FRENCH OPEN 2011 R32 – Taufik out, Sung In

Coubertin’s favourite and title holder Taufik Hidayat was shown the exit by Wang Zhengming, after a poor performance. Sung Ji Hyun, on the other hand, finally beat her Chinese nemesis […]

Coubertin’s favourite and title holder Taufik Hidayat was shown the exit by Wang Zhengming, after a poor performance. Sung Ji Hyun, on the other hand, finally beat her Chinese nemesis Wang Shixian in a thrilling three-game battle.

By Tarek Hafi, live in Paris.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

The tournament’s favourite Taufik Hidayat suffered an early exit in the hall he has been doing so well in the past few years, thanks to an unlimited amount of support from the French crowd.

When most of the aficionados thought the Coubertin hall atmosphere could bring back the legend, Taufik only showed a shadow of himself, trying to get back level with rising Chinese star Wang Zhengming, but finally proving unable to cope with the constant pressure he was under. Near the end of a mostly equally played first game, the Chinese youngster forced the Indonesian ace to use his backhand and quickly rushed to the net to finish off the rally.

The loss of the first game didn’t bring any motivation back on the Indonesian side while Wang was all fired up.  “I am in a really good shape,” said Wang. I was confident coming  onto the court.  I knew that if I managed to keep to my tactics, I would beat him.”

The tall Chinese player is now set to meet England’s talent Rajiv Ouseph for their first encounter.

Sung sings

Sung Ji Hyun finally broke the curse against her nemesis Wang Shixian after two two-game losses against the world number two. It actually took some time for the Korean to finally counter back the All England champion. The Korean star, who has been most impressive on her own land in the past couple of years, showed she was mentally strong enough to handle tough matches. After losing the first game 21-9, the young Korean lady changed her entire mindset and tactics, with her coach and namesake Kim Ji Hyun being cheerful, as always, on the coach’s bench. Patient and intelligent, Sung found the right tempo to beat the Chinese player.

I am so happy to win the match. I lost to her the last two times. I just didn’t want to give up,” revealed a shy Sung Ji Hyun.  And she did follow her principles, building rally after rally, increasing her confidence while the match was lasting longer and longer.

Last week, I lost to her and I realized I missed only few things to beat her.  My condition is really good, now I am going to rest and give my very best to go as far as possible.”

Sung is now aiming at passing the Taiwanese hurdle, Cheng Shao Shieh, runner-up at the last World Championships.

India’s bright girls Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa avenged their past defeat against Jung Kyung Eun and Kim Ha Na with a significant win, handling their opponents in the difficult times.

The Indian girls quickly find the right pace to rule the game, making Kyung Eun run from both sides while Jwala would finish off the rally at the net.

We didn’t want to think about our loss in Singapore.  You know every tournament is always a new start, a new game.  We knew we could do something here,” commented Jwala Gutta.

Kyung Eun and Ha Na disagreed emphatically with that in the second game.  After losing the first 21-17, Jung and Kim were completely dominating the next one. Their tactical mindset allowed them to take control easily, while the Indians were forced to defend the unceasing smashes from the Korean side, usually Jwala and Ashwani’s weapon.

Yes it’s true.  We love attacking so much.  Actually we want to prove to people that women’s doubles can be as intense as men’s doubles,” commented the Indian pair, reigning Commonwealth Games champs.

Their tactical scheme reorganized, nothing seemed to be out of control for the two friends, who dominated oppressively in the decider, showing the exit door to the Korean pair Jung Kyung Eun and Kim Ha Na, who had been breathing down the Indians’ necks for a berth in December’s Super Series Finals.

All results HERE

Live Streaming HERE

Photos of the Day HERE
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About Tarek Hafi