Sunday, August 14, 2011

Can China Repeat Last Year's Success?

It is not impossible for China to take all the world championship title as they have done last year. Mixed doubles player Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei opened the match day, competing against another Chinese pair, Xu Chen and Ma Jin. Leading 21-17 in the first set, Zhang and Zhao did not need to play the second set as Xu and Ma retired due to Ma's injury.

In the other mixed doubles semis, Indonesia's world number two Tontowi Ahmad and Lilyana Natsir surprisingly were subjected to home favorites Chris Adcock and Scottish Imogen Bankier. The unseeded pair won in straight sets 21-16 and 21-19.

"Today I think I was playing with the best women's mixed doubles player in the world. She tore Natsir up and made my job so easy," Adcock praised his partner. He was also happy to reach the world championship final in his own country.

Meanwhile, disappointed Lilyana revealed that her and Tontowi's game were easily guessed by their opponents. "We should have been defensive first, not aggressively attacking. Bankier was ready in the net. Finally they attacked us which made us under pressure and confused," she said.

In the men's doubles, Korean Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung fail to advance to the final after losing to China's defending champions Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng in their 15th meeting, 18-21 and 14-21. Now Lee and Jung head-to-head is 7-8 against Cai and Fu.

However, Lee and Jung's teammates Ko Sung-hyun and Yoo Yeon-seong succeed to the final after vanquishing Indonesia's Mohammad Ahsan/Bona Septano 21-19 and 21-15.

Wang Yihan emerges as the winner in the Chinese-meeting semi-final. The second seed downs the third seed Wang Xin 21-15 and 21-15 to face Taiwanese Cheng Shao-Chieh in the final.

For sure, China will win the women's doubles title after placing their two pairs in the final. Top seed Wang Xiaoli/Yu Yang will play compatriots Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei. Wang and Yu excelled Japanese third-seeded Miyuki Maeda and Satoko Suetsuna in the semi-final 21-8 and 21-15 while Tian and Zhao eases to the final with a 21-14, 21-16 victory over India's Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa.

pictures by xinhuanews and bwfbadminton

Lin Dan's Fifth World Championship Final

London (8/13) - Once again China's powerful Lin Dan makes it to the final of World Championship. He is closer to his fourth title after winning the same crown in 2006, 2007, and 2009.

In the the last four, 27-year-old Lin Dan defeated veteran third seed Peter Gade of Denmark 22-24, 21-7, and 21-15. Next, the former world number one will face nemesis Lee Chong Wei in the final. Previously, the 28-year-old Malaysian has beaten defending champion Chen Jin 21-13 and 21-9.

However, Lin Dan stated that he was more interested in winning ranking points for the Olympic Games than becoming the world champion again.

"I don't care about the result of tomorrow's (Sunday's) final," Lin Dan claimed.

"It's more important just to try to win as many ranking points as possible to qualify for the Olympics, and to get used to the venue. I think Lee Chong Wei is in really good form."

On the other hand, Lee Chong Wei who has just reached his first final of world championship is very ecstatic. He said that he was finally in the final in his sixth attempt at the world meet. "I am so happy that I kept my focus throughout the match and did not stumble,” he uttered.

Until now, Lin Dan has a better meeting against Lee Chong Wei with a 15-8 in their head-to-head record.


Rogers Cup - Serena and Stosur Clash

Toronto - Serena Williams reaches Rogers Cup final after defeating Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-3 and 6-3.

The former world number one, who returned to competition in June after 11 months out with injuries and health problems, will carry a 10-match winning streak into the final against Samantha Stosur and appears in ominous form ahead of the U.S. Open starting August 29.

Williams, who won the Stanford Classic last month in her third tournament back, said her game was reaching her Wimbledon-winning form from last year.

"I feel it's better today than it has been the past couple rounds but I feel it's coming along," Williams told reporters.

"I still can do better but overall I am almost where I was but I want to exceed that level."

Stosur booked a spot in her second final of 2011 with a 6-2 5-7 6-2 win over Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, who came into the match riding a nine-match win streak and having not dropped a set all week.

The 27-year-old Australian, who lost to Maria Sharapova in the Italian Open final in May, broke her opponent twice during a dominant first set before letting the 13th seed back in.

But Stosur, who has been improving with each match of the tournament, hit back the swift third set which she capped off in style with her seventh ace of the day.

Williams has a 3-2 edge in head-to-head meetings with Stosur, but the Australian won their last match in their quarter-final at the 2010 French Open.


Friday, August 12, 2011

BWF World Championship - No Surprises for World Number Ones

London (8/11) - All world number ones advance to Yonex BWF World Championship semi-finals. In the men's singles semi-final, top seed Lee Chong Wei is challenged by Guatemala's unseede Kevin Cordon. Cordon, who is unexpected to reach the quarter-finals, beat Spanish Pablo Avian 21-19, 19-21, and 21-17 in the third round. Earlier, Cordon has crushed China's fifth seed Chen Long in the first round.

Meanwhile, in the bottom half, 2008 Olympic champion and three-time world champion Lin Dan of China conquered South Korean Lee Hyun-il in straight sets 21-16 and 21-13 to book the quarter-final clash with Japanese Sho Sasaki. If Lin Dan beat Sasaki, he might face either the only European men's singles player left, Peter Gade, or Vietnam's Nguyen Tien Minh.

“Hyun-il is a patient and steady player. He is certainly playing better after coming out of retirement. But I am happy that I stayed calm and did my job well,” said Lin Dan.

“I feel good about my game so far and I will give my best.”

Before meeting seventh-seeded Cheng Shao Chieh in the last eight, the women's singles number one Wang Shixian of China subdued Thailand's Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 21-7 and 21-11. Shixian's compatriots, Wang Yihan and Wang Xin, also successfully reach the quarter-finals. Second-seeded Yihan will play French Pi Hongyan while third-seeded Wang Xin will face Indian Saina Nehwal.

In the men's doubles, China's Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng won a three-set match against Japanese Naoji Kawamae and Shoji Sato 21-17, 15-21, and 21-14 to meet Mads Conrad-Petersen and Jonas Rasmussen of Denmark in the last four. Their juniors, Shen Ye and Hong Wei, also advances to the semi-final to face world number three Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung who defeated Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa easily 21-14 and 21-5.

China places two women's doubles pairs in the last eight, and so does Indonesia while Japan has three pairs. World number one pair from China, Wang Xiaoli/Yu Yang, will meet Japanese Shizuka Matsuo/Mami Naito.

In the mixed doubles, top seeds Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei cruise to the quarter-final with a 21-13, 21-18 win over German Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels. Next they play Taiwanese pairs.