CHINESE TAIPEI OPEN 2010 SF – Doubles Decided

With the destinations of all three doubles titles already decided by the semi-final results, the home team’s hopes at the 2010 Yonex Chinese Taipei Open Grand Prix Gold rest on […]

With the destinations of all three doubles titles already decided by the semi-final results, the home team’s hopes at the 2010 Yonex Gold rest on defending women’s singles champion Cheng Shao Chieh.  Meanwhile, with men’s and women’s doubles gold already in the bag, Korea has two singles players remaining and trying to make it four.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: BadmintonPhoto (archives)

Semi-finals day in Taipei began with a consolidation of the prowess of Indonesia’s new mixed doubles sensation Tontowi Ahmad / Lilyana Natsir.  After their title in Macau last week, national team coach Richard Mainaky told the Jakarta Globe he has high hopes for Lilyana and her new partner and this week, they have continued to impress.  After ousting the Olympic champions from the quarter-finals, Ahmad/Natsir again bested Chen Hung Ling / Cheng Wen Hsing but this time the Taiwan pair was at home and lasted only two games.

What follows is, of course, the same all-Indonesian final as last week in Macau, but this time it was Hendra Aprida Gunawan / Vita Marissa (pictured below) who had to take care of the less experienced Fran Kurniawan Teng / Pia Zebadiah Bernadet in an all-Indonesian semi-final.  Ahmad/Natsir had performed that task last week.

Korea had all but one of their four top-20 mixed pairs in action in Taipei but they still failed to mount a challenge to Indonesian dominance in the event.  However, they made up for that by sealing the remaining four doubles finals berths.  Two of their successes came from repeats of the Indonesia Open Super Series finals.  Lee Hyo Jung / Kim Min Jung again overcame Cheng Wen Hsing / Chien Yu Chin, this time at home.

In fact, Lee had done the same with a different partner in last year’s semi-final against Cheng/Chien but this time, the Taiwan  ladies made it much harder.  If the Koreans thought they were lucky to save two game points in the first game before pulling it out 22-20, the final game required them to shut down the home pair on four straight match points and then later another before they finally took the win 25-23.  Lee Kyung Won / Yoo Hyun Young had a much easier time against Japan’s Eto/Wakita and go on to face their biggest test in their two-week partnership against their in-form compatriots.

Men’s doubles saw Lee Yong Dae / Jung Jae Sung extend their domination of Malaysia’s Koo Kien Keat / Tan Boon Heong, who have not beaten the Koreans since the Super Series Masters Finals nearly two years ago.  This time, the world #1 pair worked hard to take the first game, only to see their nemeses win it in three 21-23, 21-18, 21-17.

Meanwhile, Cho Gun Woo / Kwon Yi Goo (pictured top) came on court with the unlikely task of shutting down Taiwan’s dynamos Fang Chieh Min / Lee Sheng Mu.  True, the Koreans had done it 9 days earlier in Macau but that was just days after the latter’s return from California and everyone knew Fang/Lee would be especially hungry for the title at home after their stellar summer so far.  Still, it was the Koreans who broke the tie, after losing to Fang/Lee in the Indonesia Open and beating them last week and their 21-19, 21-14 victory was actually one of the shortest matches of the day.

If the Koreans were able to repeat their upset win over the home team, Taiwan was not to be left out.  Cheng Shao Chieh may have come into her home event unseeded but she is still the defending champion and she saw to it early that Korea would not be enjoying a lock on the women’s singles title in her home event.  She again gave Korea’s Bae Youn Joo, seeded fourth this week, no quarter, sending her packing after two 21-14 games, and set up a rematch with her opponent from last year’s final, the other Bae.

Bae Seung Hee (pictured above), for her part, struggled against Indonesia’s Aprilia Yuswandari before finally seeing her off in 3 games.  The Korean veteran had her first sniff of success in Taipei last year but it is again looking like her best shot at a first major title.

Shon Wan Ho may have seen off another Indonesian challenger in the semi-finals to make it to his own first ever major international final but he will be hard-pressed to take the title from Simon Santoso (pictured).  The third-seeded Indonesian scored a convincing win over defending champion Nguyen Tien Minh and has in fact, not lost a game so far this tournament.  Simon hasn’t won a title yet this year but he’s only been beaten once this year but a player outside of the world’s top 5.  Still, this is his first ever meeting with the relatively unknown Shon and anything can happen.

For complete semi-final results from the 2010 Yonex Chinese Taipei Open Grand Prix Gold, CLICK HERE

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 @