SS FINALS 2010 Day 2 – Chinese clinch; Mixed wide open

Marissa/Gunawan are the only undefeated mixed pair and are still not assured of advancing while some semi-finalists are known in all other disciplines at the Victor BWF 2010 Super Series […]

Marissa/Gunawan are the only undefeated mixed pair and are still not assured of advancing while some semi-finalists are known in all other disciplines at the Victor BWF 2010 Super Series Finals.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent live in Taipei.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

The evening session on Day 2 of the Victor BWF 2010 Super Series Finals began with some wonderful symmetry as men’s and mixed doubles matches in both courts went to 20-14 in the first game just seconds apart and then comebacks happened almost simultaneously as well, with the other team on each court earning game points at 20-15 just seconds part in the second games as well.

However, there the similarity ended.  While Malaysia’s Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong saw their hopes of a third straight final slip away with their second straight loss to lower ranked opponents – in the second case, China’s Chai Biao / Zhang Nan (pictured below) – Court 2 saw Indonesia’s Hendra Aprida Gunawan / Vita Marissa (pictured left) get back on the horse after dropping the second game and saved 3 match points in the third before finally scraping out a 21-14 17-21 24-22 victory over Poland’s Robert Mateusiak / Nadiezda Zieba.

The win, however, was not enough to clinch the Indonesians a semi-final berth, as a loss tomorrow to Korea’s Ko/Ha could result in a three-way tie for the top.  On the other hand, Poland still has some hope as well as a third win by Indonesia, along with a first win for the Poles could send officials checking game and point totals in a three-way tie for second in the group.  Still, Hendra and Vita are in the best possible position and are the closest of the 7 remaining mixed pairs to seeing their run continue to the weekend.

“When we played this pair before in Denmark in 2009, we were too often on the defensive,” said a delighted Gunawan after the match.  “This time, we played much more offensively and I think that made the difference.

“Tomorrow will be our first time playing against the Koreans.  All we can do is try our best but the fact that we have turned professional and that this is a big money event, I think, has inspired Vita and me to play well,” grinned the winner.

The men’s singles is completely the opposite situation as both groups now have two winless and two undefeated competitors.  Peter Gade (pictured below) of Denmark beat Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh in two close games to brick up the wall in Group A between the top and bottom two.

“Tomorrow will be difficult because Chong Wei and I are both through to the semi-finals,” said Gade after his win.  “I don’t expect to win but I am going to try my best and I don’t really care who I play from the other group.  I don’t have any preference for any one player.

“Tien Minh was playing very well.  He is a good player and I have never lost to him but today was quite tough.  It is good that I am catching up in form after my back injury and I still have some way to go.

“I am going to enjoy my match tomorrow against Chong Wei and we will see what happens.  I have always felt nice playing in Taipei.  It’s a great hall but I just wish there were more fans to fill the stands and watch us play.”

Shortly thereafter, Taufik Hidayat put to rest all doubts about Group B’s top finishers as well as he was forced to forfeit his match against Chen Long due to injury (see related article here).  Wang Shixian’s win over Salakjit Ponsana accomplished the same thing for women’s singles Group A but in Group B, Wang Yihan has clinched a semis berth while Yip Pui Yin, Tine Rasmussen, and even winless Petya Nedelcheva are still in the running for the 8th and final singles spot for Saturday.

Two more pairs became the only ones in their respective groups to assure themselves of advancing.   Chinese Taipei’s very own Cheng/Chien were first (see related article here) and then in the final match of the day, Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng participated in a showcase of lightning-quick badminton rallies together with Korea’s Ko/Yoo but the World Champions prevailed in the end, pulling away late in both games.

The Koreans managed to squeak into the lead at the interval in each game, the second such occasion seeing Ko Sung Hyun scramble to race down a flick serve that had nearly fooled him and Yoo Yeon Seong pulled off a startling return of the smash that inevitably followed.  In the end, though, the younger pair were forced to wait for their first ever win against the mighty Chinese and they are left in a must-win situation for tomorrow to keep their title hopes alive.

For complete results from Day 2 of the BWF Super Series Finals, CLICK HERE

Come stay with us for the Super Series Finals at the Chateau de Chine.  Located at the heart of Sinjhuang City, Chateau de Chine Hotel is created to convey the vibrant and everlasting sense of traditional beauty. Inspired by the Art Nouveau style, Chateau de Chine hotel infuses the finest elegance of French design with an authentic touch of oriental aesthetics.   If you are looking for quality accommodation during the event or anytime you are visiting Taipei, check out their website 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 @