JAPAN OPEN 2011 Finals – Mixed fortunes for Cheng Wen Hsing!

Taiwan had earned two chances to take a gold medal at the 2011 Yonex Japan Open: one in women’s doubles and one in mixed doubles.  Cheng Wen Hsing had two […]

Taiwan had earned two chances to take a gold medal at the 2011 Yonex : one in women’s doubles and one in mixed doubles.  Cheng Wen Hsing had two chances to impress Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium crowd.

By Miyuki Komiya, Badzine Correspondent live in Tokyo.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

China nabs first gold!

The women’s doubles final featured Chinese Taipei veterans Cheng Wen Hsing / Chien Yu Chin versus China’s rising pair Bao Yixin / Zhong Qianxin.  Chinese Taipei was very relaxed at the start of the opening game. China took 13 points but Chinese Taipei’s consecutive points easily earned them the first game 21-13.

At the start of the second game, the Chinese Taipei pair continued their relaxed play but the Chinese pair began to adapt to their opponents’ style of play and went off on a 5-point run, enabling them to grab the lead from Cheng and Chien.  China got the first game point and eventually took the second game 25-23 to forge a final showdown, the third match in a row this week where they had to save match points in game 2.

The third game saw the Chinese Taipei ladies tiring out while the China’s younger players looked considerably fresher.  The third game was a combination of long rallies of smashes and dashing to and from all corners of the court.  In the end, the younger Chinese took the third game 21-12, earning themselves their first title at the OSIM Super Series.

“In the second game, we weren’t able to execute our play style. We started to tire,” said Cheng Wen Hsing in the post-match press conference.  “The first game was our pace, but our opponents’ returns in the second game were really good.”

“We are very happy! More than the techniques, our determination helped us to patiently get the important points, one by one, to allow us to win.  We wanted to keep China’s dominance in women’s doubles.  Our top pairs are not around in this Super Series so we felt that it was our responsibility to win the gold.  That is what I was thinking during the match point,” said China’s Bao Yixin after the match.

“I’m also very happy.  This Super Series is a turning point, and I have learned a lot.  I’d like to train harder to improve and win more,” added Zhong Qianxin.  “We don’t know if our pairing will continue but we are aiming for the Brazil Olympics.  China has so many strong and young players.”

Cheng down, Cheng up!

In the mixed doubles final, Denmark’s Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen battled it out against Cheng Wen Hsing and partner Chen Hung Ling.

In the first game, Wen Hsing was not able to read the play very well and she struggled at the net.  The tall Dane Fischer Nielsen’s deep smashes continued to come towards the Chinese Taipei pair, who were then forced to retreat to a defensive position.  However, Chinese Taipei’s superb receiving saved them in the first game and they took it 21-19.

Joachim Fischer Nielsen continued to pound on from the front all the way to the backcourt and this gave the Europeans an 11-6 lead at the interval, and they never looked back as the second game ended 21-16 in favour of the Danish pair.

The score was 7-7 in the final game when Wen Hsing became very instrumental in consecutive winning rallies that gave them an 11-7 advantage at the internal.  After changing courts, Chinese Taipei committed several errors, allowing the Danes to catch up to 13-13.  The Chinese Taipei’s again exhibited superiority in their receiving abilities that gave them openings to forge ahead and reach match point.  In the end, the pressure of the game got to Christinna as she returned weak and long, allowing Chen the opportunity to smash the winning shot that gave the Chinese Taipei pair a Super Series gold medal.

“It was a tough loss today but we are very satisfied with our final performance.  The only way to grow is to be in these kinds of big tournaments,” commented Joachim Fischer Nielsen.

“We have been a pair for half a year and this is our first Super Series gold.  We are very happy, especially because we won against a very strong pair.  They were very good at attacking but we held our ground and did a better job at receiving,” said Chen Hung Ling.

“This is our third match against the Danish pair.  In the first match, we were easily defeated,” added Cheng Wen Hsing during the post-match interview in front of the local spectators.  “In the second match, we got a little better and we won.

“I was also in the women’s doubles finals earlier today and to be honest, I’m tired. Christinna had several mistakes and that helped us to win the match.  Not only the Taiwanese but the Japanese crowd also cheered for us.

ARIGATOU GOZAIMASHITA!” Cheng thanked the crowd in Japanese.

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Miyuki Komiya

About Miyuki Komiya

Miyuki Komiya is Badzine's correspondent in Japan. She joined the Badzine team in 2008 to provide coverage of the Japanese badminton scene. She has played badminton for more than 30 years and has been a witness to the modern history of Japanese badminton, both watching players become stronger on court and hearing the players comment on their increasing success over the years. Contact her at: miyuki @ badzine.net