WORLDS 2015 Finals – No new name, one 3rd game

Four finals came and went at the 2015 BWF World Badminton Championships with exactly the same champions as last year, including Chen Long winning his repeat final over Lee Chong […]

Four finals came and went at the 2015 BWF World Badminton Championships with exactly the same champions as last year, including Chen Long winning his repeat final over Lee Chong Wei and Zhao Yunlei with an incredible second straight doubles double.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent live in Jakarta.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

It may have been struck for the record books but no one on court or in the stands had forgotten last year’s final between Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long, which got a replay today in Istora Senayan in Jakarta.

Lee Chong Wei just didn’t have that edge he so often has and which you now absolutely need to beat Chen Long, who today became only the third men’s singles player to win consecutive World Championship titles, joining compatriots Lin Dan and Yang Yang.

Chen made reference to another of Yang Yang’s achievements when he spoke to the press after the match, referring to the long drought of 26 years, during which Chinese players have been unable to win any men’s singles titles in Indonesia.  The last for China were the 1988 Badminton Asia Championship and the 1989 Indonesia Open – by Xiong Guobao – and the 1989 World Championship, which was won right here in Istora Senayan by the great Yang Yang.

“I have been here for 9 or 10 days,” said Chen Long in his post-match press conference.  “It’s a long period for me and every day seems to be very long.  For a long time, China has not won any men’s singles title in Jakarta, including the Indonesia Open and other singles titles so I’m very, very happy to get this title in such a wonderful country like Indonesia.

“Actually, last year, I cried but this year maybe I cried more.  Perhaps it’s because this tournament was very difficult to play.  Every match was very difficult.  Every opponent was so strong.  I’m so happy to win this men’s singles, not only for myself but also for the China team.”

Interestingly, the crowd seemed to be solidly behind the defending champion.  Although five-time Indonesia open champion Lee Chong Wei’s points were also greeted with celebratory cheers, the chant that filled the hall throughout the match was “Chen Long, Jiayou!”

Asked what he thought about this support, he said, “I think that not only me but every time, Chinese players play against other team players, the Indonesian spectators cheer for our opponents.  But the Indonesian crowd is very fantastic, they understand badminton, so this is very interesting for me and I’m so very happy.”

On his plans for celebrating after winning the title again, he said, “The first thing I want to do is have a rest – maybe 3 days, maybe 5 days, maybe one week, two weeks, depending – but I’m very tired.  It’s so hard.

“I have played Lee Chong Wei many times – more than twenty times – and sometimes I win and sometimes he wins so I just have to be myself.  Because I am younger than Chong Wei, every time I play him I will be the young challenger.

“This is interesting and quite hard to say because I’m in the middle.  In front of me are Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan. They are like the big mountains for me to outgrow.  Behind me are so many challengers – Momota, Axelsen, even Jorgensen are behind me – and they will make it very difficult for me.”

Another comeback, another title for Marin

Carolina Marin was also able to defend her title.  Similarly to yesterday’s match against Sung Ji Hyun, Marin found herself trailing 6-12 in the second game but assembled a 7-point run to put herself right back into it.  Soon afterward, she was celebrating a straight-game victory and her second consecutive title.

“I want to say thank you so much to Indonesian fans because today I am very happy with my performance on court because the crowd was supporting me during the match and they gave me confidence on court,” said Marin after the match.  “I’m very happy because when I went to the court I thought I just want to enjoy the final today, enjoy the crowd, and enjoy the tournament because it’s the last match.

“I think I have the best team behind me.  That’s the way I could win two .

“I feel happier [than last year] because this time was more difficult than the first time.  One month ago, I sustained and injury to my right foot so many people thought I wouldn’t be able to play in this tournament so two weeks before this tournament I started to move on court.  I just kept thinking about what I worked on in my training and about what I have to do and today I was able to enjoy this tournament.”

Asked how the atmosphere compared between here and her win in Copenhagen in 2014, Marin said, “Both were really good but today I feel like I was at home because I had all the spectators with me.  They were supporting me, they were saying ‘Marin, Marin’, so I really appreciated it.  You know, when you’re tired or when your opponent is leading, and the crowd is supporting you, they just gave me confidence because of that, I was able to win against her.”

Marin said that she didn’t think her two titles mean she is now dominant in women’s singles: “I just think that tomorrow I will go back to Spain and then I’ll have to prepare for the Japan Open and I can’t think about whether I dominate women’s singles because I can’t always win.  I will lose one time.  I don’t want to think about whether I win or lose. I just want to think about what I have to do on court.”

Saina Nehwal had a chance to think about her loss and explained:  “I don’t think there was much of a problem with fitness.  The second game score was 21-19 and it could have gone either way.  Finally, I think it was a lot more of a mental game than a physical game.  She showed a great mental strength at the last and I just made a silly error which I never do but it just went miles out of the court.  I couldn’t control much on the last two points.

“I think when you have the experience of playing the finals then the second time it gets a lot easier,” said Saina, when asked if Carolina had an advantage having already played in a World Championship final before.  “That played a little bit in my mind but finally you have to play your game and do your best.  It’s a final match.  Anything can happen.  She was obviously a lot freer and she was just all over.  She wasn’t thinking much about winning or losing.”

2 and 5 for Zhao

Zhao Yunlei not only started and finished the string of 4 title defenses but she was a double titleist for the second time.  Her two titles also put her equal with Park Joo Bong and Lin Dan with five career World Championship titles.

The defending mixed doubles champions Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei were incredible all week, winning all but their semi-final in straight-game matches, the longest of which was 45 minutes.

“Actually there are many pairs at the top level in the world in mixed doubles, including our Chinese team-mates and players from other countries.  I don’t have any secret for keeping this high level.  I just keep practicing every day.”

Asked how she felt about the prospect of equalling Lin Dan and Park Joo Bong with five World Championship titles, Zhao said, “Actually, I haven’t been counting how many World Championship titles I have and I don’t want to compete with Lin Dan.  This is a fantastic place with fantastic fans and I just want to enjoy the game.” (see the bottom of this article for a video of the full post-match press conference)

As it turned out, of course, Zhao did pick up her second title of the day and the fifth of her career.  That was in the first final to run to three games.  Denmark’s Rytter Juhl/Pedersen eked out the win in the first game but posed very little challenge to the Chinese pair in the next two.

Final results
XD: Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei (CHN) [1] beat Liu Cheng / Bao Yixin (CHN) [4]  21-17, 21-11
WS: Carolina Marin (ESP) [1] beat Saina Nehwal (IND) [2]  21-16, 21-19
MS: Chen Long (CHN) [1] beat Lee Chong Wei (MAS)  21-14, 21-17
WD: Tian Qing / Zhao Yunlei (CHN) [5] beat Christinna Pedersen / Kamilla Rytter Juhl (DEN) [4]  23-25, 21-8, 21-15

Click here for complete results

For the complete Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei post-match press conference, see below:

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @