CHINA MASTERS 2017 Finals – Wang smashes his way to first major title

Chinese Taipei’s Wang Chi Lin too the first Grand Prix title of his career at the China Masters Grand Prix Gold, where all three doubles finals went to first-time finalists. […]

Chinese Taipei’s Wang Chi Lin too the first title of his career at the Gold, where all three doubles finals went to first-time finalists.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

Wang Chi Lin showed promise five years ago when he was runner-up at he Asian Junior Championships.  He was blocked from advancing in the 2012 World Juniors by his opponents in today’s final at the China Masters Grand Prix Gold, Takuto Inoue and Yuki Kaneko, but in 2013, while still a junior, he picked up a couple of International Challenge titles.

In 2014, Wang Chi Lin was paired up with veteran Chen Hung Ling (pictured), who already had a pair of Superseries titles to his name.  In their first tournament together, they reached the semis of their home Grand Prix Gold event and they followed that up with two finals appearances but the wait for a first title of any description turned out to be a long one.

Finally, at today’s China Masters, they got it together.  It was a second-half surge that saw them take the opening game from their Japanese opponents but in the second game, they were just dominant.  In between thunderous, steep smashes, Wang Chi Lin played fantastic defense.  Chen was clearly bothered by a cough before each serve but played an amazing game with no hint of illness and the top seeds raced to a 21-6 score to nab the title.

The other two doubles titles were the first for the winning pair together but all four shuttlers have multiple major titles with previous partners.  Bao Yixin and Yu Xiaohan beat their former partners Tang Jinhua and Huang Yaqiong respectively.  Huang and Tang were the only pair among the six doubles finalists who had won a major title together previously but after dominating the first game, they were unable take either of the remaining two.

Wang Yilu and Huang Dongping (pictured bottom) were almost as dominant in their second game against Chinese Taipei and Liao and Chen’s compatriots had been at the end of the previous final.  Chen Hsiao Huan was repeatedly trapped at the back and the Chinese Taipei pair sent too many shuttles out the back as the Chinese pair ran away with the match.

Aya Ohori opened the afternoon with a victory over her compatriot Saena Kawakami.  The two Japanese ladies traded one-sided games before a closer contest in the decider but it was the older shuttler who closed that one out 21-18.

In the last – and longest – final of the day, Tian Houwei (pictured above) took his first international title in nearly four years.  It was the only match in Changzhou on Sunday that did not include a game where one player double the opponent’s score.  He took it from Qiao Bin in three games

Now most of the finalists will be heading west for the Badminton Asia Championships in Wuhan but neither singles runner-up will be playing there, nor will the women’s doubles winners.

Final results
WS:  Aya Ohori (JPN) [2] beat Saena Kawakami (JPN) [5]  21-9, 9-21, 21-18
WD:  Bao Yixin / Yu Xiaohan (CHN) beat Huang Yaqiong / Tang Jinhua (CHN) [4]  8-21, 21-14, 21-17
MD:  Chen Hung Ling / Wang Chi-Lin (TPE) [1] beat Takuto Inoue / Yuki Kaneko (JPN) [5]  21-14, 21-6
XD:  Wang Yilyu / Huang Dongping (CHN) [5] beat Liao Min Chun / Chen Hsiao Huan (TPE) [4]  21-14, 21-10
MS:  Tian Houwei (CHN) [2] beat Qiao Bin (CHN) [3]  21-15, 15-21, 21-16

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 @