Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying booked a place in the finals defeating Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Zieba of Poland. They are now destined to make history if they are able to win the title in the finals tomorrow against experienced Danes.
By Adrian Kok, live in Kuala Lumpur; Photos (live): Yves Lacroix/Badmintonphoto
Before the match started, the cheers of the fans were roaring. It got louder as the local mixed double aces steps into the court. Mateusiak/Zieba had a good lead in the first game with an attacking rhythm. On top of that, Chan and Goh (photo) made several errors that gave the Polish pair the lead at the first interval. Malaysian coach Jeremy Gan had a quick word with his players during the break at the interval and the pair were more composed in the second part of the game, showing that their coaches’ advices had a positive effect. However, mistakes began to creep back into their game, which eventually cost them them the first game, losing 12-21.
The Malaysian pair managed to turn things around in the second game leading comfortably, but the experienced Polish pair managed to level the score line with good control on the forecourt. It was an intense match as both pairs were playing at the highest level. The battle was mainly fought at the forecourt with Goh and Zieba trying to create attacking opportunity for their male partners. Goh was able to gain control and the second game was sealed by the Malaysians after a controversial line call, 21-18
In the rubber game, Chan and Goh again had a comfortable lead in the first interval. The Polish pair (photo) was not able to put pressure on the Malaysians, who were stable in defense. The strategy of Chan’s thunderous smashes and Goh killing the weak replies paid dividends. They were able to create good gap which eventually they were victorious 21-16.
During the press conference, Chan said “I felt tense and was not able to play my game. However, I was able to gain composure which gave me to confidence to beat my opponents. Both myself and Goh were also trying to adjust to the strong draft in the stadium”. Goh added “I felt nervous as I pressured myself to win this match. I am happy that we have the support of the fans which gave up an extra push to win the match”.
Later in the evening Danish veterans Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen (photo) succeeded in beating Praveen Jordan and Vita Marissa of Indonesia. It was clear that the Danes were more experienced than the newly formed Indonesian pair, as the veterans won in straight games to meet the Malaysian pair tomorrow in the finals. Apart from battling on court, was also battling Christinna the flu at the same time. She said “I have been fighting this flu for the whole week and I am not going to give up just yet. I will fight with all my strength tomorrow in the finals. Her partner when on to say “The draft in the court was a challenge which I am glad that we were able to overcome. We will use our experience tomorrow to try to beat the local favorites. We know that the Malaysians will have a lot of support but we are going to give our best!”
Men’s Doubles : New pairing making waves
New pairings have emerged after the London Olympics 2012, two Olympic medalists have new partners and will lock horns on Sunday. Lee Yong Dae paired with Ko Sung Hyun emerged victorious on Saturday against a local pair as Hendra Setiawan, now partnered with Mohammad Ahsan beat the only Chinese men left in this tournament.
The Indonesian pair was all fired up in their game against China’s Chai Biao and Liu Xiaolong. In both the first and the second game, the Chinese were not able to find a gap in their opponents’ defense. They tried to change their tactics in hope of creating winning shots but unfortunately the in-form Indonesian pair was always a step ahead. As a result, Hendra and Mohammad (photo) won in straight games by a sizeable margin, the score line finishing 21-12, 21-11. “Yes we won quite easily but the draft in the stadium was strong and we had to adjust to it. We took advantage of the Chinese’s sluggish game.” said Hendra during the post-match interview. “As a pair that only played five tournaments together this means a lot to us but we need to focused. We haven’t played against Lee and Ko but we need to do our homework tonight and strategize.” added Mohammad.
Lee and Ko have made it to the Finals today which means that they have a chance to be one of the new pair to win two consecutive super series. They broke the local fans’ hearts by defeating Malaysia’s Lim Khim Wah and Goh V Shem. At first the Malaysian duo seemed to be in control of the first game, however Lee and Ko began to attack, making the Malaysians look defenseless. Apart from that the Korean defense and shuttle control was immaculate. Hence, the local duo was out of ideas to level the score line.
“We knew that they were not an easy pair to beat but we gave it we can to put pressure on them. On top of that, we made too many mistake cause by being nervous. Matching their speed was challenging and was not a tactical move” said Lim. Tan Kim Her the Malaysian doubles coach later added “They are improving their game but they need to more expose to tournaments. The pair need to feel comfortable in a tournament environment. The goal for the year is to at least win a Grand Prix event”.
Earlier today, Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi (photo) were able to get the better of Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei of Singapore. It was close first game with a deuced score line but was finally won by the Japanese pair. Misaki’s superb forecourt control gave them the edge over their opponents. As a result, the pair from the land of the rising sun won in straight games. “We and our coaches planned out a strategy that worked in our favor. We are both very happy and will do our best tomorrow. Just like yesterday’s match we both took some time to gain control over the draft in the stadium” said Ayaka during the post-match press conference. They will meet Bao Yixin and Tian Qing from China in tomorrow’s finals.
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