HONG KONG OPEN 2010 QF – Walk (all) over Great Wall of China

It turned out to be a tough day for the Chinese shuttlers today at the Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open, with two walkovers in the men’s singles and a rather astonishing […]

It turned out to be a tough day for the Chinese shuttlers today at the Yonex-Sunrise , with two walkovers in the men’s singles and a rather astonishing loss from Jiang Yanjiao. In addition, the powerhouse lost their two remaining pairs in the men’s doubles: both Cai Yun / Fu Haifeng and Guo Zhendong / Chai Biao lost in straight games.

By Elm Vandevorst.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

More than one year ago, on the 16th of August, Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng crowned themselves World Champions after one of the best men’s doubles matches ever played. Against the mighty Korean pair Jung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dae (photo), the Chinese pair had to erase two match points in order to win. Things turned around since then as their rivals have now won four consecutive encounters.  After two wins at the Asian Games, the Koreans maintained their advantage in the quarters of the China Open a week ago and today again Jung and Lee prevailed 21-19, 21-16.  They can now start preparing for the semi-final against Americans Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan. The 2005 World Champions were responsible for eliminating the other Chinese twosome, Guo Zhendong / Chai Biao 21-15, 21-14 within half an hour.

To the disappointment of many spectators, both Chen Jin and Lin Dan pulled out of the last Super Series event of the year without even playing a single quarter-final point.  According to Xia Xuanze, the men’s singles coach of the national team, the decision was made on Friday morning.

Lin Dan feels uncomfortable in his waist. He’s also very tired after playing so many matches in the past few weeks,” explained Xia. Lin Dan followed the same scenario as at the China open, withdrawing from the quarters after playing two rounds.

Luckily the Chinese fans can still support Chen Long (photo). The China Open champion can still complete “the double” following his victory against Lee Hyun Il after a fascinating match. It took him 77 minutes to get the better of the Korean qualifier, who had already participated in four matches before today’s battle.   Many in the Korean camp had been looking forward to a Chen-Lee climax in the team event at the Guangzhou Asian Games but Lee never got his shot at that time as China’s second men’s doubles had already sealed the victory.  French Open winner Taufik Hidayat (photo) is one of the two possible remaining obstacles for the 21-year-old Chinese.

The Chinese shuttlers jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire as Jiang Yanjiao was also unsuccessful.  Up against Juliane Schenk (photo) from Germany, Jiang took a dreadful start with a 14-21 loss. The fourth seed seemed to turn things around after winning the second game 21-16, but it was again Schenk who took control 21-12 in the decider.

Schenk faces an even tougher test tomorrow with Saina Nehwal, who seems to be close to her best shape, triumphing in all of her matches within half an hour, including local favourite Yip Pui Yin on Saturday.

At last there was better news for China from the other side of the women’s singles table. Top seed Wang Xin and third seeded Wang Shixian completed their task by overpowering their adversaries. Xin had an easy day beating Pi Hongyan in two games 21-12, 21-15. Shixian was even more impressing as she had no trouble beating Thailand’s rising star Ratchanok Intanon, though the young star had been troubling China’s most experienced veterans of late, taking both Jiang Yanjiao and Wang Xin to three games and even beating Lu Lan.  In an all-Chinese clash – which will be a rematch of their Asian Games gold medal match, played just north of here three weeks ago  – the two Wangs have now decide once again who’s the greatest.

All results HERE

About Elm Vandevorst