MALAYSIA OPEN 2010 Finals – Wang wins in her ‘Lucky’ Malaysia

Two trips to Malaysia, two finals, and now, finally, a Super Series title for China’s Wang Xin (pictured) as she became the 2010 Proton Malaysia Open champion, benefitting from the […]

Two trips to Malaysia, two finals, and now, finally, a Super Series title for China’s Wang Xin (pictured) as she became the 2010 Proton champion, benefitting from the rather mysterious retirement of Korean youngster Bae Youn Joo.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent, live in Kuala Lumpur. Photos: Yves Lacroix, BadmintonPhoto (live)

Bae Youn Joo took her first game against Wang Xin, using the precision net play she’d shown all week to great effect, and eliciting errors from Wang by pushing her repeatedly back to her forehand corner.  The game was evenly matched, however, and Bae only took the advantage by making a five-point run to 15-13.

In the second game, Bae seemed to dig Wang’s deft drop shots literally right out of the floor.  Wang picked up her game a notch, however, just as Bae began to let a few misjudged shuttles land on the lines and the Chinese veteran managed to fend off a late challenge to win it 21-17.

Early in the third, things started to look bleak for Bae as, at 2-all, she struggled to make herself understood to the officials before being allowed to spray her ankle.  The young Korean was visibly laboured in her movements after that and did no more lunging until the break, at which point Wang led 11-5.

Things started to look very strange after that.  Coach Li Mao left the court as the players switched ends and as Bae  Youn Joo (pictured) continued to play, Coach Kang Kyung Jin also walked off, in the middle of a rally.  Shortly thereafter, Bae, now all alone on court and with no one in her coach’s corner, finally signalled to the umpire that she was retiring and Wang Xin became a Super Series champion at last.

Immediately after the match, the Korean camp would not speak to the press and departed for the airport amid conflicting reports of Bae suffering from a twisted left ankle to heart troubles.   Assistant Referee Chua Soo Hock explained that the first time Bae stopped playing, she asked to spray her ankle, but that the second time, she asked to wrap it but this request was denied.

“I said ‘no’ because she did not tell me what was wrong,” said Chua.  “She did not ask for the doctor and did not fall to the floor or seem to be in great pain.  The coach came over and I explained that she couldn’t do the strapping and he told her to play on.”

“I didn’t know that she was injured,” Wang Xin commented after the match.  “She didn’t signal that to the umpire and it looked as if she were just slowing down because she was tired.  I only knew it was an injury when she actually stopped the match.”

Despite the confusion that surrounded the match’s anti-climactic finish, Wang had no trouble enjoying her triumph.  “The crowd here is very enthusiastic,” she beamed,  “and I like it in Malaysia, because there are many Chinese people and I don’t have any troubles to communicate.

“The coach did not put pressure on me, just told me to do my best but I started to feel that it was my responsibility to take the women’s singles title for China.”

All week, Wang Xin had been naming a Super Series title as her next target and now, with the Malaysia Open title in hand, she will next be looking for a spot on the Uber Cup team.  However, she did not presume to look too far into the future, saying, “It’s too early to think about the 2012 Olympics.  From now on, I just intend to improve the consistency of my performances.”

Wang Xin’s win caps off two weeks where, despite a handful of high-profile upsets from their northeast Asian neighbours, the Chinese women’s singles team emerged unscathed with two Super Series titles that were last carried back to China in 2007.

For complete results from the 2010 Proton Malaysia Open Super Series, CLICK HERE

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Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @