ALL ENGLAND 2011 Finals – Wang Shixian to take the trophy home

We were guaranteed since yesterday that the 101th women’s singles championship would see a new name added to the long list of previous great winners and it’s Wang Shixian who […]

We were guaranteed since yesterday that the 101th women’s singles championship would see a new name added to the long list of previous great winners and it’s Wang Shixian who triumphed in the National Indoor Arena, bringing back the trophy to China, a manifest contrast with her first round loss last year.

By Tarek Hafi (Live from Bimingham).  Photo: Badmintonphoto

As the top seed, Wang Shixian led in the early points, displaying her clever game which brought her to the top ranking status within the past few months. The Chinese girl dispatched precise offensive clears followed afterwards by powerful smashes to dig the gap but Hirose is not one to give up easily as she went all out to retrieve whatever Wang threw at her. Eriko Hirose improved technically and she proved able to deceive her opponent with deft drop shots.

Together this brought us to a very close end of the opening game where Eriko earned the first game point, quickly erased by two efficient smashes launched by Wang Shixian, forcing Eriko Hirose to play drive but inevitably the Chinese girl took the opening game with a fantastic crossed court drop shot that topped it off 24-22.

The arena was now parted in two with Eriko’s fans becoming louder while the Chinese looking more and more tense.

When the points were pretty closed I couldn’t help but feel nervous,” admitted Wang Shixian.

It was an opportunity for Eriko to gain much confidence from the crowd’s cheering as she started to lead the game, reading perfectly her opponent’s tactics. Hirose’s control of the game was to be short-lived, however,  as Wang Shixian quickly came back into it, showing her seeding pretty clearly. Racing towards the victory, she quickly earned a first match point at 20-16. Eriko’s pride hurt, she assails her opponent with powerful smashes, but in the end it was not enough to assail the Chinese player, who sent back just as many onto Eriko Hirose’s body, sealing the game and the match.

“I am really happy today as this win was really important for me since I lost in the first round last year,” said Wang. I wanted to make it up in this year’s tournament. Even if sometimes I could feel the intensity since the match was pretty tough, mostly in the end of the first game and the beginning of the second, I then managed to relax a lot and I guess that is how I managed to win the match.”

It was an excellent performance from the Japanese player, matching the world #1 shot for shot.  “I was really nervous during the match since it’s my first final but I managed to feel a bit better afterwards as I could hear many people cheering for me,” said Eriko afterward.  “I am quite disappointed since I want really wanted to win that match today, but now I just hope this match will bring me confidence in my future tournaments.”

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About Tarek Hafi