CHINESE TAIPEI OPEN 2016 SF – Chou and Wang looking for firsts

Chou Tien Chen is hoping to be third time lucky in the men’s singles final at his home Grand Prix Gold event, while compatriot Wang Chi Lin is looking for […]

Chou Tien Chen is hoping to be third time lucky in the men’s singles final at his home Gold event, while compatriot Wang Chi Lin is looking for his first ever title.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

21-year-old Wang Chi Lin is more than ready for his first Grand Prix Gold title.  Three years ago, he was on the losing end of the boys’ doubles semi-finals at the World Junior Championships and while the four Chinese boys who reached the final there have all gone on to begin their collections of Grand Prix Gold titles, Wang is still waiting.

He had his first semi-final opportunity back in 2014 here at his home Grand Prix Gold event but was stopped by Li Junhui / Liu Yuchen, the same pair.  That was Wang Chi Lin‘s first event with veteran Chen Hung Ling (pictured), who won this event in 2009.  Now, he and Chen have been in a Grand Prix Gold final together, and have recorded one win over Li/Liu, and are ready to put that together at home.

First, they had to come through a tough semi-final against Huang Kaixiang / Zheng Siwei.  This pair – runners-up at those World Juniors in 2013 – won two Grand Prix titles last year and gave the Taiwan pair a run for their money.  Chen and Wang were close to finishing in two games but after dropping the second 21-23, they sealed the win in the decider.

Li/Liu, meanwhile, prevented and all-Taiwan final by beating 2013 finalists Lee Sheng Mu / Tai Chia Hsin.

Chou Tien Chen (pictured) has been in the final of this event twice before.  He is again looking to become the first home representative player to win the men’s singles title here since Indonesian-born Fung Permadi did it in 1999.

After losing in 2012 to Nguyen Tien Minh and last year to World Champion Chen Long, he will fancy his chances against this year’s opponent Qiao Bin.  The unseeded Chinese player will be playing in his first major final and his first ever match against the world #7 Chou but both players came through their semi-finals with similar ease on Saturday.

Tai Tzu Ying (pictured) is after her second title in three finals appearances in Taipei.  She beat Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapon in straight games and will face Chinese ace Wang Shixian for the fourth time this year.

In the mixed doubles, Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen (pictured below) booked a spot in their fourth major final of the year.  After losing out on a chance at a Superseries title in Australia, they will be hungry to make up for it in Taipei.

Their opponents will be Tan Kian Meng / Lai Pei Jing.  The Malaysians had to bow to Zheng and his temporary partner Li Yinhui at their only other appearance in a major final this year.  But they showed they are ready for their rematch with Zheng when they ousted India Open runners-up Riky Widianto / Puspita Richi Dili in two close games on Saturday.

The women’s doubles will be an all-Chinese final but Chen Qingchen was not able to book her third double finals appearance of the year.  Instead, her former partner Huang Dongping and Zhong Qianxin will take on top seeds Luo Ying / Luo Yu for the title.

Finals line-up
WD:  Luo Ying / Luo Yu (CHN) [1] vs. Huang Dongping / Zhong Qianxin (CHN)
XD:  Zheng Siwei Chen Qingchen (CHN) [5] vs. Tan Kian Meng / Lai Pei Jing (MAS)
WS:  Wang Shixian (CHN) [1] vs. Tai Tzu Ying (TPE) [2]
MS:  Chou Tien Chen (TPE) [5] vs. Qiao Bin (CHN)
MD:  Li Junhui / Liu Yuchen (CHN) [1] vs. Chen Hung Ling / Wang Chi Lin (TPE) [4]

Click here for complete semi-final results

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 @