SS FINALS 2011 SF – The prince steps up to the throne

Chen Long kicked off a red-letter day for China at the Li-Ning BWF Super Series Finals.  Team China ceded no ground to the visitors and will be vying for all […]

Chen Long kicked off a red-letter day for China at the Li-Ning BWF Super Series Finals.  Team China ceded no ground to the visitors and will be vying for all five Super Series Final titles for the first time.

By Kira Rin, Badzine Correspondent.   Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

The day kicked off to an explosive start with the battle of Wangs, between Wang Xin (pictured below) and Wang Yihan. Neither lady was about to give any quarter, as both were striving to lay their claim to the throne.

The game played out almost like a battle between the female counterparts of Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei, with many fast and long rallies played. In the end, what separated the winner from the loser was experience at the top, and maybe a little dose of luck, as Wang Yihan managed to walk away with the 21-19, 21 –15 victory.

Next up came the hotly anticipated men’s singles match between defending king Lee Chong Wei and the rising prince Chen Long. Lee Chong Wei helped add to the atmosphere by hitting a couple of shuttles into the excited crowd before warming up.

Just like before, both players went at each other from the start, pushing and moving each other all around the court. Even as early as at 10-all in the first game, they kept up a long and exciting rally lasting at least 2 minutes. Chen Long (pictured top) managed to match Lee Chong Wei’s speeding pace and then push on faster to take the first game 21-16.

The second game started with Chen Long aggressively attacking; however, Lee Chong Wei showed the crowd his world-class tactical game and counter-attacked to take the second game 21-16.

In the final game, both players were running out of steam but both players kept on attacking each other. However, luck once again favoured the Chinese as Chen Long went on to take the final game 21-18. Such was the excitement that he threw his racquet into the crowd before celebrating with his coaches amid the loud cheers.

Evening session – More Chinese cheering, disappointed Danes

The evening session once again kicked off with women’s singles. Just like before, it started out as a match between contrasting styles: on one side, youthful speed and on the other, experience and old tricks. Saina was, however, able to outmanoeuvre Tine and sneak away with the win 21-17, 21 -18.

Next up was men’s doubles, a battle between seasoned veterans Jung Jae Sung / Lee Yong Dae and rising pair Chai Biao / Guo Zhendong (pictured).  Jung Jae Sung seemed to be comfortable with his arm, being able to maintain their usual attack pattern of him smashing from behind.

However, it was never going to be as easy for the Koreans as when they’d faced Chai in the 2010 semis with his younger former partner Zhang Nan.  Guo Zhendong has long been a thorn in Jung/Lee’s side and today was no exception.

Early on in the first game, the Koreans protested on a dubious line call that came from the Chinese flick serving them. However, the umpire maintained that the call would stand and gave the point to the Chinese. Yet another such line call came up in the second game, leading to another round of protests from the Koreans.

The Chinese powered on ahead, taking the match 21-17, 21-18.

In what was probably the next most anticipated match, it was mostly a letdown as Lin Dan overpowered Peter Gade.   After dropping the first game 13-21, Gade was able to match the pace in the second but Lin Dan speed up from the interval onwards, leaving the Dane in the dust, taking the match with a 21-14 game 2 score.

Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei conceded a walkover to their compatriots Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang, thus their match was not played.  Wang and Yu thus will take on Ha Jung Eun and Kim Min Jung (pictured above), winners of one of the Korea-Denmark semi-final encounters.

Lastly, in the mixed doubles, Xu Chen and Ma Jin (pictured) started off in similar fashion to Lee Chong Wei, feeding shuttles to the excited crowd before starting their prematch warm-ups.

The Danes adopted a reverse formation with Christinna smashing from the back, however costly mistakes from them along with Xu Chen’s smashes and Ma Jin’s experience saw the Chinese take the match 21-19, 21-14 and set up a second all-Chinese final.

Click here for complete results

Live feed here (Courtesy of BWF)

About Kira Rin