DENMARK OPEN 2011 Finals – Chen Long blows past Chong Wei

China might not have got the sweep they were looking for at the Yonex Denmark Open Premier Super Series, but they came away with something equally important – another Chen […]

China might not have got the sweep they were looking for at the Yonex Premier Super Series, but they came away with something equally important – another Chen Long victory over Lee Chong Wei. With that, Lin Dan’s early loss now seemed justified, and they now have delivered a deep psychological blow to the world no.1 in the run-up to the London Olympics.

By Dev S Sukumar in Odense, photos (live): Yohan Nonotte and Shi Tang for Badmintonphoto

The local crowd got plenty to cheer, however, as Joachim Fischer-Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen (photo) first prevented the possibility of the sweep by upstaging Xu Chen and Ma Jin in a superbly-executed tactical contest. Then Lee Yong Dae and Jung Jae Sung overturned recent form to get past world champions Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng, and thus it was especially important for Chen Long to execute his plan against Chong Wei in the last match of the day.

In terms of excitement, the mixed doubles was probably the one that blew the roof off the stadium. The stadium was packed as Fischer and Pedersen attempted to carry out the team’s strategy of moving Xu Chen around and not allowing him the opportunity to get under the shuttle. In coach Lars Uhre’s words, Ma Jin is the best front court player in the world, and Denmark had to take her out of the equation.

This they did almost unbelievably, for even the astute Ma Jin was left sullen and at a loss for ideas. Camilla dominated her at the net, while with Xu Chen, they kept employing the lift to both corner to keep him moving constantly. The first game was neck-and-neck, until Christinna earned game point by attacking Xu Chen’s serve and then closed out with a smash down the middle.

Denmark slowly kept enhancing the lead, and the Chinese were kept frustrated as they were just not allowed to play their game, eventually falling 22-20 21-16.

Yong Dae and Jae Sung (photo) did likewise against Cai and Fu. The two Koreans were sharp and agile, and were able to keep Fu from hitting from the deep. Their work at the net was nearly perfect, barely giving Cai a chance to get an easy kill. The world champions were so worn down that they made several uncharacteristic mistakes towards the end, falling 21-16 21-17.

With Wang Xin (photo) triumphing earlier over Yihan in a tight contest (21-14 23-21), and Wang Xiaoli/ Yu Yang getting past second seeds Qing Tian/ Zhao Yunlei (22-20 21-16), all attention now turned to the final match, the men’s singles. Would Lee Chong Wei keep away the young and fast-improving Chen Long?

No, as it turned out. Chen Long was vastly superior in all departments. He had an answer to everything Chong Wei asked of him – he matched him for pace, covered the front court brilliantly, and countered each smash. When he unleashed his own big smashes, Chong Wei was almost a spectator. The Malaysian’s lack of a big weapon was cruelly exposed – his main asset is speed, while his smash is sharp and accurate, but not devastating. Chen Long (photo) anticipated his cross net shots to dominate at the net. The young man, who won his third Super Series in a row, looks a good bet for the singles gold at the Olympics, which is one of the few titles the Chinese really care for these days.

Final results
MS: Chen Long (CHN) bt Lee Chong Wei (MAS) 21-15, 21-18
WS: Wang Xin (CHN) bt Wang Yihan (CHN) 21-14, 23-21
MD: Lee/Jung (KOR) bt Cai/Fu (CHN) 21-16, 21-17
WD: Wang/Yu (CHN) bt Tian/Zhao (CHN) 22-20, 21-16
XD: Fischer Nielsen/Pedersen (DEN) bt Xu/Ma (CHN) 22-20, 21-16

All results HERE

Live streaming HERE

Badmintonphoto’s best pictures of the day HERE

About Dev Sukumar