INDONESIA OPEN 2011 Finals – Chong Wei 1, China 4

China showed their dominance over the sport by winning 4 of the events out of 5 on the last day of the Djarum Premier Super Series Indonesia Open Badminton Championships […]

China showed their dominance over the sport by winning 4 of the events out of 5 on the last day of the Djarum Premier Super Series Badminton Championships in Jakarta on Sunday. Local heroes were hoping for a double gold but it faltered. Lee Chong Wei, for his part, scored once again.

By Adrian Kok, Badzine correspondent. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Istora Senayan was buzzing with screaming fans for the whole week. The vibe was just exhilarating and the level of excitement was high. As one of the five Premier Super Series events, much was expected of players to showcase their excellence. Indeed, the players delivered it and kudos to the organisers for organising a great event all around.

The finals were kicked off starting with the men’s doubles event. It was a match between the established pair of Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng the new combination of Guo Zhengdong and his new protégé Chai Biao, both from China. The veteran pair were playing their favourite formation where Cai is at the front of the net, hunting the lose returns and Fu raining down smashes to setup loose returns for Cai to finish it off. The newer pair was finding it challenging to counter the attack of their three-time World Champion compatriots. Toward the end the first game the underdogs were becoming more prone to mistakes and gave the first game to the favourites. The second game started with much more enthusiasm from Chai and Guo, but Cai and Fu’s experience gave them the edge to stave off the pressure. Cai and Fu blasted their way to victory with a score line of 21-13 and 21-12, leaving Chai Biao especially very bitter.

Saina fails to perform hat trick

With the women’s singles event mainly dominated by China, Saina Nehwal from India is one of the few who have the ability to challenge the Chinese strength. She made her way to the finals without any Chinese opposition, but finally found a formidable opponent in Wang Yihan. Wang went all out to prove that she is back in the best form after many recent disappointments. Saina played a marvellous first game, where she totally out-manoeuvred her opponent with tight net shots and pin point accurate smashes.

Wang began to pick up her pace in the second game where she became more active in her attack forcing Saina to commit mistakes. The score was neck to neck before the interval. Saina was pursuing Wang by a few points and eventually caught up with her opponent. Saina’s mental toughness was shattered when Wang won the second game after the Indian had one match point in her racket. Though Wang looked tired, she had the psychological advantage going into rubber game where she used it to her full advantage. With that she beat Saina convincingly, with a score line of 13-21, 23-21 and 21-14.

“I’m disappointed of course, but overall very happy with my performance this week,” Saina in her post-match interview.  “I’ve beaten top players here. I was a bit shaky for the match point, and then got a little bit unlucky. I was then missing a bit of stamina in the third. That’s what made the difference, but I’m still very happy I was able to enter the final 3 times here.”  Saina’s main goal will be to win important tournaments before the Olympics to boost her confidence level. She would like to fill herself with confidence when she arrives in London.

On the other hand, Wang was all smiles, sitting by her coach Zhang Ning, present at the post-match press conference. “I’m very glad I was able to perform well as I played quite badly in Singapore. I’m pleased with my performance today as I was able to overcome a match point. And it’s important psychologically to have beaten Saina, but it won’t necessarily matter in the future because we are all very close.”

Gade – I gave my best

A showdown between Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei was a match that everyone expected to watch. Expectation all went downhill when Lin Dan lost to Sho Sasaki in the second round; nevertheless, the finals of men’s singles event had a different excitement. The world number one Lee Chong Wei had one last hurdle to win his third consecutive title and his opponent was none other than the master tactician, Peter Gade from Denmark. Even at the age of 34, Peter is still a top player to watch out for. The match started with Lee maintaining his attack forcing Peter to many errors. Lee was dominating the net by moving forward to the net with much speed.

“I think I’ve changed a bit now,” Lee said after his match.  “Ever since the World Championships last year, where I was putting a lot of pressure on myself, I’ve learned to enjoy the game more now. I play with more confidence, but also more pleasure, to take the pressure off. Maybe it’s the new Lee Chong Wei. Hopefully I can do something good in London with this spirit.”

Peter was out of ideas as to how to outmanoeuvre Lee, as the Malaysian was moving so quickly that he always seemed to be one step forward. Peter said afterward, “I just couldn’t keep up with Chong Wei’s speed. When he plays like this, with a lot of speed and variation, there isn’t much I can do.

“I have to be on top of my game, and with the crazy schedule we’ve had for the past months, I just gave my best effort as I never give up, but I have to be happy about my performance overall.”

In the end, Peter humbly bowed to Lee with a score of 21- 11, 21-7.

Again China’s dominance was challenged by a local pair of Vita Marissa and Nadya Melati. The relatively new Indonesian pair played against the current world number one Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang. The courageous Indonesian were tamely defeated. The aggressive Chinese pair attacked relentlessly and gave the Indonesian duo no chance to counter attack. As the matched progress, they began lose focus and confidence was dwindling down.

The mixed doubles Indonesian pair of Tantowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir was of the same fortune. They fought gallantly but they were no match for the current world number one Zhang Nan  and Zhao Yunlei of China.

Final Results
MD: Cai Yun / Fu Haifeng [1] (CHN) bt Chai Biao / Guo Zhendong [8] (CHN) 21-13, 21-12
WS: Wang Yihan [3] (CHN) bt Saina NEHWAL [4] (IND) 12-21, 23-21, 21-14
MS: Lee Chong Wei [1] (MAS) bt Peter Hoeg Gade [5] (DEN) 21-11, 21-7
WD: Wang Xiaoli / Yu Yang [1] (CHN) bt Vita Marissa / Nadya Melati (INA) 21-12, 21-10
XD: Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei [1] (CHN) bt Tantowi Ahmad / Liliyana Natsir [4] (INA) 20-22, 21-14, 21-9

For detailed results, CLICK HERE

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