The badminton world does move real fast. Just a week back the China masters finished on a very nice note for the hosts china and as of this writing the Yonex Japan open has also finished.
ADIDAS CHINA MASTERS 2013
But my blog moves at a lower pace. I was able to watch both singles finals. Both were well fought matches, with the male finals a bit more competitive and aggressively fought.
In both the female and male singles the air drift played a significant part mainly because instead of flowing across the court, it was flowing from one end of the court to the other. Also it was not very strong. It just helped the person on the windward side to have a bit more bite to its smashes and also increased the likelihood of the shuttle going over the net in close calls.
The player on the leeward side was clearly on a disadvantage with the power of smashes being reduced and in many deep court rallies hitting a bit harder so the shuttle went out of court.
But this air drift played a more prominent role in female singles because of the very contrasting styles between the finalists Porntip Buranaprasertsuk and chinese Liu Xin. The latter was more aggressive and used the drift to demolish Porntip 21-4 in the first set. But Porntip was not able to return the favor in second set but still won 13-21, clearly showing her more defensive style against the aggressive Liu Xin .
The match was set for the third set but Li Xin’s aggression even with exchange of ends in third set did not help Porntip and Li won 21-12. Under the circumstances it would have taken a lot more aggression on the part of Porntip to outplay Li. Maybe she failed to read the weather conditions correctly and modify her game accordingly.
But Porntip showed the strength of her defensive game in the semifinals when she defeated the Olympic champion Li Xuerui 21-16 15 -21 22-20.
The male finals was between South Korea’s Son Wan Ho who defeated Japan’s Sho Sasaki 17-21 21-16 21-18 in the semifinals and China’s Wang Zhengming who defeated Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen 11-21 21-14 24-22.
In the finals Wang beat Son 11-21 21-14 24-22. The match was close as the score indicates.
Son Wan Ho was quick and showed very good reflexes and easily won the first set 11-21 with air drift in his favor. He got tired in the second set with drift against him and lost 21-14 with Wang collecting himself in time.
The third set was very well fought but Wang looked in better physical fitness and mentally more tough and this mental toughness stood him in good stead in close points and he won a well deserved 24-22 third set win and a tournament victory.
In the male doubles, Korean pair of Ko Sung-Hyun and Lee Yong-Dae defeated Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa of Japan 25-23 21-19.
In the female doubles it was a all chinese final with Wang Xiadi and Yu Yong defeating Ma Jin and Tang Jinhue 21-17 21-16.
Mixed doubles was again won by China with Zhang Nan and Zhao Yuniei defeating Korean Yoo Yeon –Seong and Eom Hye –won 21-18 21-12.
YONEX JAPAN OPEN 2013
I had just finished writing about China Masters 2013 when Japan Open 2013 was underway. But within a week the result in Japan open was surprising different.
In the female singles it was an all Japan affair, with 16 year old Akane Yamaguchi having eliminated the 6th seed Tai Tzu-Ying in the semifinals 26-24 21-14, mainly because of faster court coverage, and the same helped her defeat her fellow compatriot Shizuka Uchida 21-15 21-19 in the finals, mainly because of her better court presence and cool head .
In the male singles, again the result was markedly different from that of China Masters with Lee Chong Wei, the top seed from Malaysia in imperious form, when he dismantled Nguyen Tien Minh in the semifinals 21-10 21-13 earlier but met with some resistance in the finals.
His final opponent was Japan’s 7th seed Kenichi Tago, who has a excellent court coverage and positioning but found Lee’s smashes a bit too hot to handle and Lee won in straight sets 23-21 21-17.
In the male doubles, Indonesian pair Muhammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan defeated Chai Biao and Hong Wei of china 22-20 21-16.
In the female doubles, chinese pair of Ma Jin and Tang Jinhua defeated dannish pair of Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter 21-11 21-14.
In the mixed doubles it was a all chinese final with Xu Chen and Ma Jin getting a walkover from Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei.