Aussie Kim

Kim Clijsters poses with her Australian Open at Brighton Beach in Melbourne

(Reuters) - Kim Clijsters drew on her huge wealth of experience to ride out a Li Na storm and claim her maiden Australian Open title Saturday by shattering China's dream of a first grand slam champion.

The Belgian battled back after dropping the first set to beat Li 3-6 6-3 6-3 in an intense final and win her fourth major title, her third since her return from retirement and a first outside the U.S. Open.

The girl, who Australians had taken to their hearts when she was romantically involved with local hero Lleyton Hewitt, had returned a woman and a mother and she basked, teary-eyed, in the warm applause from the center court crowd.

"Now I feel you guys can call me 'Aussie Kim' because I won the title," said Clijsters, who lost the 2004 final.

Her triumph had looked unlikely when Li, Asia's first finalist in any of the sport's four majors, overcame her customary poor start to dominate most of the first two sets and genuinely rattle the tournament favorite.

Where the younger Clijsters might have crumbled, however, she now merely made subtle adjustments to her game to knock the powerful Li off her stride and in the deciding set it was the Chinese whose mental frailities betrayed her.

The 27-year-old Clijsters rattled through the third set in just over half an hour before claiming victory when Li slapped a forehand into the net for her 40th unforced error of the two hour five minute contest.

"It was such an intense match," Clijsters added, explaining her tears. "I don't think I had that in one of the grand slams where I've won. To win it in this way means it a lot.

"I think it's that moment that overwhelms you, where your mind has been so focused, I'm fighting every shot, running a lot of balls down, and it's finished. That's what makes it just nice, and I guess this big relief."

Li, who had come back from 5-0 down in the first set to upset Clijsters in the final of the Sydney warm-up tournament two weeks ago, again gave her opponent a head start by failing to win a point in the first two games of the match.

Despite the Sydney defeat, Clijsters had still entered the tournament as favorite in the absence of injured 2010 champion Serena Williams, after she beat former world number one Dinara Safina 6-0 6-0 in the first round.


Lin Dan Set Up Korean Final Clash with Chong Wei

2010 Asian Games champion Lin Dan strove hard to book the final ticket of Victor Korea Open Super Series Premier. The Chinese man needed an hour and 15 minutes to down Simon Santoso of Indonesia 23-21, 20-22, and 21-15.

Lin Dan has the chance to win the first Super Series Premier if he overcome Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei in the final. Lee Chong Wei had beaten Chinese Du Pengyu 21-10 and 21-10 in the last four.

China dominates the women's singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles finals as the contestants are all from China. World number one Wang Shixian will compete against world number two Wang Yihan in the final. In the semi-finals, Shixian vanquished young Thailand's Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 21-7, 21-13 while Yihan defeated unseeded local player Sung Ji-hyun 21-5, 18-21, and 21-18.

In the women doubles, Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei will meet Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli in the final. However, Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei have to be opponents in the mixed doubles as Tian Qing pairing with Tao Jiaming will face world number two Zhao Yunlei and Zhang Nan in the final.

Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung are the only Koreans in the final as they defeated world number five Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong in the men's doubles semi-finals. The 2008 All England winners won 20-22, 21-9, and 21-10.

Nonetheless, crushed 17-21 and 19-21 by top seed Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark, another Korean pair Ko Sung-hyun and Yoo Yeon-seong failed to reach the final.

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

First Title in 2011

Switzerland's Roger Federer raises the golden eagle trophy after beating Nikolay Davydenko of Russia

Roger Federer started the 2011 season with an awesome 6-3, 6-4 win over Nikolay Davydenko to collect his third Qatar Open title on Saturday (1/8).

"It does feel great," Federer said to winning his 67th career title. "I can't believe the season is under way and I'm already on the board with a title."

It was a good preparation for Federer to play in Australian Open on January 17.

"I'm very happy to kick-off the season today this way I think I played an amazing match... it will give me a lot of confidence for the remainder of the season," said the 29-year-old Swiss, who will head to Australia for a week of practice.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Federer Reached Qatar Open Final

Doha (1/8) - Roger Federer sets up a final clash with defending champion Nikolay Davydenko after beating Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-6.

Federer ended the match against Tsonga a smash and will be favorite to win the title for a third time when he faces Davydenko Saturday.

"It was a good match," said the sixteen-times grand slam winner, who now has a good chance to win back the title he won in 2005 and 2006.

"I played well. It became a high quality match in the second set and it was right that it went to a tiebreak because Tsonga played well too."

Federer has a 14-2 career record against Davydenko, although he did lose to him in last year's semi-final.

Davydenko repeated his last-year success as he stunned sick top seed Rafael Nadal in the semi-final 6-3, 6-2. The Russian beat Nadal in the same tournament final last year.