Wang Zhengming will be on top of the world for a while after winning the Swiss Open. The 23-year-old shuttler overcame his compatriot Du Pengyu to claim his first international title since the World Juniors in 2008. Two more titles were added to the Chinese record as Wang Shixian and twosome Chai Biao / Hong Wei also defeated their Asian opponents.
By Elm Vandevorst, Badzine Correspondent. Photos: Sven Heise (live)
After Du Pengyu’s surprising first round exit at the All England, a three-game loss against Chou Tien Chen, he seemed ready to redeem himself in Switzerland. His compatriot in today’s final thought otherwise. Wang Zhengming (pictured) started off ferociously, leading 11-5 at the first break, while Du needed more time to adapt to his opponent. Rubbing out Wang’s advantage point by point, everything was still up for grabs at 17-17. The less experienced Wang, however, held his nerves and took the first game 21-18. It was a rather similar scenario in the second game, with Wang taking a comfortable lead. His fourth match point was the one earning him a first ever title at the Swiss Open.
There was even more joy for China in the singles with Wang Shixian (pictured right with opponent Ratchanok Intanon). Runner-up last year, she did even better this year, overwhelming Ratchanok Intanon 21-16, 21-12. The latter suffered her second heartbreak in little more than a week, but can still look back confidently on her trip through Europe with her second successive final. While Tine Baun was too strong in Birmingham, Wang overcame the rising Thai star in Basel.
China’s final win was the result of a thrilling duel between Chai Biao / Hong Wei and top seeds Ko Sung Hyun / Lee Yong Dae. Both pairings tried to take control, where the Chinese seemed to have better insight into how to exploit their rivals’ weaknesses. This resulted in a 21-14 win. The Koreans were unimpressed and secured game two. The decisive rubber appeared just to be one game too many for Ko and Lee, who had to accept defeat once more with the new Chinese partnership winning it 21-14.
No fewer than 47 titles have been won by Danish players since the tournament’s maiden year in 1955 and Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen had the chance to get hold of number 48. Only Zhang Nan and Tang Jinhua stood in their way. During the past week, the Olympic bronze medallists had already proven that their early exit at the All England was an isolated incident. So far this week in Basel, the Danish twosome had not lost a game and nor could their Chinese adversaries prevent them from winning in straight games 22-20, 21-19.
An all Korean match-up between Jung Kyung Eun / Kim Ha Na and Lee So Hee / Shin Seung Chan, both in the top twenty of the world had to guarantee fireworks. The first set didn’t fail to live up to these expectations and ended in an exhilarating 23-21 for Jung and Kim.
In cruise control after that first game win, the second game, match, and of course the title, also went to the third-seeded pair. The two-time World Junior Champions thus had to settle for silver and their first major senior title as yet eludes them, though they have already reached two Grand Prix Gold finals.
XD: Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen (DEN)  bt Zhang Nan / Tang Jinhua (CHN) 22-20, 21-19
MS: Wang Zhengming (CHN)  bt Du Pengyu (CHN)  21-18, 21-18
WD: Jung Kyung Eun / Kim Ha Na (KOR)  bt Lee So Hee / Shin Seung Chan (KOR) 23-21, 21-16
WS: Wang Shixian (CHN)  bt Ratchanok Intanon (THA)  21-16 21-12
MD: Chai Biao / Hong Wei (CHN)  bt Ko Sung Hyun / Lee Yong Dae (KOR)  21-14, 18-21, 21-14