SS FINALS 2012 – Fischer Nielsen/Pedersen deny one third

China again dominated the Superseries Finals but Denmark’s Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen won back the title, denying at least one doubles pair a third consecutive title. By Renee Yang, Badzine […]

China again dominated the Finals but Denmark’s Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen won back the title, denying at least one doubles pair a third consecutive title.

By Renee Yang, Badzine Correspondent live in Shenzhen.  Photos: Arthur Van Der Velde for Badmintonphoto (live)

China may have been narrowly denied a chance at a sweep of the golds at the CR Land BWF World but the home team still dominated overall with both singles finals featuring all-Chinese battles and one finalist in each of two doubles finals.  But Denmark also performed very well with one pair having advanced into each of the doubles final, one of them poised to stop a run of three straight titles, a feat attempted by a pair in each doubles final.

Mixed doubles – Danes want it back.

In just three years, Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei have won just about every major title apart from the Asian Games gold and this Superseries Finals was expected to be theirs for a third year in a row.  However, 2009 champions Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen had already beaten the Chinese favourites in group play, giving them an edge in their head-to-head record.

Zhang/Zhao now had a chance at revenge in the mixed doubles final and in the first game, the Chinese pair created a lot of attacking chances, but then wasted some of them due to relatively weak attack at back court, while the Danes benefited and converted their own attacking opportunities.

After the interval, the Chinese played several brilliant serves while the Danes lost their patience and made mistakes.  Zhang/Zhao widened the score difference and took the game at 21-17.

But from the second game, the Dans improved their net play and also used deep, high serves to defuse Zhang/Zhao’s returns.  This change of tactics worked very well and the Danes started to dominate on the net, grasping most of the opportunities with explosive attacking play, and they took the next two games convincingly 21-12 and 21-14.  When the last shuttle landed, the Danes embraced together, and an excited Fischer Nielsen even threw his shirt and racket into the stands.

“We know the Chinese so well and we’ve played against them so many times, we knew we needed to play our very best to win against them,” said Pedersen afterward.

“Good for us today we did it.  We’ve talked about stepping forward and to attack in the right way, to make it hard to return, using many angles when we are attacking and launching forward to the net, and I think that was the key for today.”

Women’s doubles – Pedersen has to share

In contrast to the edge that Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl seem to enjoy over the Olympic women’s doubles champions, they showed on Sunday that they were still not able to become the third pair to beat two-time defending Superseries Finals champions Wang Xiaoli / Yu Yang.  The Chinese pair had all around skills at the net, from the backcourt and on defence, and the Danish women found it very difficult to find their weakness and clamp down on that.

And since their team-mates Tian/Zhao lost to the Danes on Saturday night, the Chinese pair seemed to prepare adequately before the match and had some tactics to restrict advantages of their challengers.  Wang and Yu played with faster rhythm, accurate placement and explosive attacks, and led all the way.  The Danes gave some fight and resisted until interval, but then were forced into errors and gave each game away.  The Chinese defeated the Danes in straight games, to win their third title in a row and ensure that Christinna Pedersen would not be the first double titlist at this event.

Another three-peat

Another king of Superseries Finals must should be Danish men’s doubles pair Mathias Boe / Castens Mogensen.  Playing in their fourth straight final, they came into Sunday’s match having won two titles in a row, and were looking strong to win another.

In the first game, the Danes had an overwhelming advantage in most rallies after the first three strokes, and the Japanese were left just trying to resist with solid defence and drives.  But Danes kept the pressure on and led all the way, taking the game in 21-17.

In the second game, the Danes seemed to slacken a little while Japanese seemed used to the rhythm of the Danes and could fight back.  In fact, they took the advantage at 19-18, but at the crucial moment, they made some mistakes and the Danes got the 3 points in a row they needed to finish their third title in a row.  After the match, the pair again celebrated with a Gangnam Style dance while the spectators in the stands burst into laughter.

Singles follows logic

In the men’s singles final, Chen Long beat Du Pengyu as expected 21-12, 21-13 while Li Xuerui won women’s singles when Wang Shixian retired.  The two young stars thus became the only first time champions in the Superseries Finals.

Final results
XD: Joachim Fischer Nielsen     / Christinna Pedersen (DEN) bt Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei (CHN) [4] 17-21, 21-12, 21-14
WS: Li Xuerui (CHN) [1] bt Wang Shixian (CHN) [3]  21-9. 15-4 (Retired)
MD: Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen (DEN) bt Hiroyuki Endo / Kenichi Hayakawa (JPN) [2]  21-17, 21-19
WD: Wang Xiaoli / Yu Yang (CHN) [4] bt Christinna Pedersen / Kamilla Rytter Juhl (DEN)  21-16, 21-14
MS: Chen Long (CHN) [2] bt Du Pengyu (CHN)  21-12, 21-13

Click here for complete results

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