CHINESE TAIPEI OPEN 2015 SF – Home hero beats Lin Dan

Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen beat legend Lin Dan to set up a showdown with World Champion Chen Long for his first ever home Grand Prix Gold title. By Don […]

Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen beat legend Lin Dan to set up a showdown with World Champion Chen Long for his first ever home Gold title.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

It has been 16 years since the men’s singles title at the went to the great Fung Permadi.  Since then, home shuttlers have had occasion to win in each of the other four disciplines – including Cheng Wen Hsing’s mixed title with Tony Gunawan – but the 14 men’s singles titles have all gone to visitors.

It couldn’t have been a more uphill task for world #8 Chou Tien Chen (pictured above) than to reach the semi-finals and to still have the past two World Champions standing in his way.  Lin Dan, in particular, is the two-time defending champion and a player whom Chou had never beaten.

Chou had encouraging start, battling back from 14-18 down to take the first game 21-19.  Lin Dan evened the score at one game apiece and then seemed to ensure that Chou would have plenty of time to recover from whatever stamina problems might be afflicting him as the former world #1 took more than four extra minutes between game to deal with a sponsor logo conflict on his shorts.

Chou took full advantage of the extra rest and got a phenomenal start to the deciding game, charging out to a 13-3 lead.  Lin Dan chipped away at the lead and drew within one before Chou Tien Chen found his touch to take the last four points in a row and book his place in the final.

No final for Tai

World #5 Tai Tzu Ying is still looking for her first title of the year.  The Singapore Open runner-up came home from a bronze medal at the Universiade last week and had a respectable run at her home tournament, which she won 3 years ago.  However, she bowed in the end to Olympic gold medallist Li Xuerui (pictured above) in straight games.

Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon again made things difficult for Wang Yihan but she still suffered her tenth straight loss to the woman who was her predecessor as World Champion.  This means that the women’s singles title belongs to China for the first time since the event was won by the great Zhang Ning in 2006.

Two World #1s down

Men’s and women’s doubles both saw the exits of the world #1 pair.  In the women’s event, Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi of Japan were beaten by defending champions Nitya Krishinda Maheswari / Greysia Polii in a repeat of the Asian Games gold medal match.  The Indonesians must now face world #3 Luo Ying and Luo Yu for the title.

In the men’s doubles, both the past and former top pairs went down in the semi-finals.  First Korea’s Lee Yong Dae / Yoo Yeon Seong lost to Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan (pictured above) of China in a repeat of the Denmark Open final.

Near the end of the day came a bigger surprise when world #51 Gideon Markus Fernaldi / Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo beat their former World Champion compatriots Ahsan/Setiawan to book a place in the final.  This is their first appearance in a final as a pair.

Mixed doubles, like the women’s singles, already has its destination country decided.  Korea sent two pairs to the final, both at the expense of Indonesian challengers.  Ko Sung Hyun and Kim Ha Na had the momentum from their third career victory over Olympic champions Zhang and Zhao, which came in Friday’s quarter-final, and they carried that through their semi-final against Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto.

The first match of the day saw 2013 winner Shin Baek Cheol book his first final with his new mixed doubles partner Chae Yoo Jung (pictured).  They have come through from qualifying and won their semi-final in straight games over Ronald Alexander and Melati Daeva Oktaviani.

Finals line-up
WS: Wang Yihan (CHN) [6] vs. Li Xuerui (CHN) [2]
WD: Luo Ying / Luo Yu (CHN) [2] vs. Nitya Krishinda Maheswari / Greysia Polii (INA) [4]
XD: Ko Sung Hyun / Kim Ha Na (KOR) [7] vs. Shin Baek Cheol / Chae Yoo Jung (KOR)
MD: Fu Haifeng / Zhang Nan (CHN) [5] vs. Gideon Markus Fernaldi / Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (INA)
MS: Chen Long (CHN) [1] vs. Chou Tien Chen (TPE) [5]

Click here for complete semi-final 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 @