MALAYSIA OPEN 2011 Day 3 – Cheng’s hard work pays off

Cheng Shao Chieh overcame a bit of nervousness in her round of 16 match today to stun Asian Champion Li Xuerui in 3 games at the 2011 Proton Malaysia Open […]

Cheng Shao Chieh overcame a bit of nervousness in her round of 16 match today to stun Asian Champion Li Xuerui in 3 games at the 2011 Proton Super Series.

By Lee Suet Yan, Badzine Correspondent live in Kuala Lumpur. Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

Cheng Shao Chieh (pictured) led 11-7 in the opening game, then she just took control and wrapped it up 21-14. Li finally began to warm up in the second game, taking it 21-15.  Cheng was up 11-6 at the interval of the third, and powered ahead to reach her first match point at 20-10. With Li only able to save one match point, Cheng won comfortably, the match winning shot a delicate prod that narrowly sailed over the net.

“I actually prepared well for this match, but I couldn’t take control in the match, and I was a bit nervous in the third game,” said Li after the match.

The disappointed French Open runner-up  added, “I hope to win a Super Series final title as the previous two titles I won were only a Grand Prix Gold titles.”

On the men’s singles court, Kenichi Tago, who disposed of Bao Chunlai yesterday, gave the spectators in Stadium Putra a heart attack today as he lost the first game 14-21 and fought back only in his second and third games against Dicky Palyama of the Netherlands.

Palyama controlled the pace well in the first game as Kenichi commited a lot of unforced errors. Kenichi was doing better in the second game after changing courts as he has reduced his mistakes and took it easily 21-6. In the final game, Kenichi was trailing behind 4-11 but he leveled up at 15-all, then scored six consecutive points to eventually wrap up the match 21-15.

Palyama had the opportunity to win the match as he had a big lead at the interval, but Kenichi’s never-give-up spirit destroyed the Dutch veteran’s designs on the quarter final.

“I played against the wind in the first game, so the shuttle would not go far,” said Kenichi.  “I was struggling as my opponent totally controlled the the first game. I played against the wind once again in the first half of the third game. I just tried to fight point by point in the second half of the game.

Asked about tomorrow’s match before the results were in from the Taufik Hidayat-Shon Wan Ho contest, Kenichi responded: “It is not important to see who is my opponent tomorrow.  The most important is my form, and whether I can control well when playing against the wind.

“The men’s singles level is almost the same nowadays.  Every match could be very close. It does not matter whether the player is ranked high or low, just like Bao Chunlai and Dicky Palyama, the match could be tight.”

In the women’s doubles, although the Chinese Taipei pair Cheng Wen Hsing / Chien Yu Chin (pictured) won the match, they had anything but an easy time against Korea’s Eom Hye Won and Kim Ha Na, who turned 19 and 21 respectively this fall. Both pairs played a very aggresive doubles style today. Despite their youth, Eom/Kim have powerful smashes and brilliant defense.

The Koreans were quick to attack and hit everything hard. The young challengers were just a bit unlucky today as they lost closely as the world no. 1 Cheng/Chien prevailed 22-24, 21-19, 22-20. A few more points and the Koreans might have created themselves some history in Malaysia.

For complete results from Day 3 of the 2011 Proton Malaysia Open Super Series, CLICK HERE

About Suetyan Lee