ALL ENGLAND 2014 Finals – Good day to be a World Champion

The World Champions in both men’s and women’s doubles took the pickings at the 2014 Yonex All England. Meanwhile the runner-up from Guangzhou, Li Xuerui again suffered disappointment, this time […]

The World Champions in both men’s and women’s doubles took the pickings at the 2014 Yonex . Meanwhile the runner-up from Guangzhou, Li Xuerui again suffered disappointment, this time at the hands of resurgent compatriot Wang Shixian.

By Michael Burke, Badzine Correspondent, live from Birmingham.  Photos: Raphael Sachetat & Yohan Nonotte for Badmintonphoto (live).

A surprisingly close women’s doubles final saw defending champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang (pictured left) pushed to the limit against the newly formed Ma Jin and Tang Yuanting (pictured below).

Requiring extra points to finish the third game, the first seeds ended victorious, but no stranger to the All England, Ma and her young partner Tang fought hard.

Speaking after, Yu said, “Today is the first victory this year so we’re really pleased.”

Yu Yang paid special respects to her young opponent, “First of all we want to congratulate them on a hard game, especially Tang Yuanting as a young player, this is her first All England and it was such an amazing performance from her.”

Wang Xiaoli said, “We were quite scared about coming to the tournament because we were getting challenged by all the other players, but we managed to adjust ourselves and it’s really about playing to the right level.”

For her part, the young player Tang thanked her partner, “I am very happy about my play and the results we managed to achieve today.  It is a shame we didn’t win the match today, but I am very thankful to my partner who supported me today.”

A much more lively affair, the men’s doubles was a much shorter match, but no less exciting as the Indonesians won 21-19, 21-19. The final match point was only delayed for two points by a successful challenge and an error, as the World Champions’ result wasn’t really ever in doubt after a week of quality play.

This is the first time Hendra Setiawan (pictured left with partner Mohammad Ahsan) has won the All England with any partner.  He said, “We were always confident as we have been preparing for a month. It was an emotional game, but we tried to focus on just winning as many points as possible.”

Mohammad Ahsan spoke of the future, “We are very grateful [to win] firstly, but we’re not satisfied.  We will pursue further honours. We’re now focussing on the Thomas Cup and Asian Games.”

Their opponent Hiroyuki Endo with partner Kenichi Hayakawa (pictured right) spoke after the match about the key moments: “When the points levelled, that’s where the most important time was and it’s really about how to control yourself inside the heart so that’s the difference I think.

“When we’re losing we don’t have much communication in the match but when we’re playing well we realised that we’re communicating with each other, staying patient and that brings out the good results.”

A much more tame affair, the women’s singles, the second all-China final of the day saw Wang Shixian (pictured left) repeat her good performance of the day before to beat the higher-ranked but tired-looking Li Xuerui.

Wang Shixian spoke of her recent rise in performance: “Winning matches needs confidence, but my main goal is to win all the matches I play against other countries.”

The victory came after a close line call, of which she said, “I wasn’t really sure if the last point was out, but when the line judge ruled it out I was pretty happy. Against Li Xuerui I guess I was more patient and made fewer mistakes than her.  That is why I think I was able to win.”

The full results for the day can be found here.

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About Michael Burke