UBER CUP 2012 Final – The Chinese queens

They did it!  The Chinese team won back the Uber Cup trophy to keep it in China for the next two years after beating a dangerous Korean team who are […]

They did it!  The Chinese team won back the Uber Cup trophy to keep it in China for the next two years after beating a dangerous Korean team who are known to be more than threatening at their best. Wang Xin sealed the encounter, knocking off Bae Youn Joo in straight games.

By Tarek Hafi, Badzine Correspondent. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Wang Yihan (pictured) was the first of three winners from China who came to the court having lost her last encounter with her Korean opponent of the day.  But the world #1 could hardly have been haunted by a mere defeat at the hands of Sung Ji Hyun, which had happened as the Chinese star was en route to a Super Series Final championship in December.

Rather, from the beginning, Wang appeared to be tormented by her loss two years to Bae Seung Hee, which had kicked off Korea’s winning effort in the 2010 Uber Cup final.

Wang did not go easy on herself this year at all, either.  She let Sung Ji Hyun (pictured below) take a sudden lead in the first game, looking completely absent from the interval onward.

As the Korean grew vocal, she collected point after point, helped by Wang Yihan pushing the shuttle at times far away from the court. While the crowd and the Chinese team foresaw a first point going to the Korean bucket, Wang Yihan woke up from the nightmare she’d been having throughout the first two games.

With defeat staring her in the face at 20-16 in the second game, Wang Yihan finally overcame her fear and found the inner strength she needed. Sung Ji Hyun raised her hand in triumph upon reaching 20 and earning herself a comfortable four match points.

Instead of the chance to celebrate her victory, though, Sung had to watch the Chinese world #1 close the gap.  Shortly thereafter, Wang Yihan turned her fate with a fabulous round the head smash, sending it down the line, and finishing it 22-20.

It was a disaster for Sung Ji Hyun, who was then asked to re-achieve everything she had done so far.  Wang Yihan on her hand, didn’t let the flame go away, starting the deciding game with fierce determination.

“I was playing really well in the beginning, but then I became so hesitant.  I didn’t play at my normal level.  I committed so many easy mistakes that it got me into trouble,” explained Wang Yihan to Sina News after the match.

Wang concluded the miracle with a cross-court smash.  Acknowledging her accomplishment, the now joyful Chinese ran to her team-mates, released from the pressure she had been under for an hour and twenty-seven minutes.

Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang (pictured), also part of the 2010 Uber Cup defeat, also vowed to redeem themselves today, in front of a ecstatic crowd. The two super players, almost unbeatable since the first days of their partnership in late 2010, relied on their fantastic ability to win the first doubles point in two straight games.

Despite Kim Min Jung and Ha Jung Eun sending all their shots to Yu Yang, in order to prevent Wang Xiaoli getting the attack, they still couldn’t break the bond linking Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang

Two years ago, I lost with my former partner Du Jing; therefore, I had been wanting to win this match since then,” admitted Yu Yang.

Meanwhile, Kim Min Jung assured she wasn’t dwelling on the 2010 victory: “We didn’t think about our win two years ago, the Chinese pair is just really strong and never really found a good rhythm during the match.”

It was an easy 21-15, 21-13 win and that left the job to Wang Xin to finish off the tie.

And as expected, Wang Xin (pictured) turned into a steamroller against Bae Youn Joo. As often, the Chinese player left no chance to her opponent, playing a perfect game and stifling her opponent with her well-known fast and flawless game.

Indeed, the Chinese veteran – the only one to earn a point for China in the 2010 final – didn’t show any sign of tension and kept racing towards the victory.

Yet the Korean player didn’t wave the white flag as she gained confidence after winning a few great rallies, closing the gap the Chinese had created early in the second game.  Still Wang was not willing to let her go any further and created her own luck.

After Bae saved three match points, Wang Xin had had enough, not wanting to go through what Sung Ji Hyun suffered earlier.  She pushed her opponent to the back to get the final kill – which she almost always seems to get eventually – and shouted to the world, once again “We are the best!”

There was a burst of joy from the Chinese women team, who can now again claim supremacy in the sport only two months before the Olympics, where they will all indeed be the huge favourites to win the titles in women’s singles and women’s doubles.


China 3, Korea 0
WS1: Wang Yihan bt Sung Ji Hyun 14-21, 22-20, 21-13
WD1: Yu Yang / Wang Xiaoli bt Kim Min Jung / Ha Jung Eun 21-15, 21-13
WS2: Wang Xin bt Bae Youn Joo 21-10, 21-16
(not played)
Zhao Yunlei / Tian Qing vs. Jung Kyung Eun / Kim Ha Na
Li Xuerui vs. Hwang Hye Youn

About Tarek Hafi