AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2015 SF – Fast & Furious 8

It’s back to the finals for world #1 Lee Yong Dae / Yoo Yeon Seong as the Koreans won a gripping semi-final at the Star Australian Open Superseries over India […]

It’s back to the finals for world #1 Lee Yong Dae / Yoo Yeon Seong as the Koreans won a gripping semi-final at the Star over India Open champions Chai/Hong.

By Aaron Wong, Badzine Correspondent live in Sydney.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

The premise is that we know what the both towering Hong Wei / Chai Biao (pictured below) are going to do: pummel the shuttle downwards at every opportunity. The crowd want them to do it and then see how effective is the world #1 Koreans’ flamboyant defence in dealing with it.

One of the most fascinating aspects of badminton to spectators is the ability of men’s doubles players to exude the calm defence and lightning reactions, sometimes at point-blank range, in the fastest discipline of the fastest racquet sport on earth.  This Korean-Chinese battle was full semi-final value for that.

Yoo agreed that the barrage of smashing is part and parcel of the deal of their discipline: “The problem was this pair were excellent at defence and we really had to think to place our shots.”

One of the strategies all round was to get one guy in a jam – any guy – and once isolating one guy make it a two-versus-one scenario. Lee Yong Dae / Yoo Yeon Seong (pictured top) kept swapping both at the rear and at the front deliberately, which lessened these occurrences on their side.

Fortunate for spectators and for the defence of his Australian title: “It turned out to be nothing major when I hurt my wrist yesterday and I recovered fine for today’s match,” remarked Lee Yong Dae who is the most famous face in international badminton apart from Lin Dan.  He thrilled by defending from sitting on the floor more than once in the second game and managing to resume the point normally.

On a critical point late in the second, Lee stayed prostrate on the mat after not expecting his rescued shot to make it over the net. To make matters more interesting, Hong Wei challenged the out line call on the Korean baseline. The successful call reversed the score from 15-19 to 16-18 for the Chinese but it was not enough to allow the #4 seeds to get ahead.

“We played safer today because we know what to expect having met before but tomorrow’s will be our first time facing this pair,” added Lee.

Earning the 22-20, 21-18 victory today, the defending champions from Korea are the ones heading into final against brand-new Chinese pair Liu Cheng / Lu Kai.

Click here for complete semi-final results

Aaron Wong

About Aaron Wong

Aaron Wong only ever coveted badminton's coolest shot - a reverse backhand clear. He is renowned for two other things: 1) Writing tournament previews that adjust the focus between the panorama of the sport's progress, down to the microscopic level of explaining the striking characteristics of players; 2) Dozing off during men's doubles at the London Olympic Games. Contact him at: aaron @