FRENCH OPEN 2011 R32 – Tine Falls, Tai smiles

Taiwan’s rising star Tai Tzu Ying, is once again under the spotlight after the first round of the Yonex Internationaux de France, knocking out Denmark’s Tine Baun, pursuing her road […]

Taiwan’s rising star Tai Tzu Ying, is once again under the spotlight after the first round of the Yonex Internationaux de France, knocking out Denmark’s Tine Baun, pursuing her road to the world’s best. Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng tasted once again the spicy Korean game, after their harsh defeat last week in Odense against Jung and Lee.  In the first round of their Parisian week, the World Champions were nearly sent packing before finally getting the best of Kwon Yi Goo and Cho Gun Woo, who are eager to join their compatriots in the Olympic qualification quest.

By Tarek Hafi, live in Paris.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Taiwan’s new marvel, seventeen year-old Tai Tzu Ying, decided once again to chop off big heads, ousting the tall Dane Tine Baun in the very first round in three tough games. The high school girl, who made clear few months ago that badminton was the career she wanted to pursue, keeps on climbing the world ranking ladder, becoming more and more of a regular figure. However, the first part was no easy game for the Taiwanese, facing the tall and powerful Dane.  Tine used all the shots in the book from her deep and strong smashes to offensive clears, forcing Tai to lift the shuttle

It is really difficult to play against her.  She is so tall, you must move her around the court but she is still very fast,” admitted the young girl.

On the other hand, it seems nothing can scare the seventeen-year-old, who began to dive around the court. “I was forced to dive a lot because I was late to recover some shuttles and the game was so close,” said Tai, even showing her bruises from today’s match.

Tine Baun being pressured enhances her attacking play, and she showed off some perfect cross-court smashes, leaving no chance for Tai to retrieve them.  Even so, the latter found the right way to finish off the match, pressuring her opponent’s backhand to earn her precious ticket to the next round, in a fifty-minute battle that ended 15-21, 21-19, 21-19. Tai Tzu Ying will meet Hong Kong’s Yip Pui Yin, who kept on her winning track against Ratchanok Intanon in two straight games.

Cai and Fu get a scare

Nothing is to be taken for granted on an Olympic year and four-time World Champions Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng were close to being the casualties of the day, before taking the right track back to earn their second round ticket, facing the lesser-known, but still mighty, Koreans Kwon Yi Goo and Cho Gun Woo.

Presumably inspired by Lee and Jung’s win last week in Denmark and their own victory over Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong, Kwon and Cho, often led the march against the world number ones despite committing far more unforced errors. They remained focussed through out the match, whereas the Chinese combination seemed rather exhausted from their Danish journey.

We arrived very late in France; thus we couldn’t prepare and train properly for the match,” commented Cai Yun afterward.

The relatively new Korean pairing used their defensive abilities to perfection, diving for the shuttles and giving Fu Haifeng no chances to release any harmful smashes on the opposite side.

A smooth control of the net area by Kwon Yi Goo, became a huge benefit from the second game onward but this clever tactic was quickly bring to halt by the Chinese in the third game, when they got back to their usual form and speed on court. A fact it is indeed, that the Chinese pair, reaching almost their tenth straight year on the circuit at the highest level, can easily figure out how to deal with closing tense matches, thanks to their incredible experience and dozen of titles earned throughout the years.

The Chinese veterans, started a patient game, building the rally, ready to cruise a logical second round place 21-17,  19-21, 21-19.

All results HERE

Live Streaming HERE

Photos of the Day HERE
(copyright Badmintonphoto)

About Tarek Hafi