CHINA MASTERS 2015 Finals – Liu and Bao help China to 6th sweep

India Open champions Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin added a second career title to seal a 6th China Masters title sweep for mighty China. By Don Hearn.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives) […]

India Open champions Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin added a second career title to seal a 6th title sweep for mighty China.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

On finals day at the 2015 Bonny China Masters Gold, Edi Subaktiar and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja of Indonesia had the unenviable task of bearing the burden of being the last visiting shuttlers with a chance to deny China a title sweep, something they had already done five times at this event, including three times when it held Superseries status.

Opposite them in the mixed doubles final were world #4 Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin (pictured).  Just last month, Liu and Bao took their first international title since they won the World Junior Championships in 2010 and it was the India Open Superseries.  This weekend they wasted no time in adding to their haul, beating two successors to their World Junior mixed title, as Widjaja was the 2011 winner and Subaktiar the 2012 champion.

After splitting the first two games, the decider was neck-and neck until the Indonesians made a late surge.  Precariously trailing 16-19, Bao Yixin made sure the Indonesians didn’t get the chance to sit pretty with four match points, executing a brilliant crosscourt net shot to start the comeback and then another to bring up the first match point.

In fact, the Indonesians never did earn a match point but they did draw back level five times before Liu hammered down the final kill at the net to win it 26-24.  Liu became the only player to participate in the last two title sweeps at the China Masters, having won the men’s doubles title in 2014.

If those 81 minutes took their toll on Bao, though, she got no respite in her second match of the day.  She and Tang Yuanting were on court an additional 68 minutes but were unable to catch Tang Jinhua and Zhong Qianxin.  The new pairing of two of Bao’s former partners led throughout the deciding game and reversed the result from the All England semi-finals to take their first title as a pair.

First Grand Prix Gold gold for World Junior contender

In the women’s singles, 18-year-old He Bingjiao (pictured above) took the first Grand Prix Gold title of her career, which she can now add to her Youth Olympic gold and her Vietnam Open Grand Prix title from 2013.  She beat compatriot Hui Xirui comfortably in straight games.

He may be still waiting for her first Superseries title – a milestone that her major competitor for this year’s World Junior title may already have passed – but she is clearly back in form and will soon be taking her show on the road for the first time this year when she heads to New Zealand at the end of this month.

Former junior champs prevail in men’s finals

In the men’s singles, Huang Yuxiang (pictured) came far closer than he ever has to winning his first title since he won the Asian Junior Championship way back in 2010.  Not only was this his first final in those last five years, but he was not far off toppling first seed Wang Zhengming.  Wang, who won both the Asian and World Junior titles back in 2008, still maintained the edge and finished it off in two very close games.

Wang Yilu kept his reputation as Mr. Runner-up at the China Masters intact.  After finishing with two silvers at last year’s edition, he had to settle for second best again this year as 19-year-old giants Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen (pictured) ran away with the deciding game to win the men’s doubles title.

While Wang and Zhang Wen can still be content with having one both the Bitburger Open and the recent China International Challenge titles, it was a welcome end to the frustrating near misses for Li and Liu.  Since they followed up their 2013 World Junior Championship title by taking their first Grand Prix Gold title not three months later, they had been unsuccessful in three more finals, the latest one involving a loss to none other than Wang and Zhang.

Li and Liu will not get a chance to do one better than their runner-up finish at last year’s Badminton Asia Championships as they were not one of the four Chinese pairs who qualified.  They will, however, get the chance to improve on their result at the New Zealand Open the following week.  In their last appearance in Auckland, in 2013, they reached the first international final of their career.

Final results
XD: Liu Cheng / Bao Yixin (CHN) [1] beat Edi Subaktiar / Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja (INA) [3]  18-21, 21-15, 26-24
WS: He Bingjiao (CHN) beat Hui Xirui (CHN)  21-13, 21-9
MS: Wang Zhengming (CHN) [1] beat Huang Yuxiang (CHN)  22-20, 21-19
WD: Tang Jinhua / Zhong Qianxin (CHN) beat Bao Yixin / Tang Yuanting (CHN) [3]  21-14, 11-21, 21-17
MD: Li Junhui / Liu Yuchen (CHN) [3] beat Wang Yilu / Zhang Wen (CHN) [4] 21-15, 19-21, 21-12

Click here for complete results

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 @