The finals tomorrow have a sense of deja vu about them, with all three doubles finals being a repeat from last week’s Super Series Premier in Odense but there were still surprises today, none more than Lin Dan’s stunning retirement just 3 points from victory.
All England 2011 Rematch
Lee Chong Wei broke his recent run of poor results against Chen Long today, but took all of the world #1′s ability as well as 77 grueling minutes to ensure his place in tomorrow’s final. Few could have predicted the other semi final result, with the crowd already confused to the Chinese tactics going into this week as well as Chen Jin and Lin Dan only truly playing for one game yesterday. Lin Dan took the opening game 23-21 and was 18-15 up before retiring just three points from reaching the final. The question marks over this “retirement” will last long after this event as it seems like Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei are set now to meet until the 2012 Olympics.
All Chinese Final
Despite all the shocks and all the top seeded Chinese players crashing out, there is still an all-Chinese final in the women’s singles between Wang Xin and Li Xuerui. The unseeded Li Xuerui booked her place in a straight forward victory over Porntip Buranaprasertsuk whilst the 3rd seeded Wang Xin needed three games to defeat Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei. The opening game was won by the Chinese Taipei player but Wang Xin faught back in stunning style to take the next two games to the loss of just 11 points and complete the turnaround in double quick time to spent just 35 minutes on court.
The best two pairs in the world go at it again tomorrow as Cai and Fu take on Lee and Jung for the 18th time in their remarkable rivalry, with the world number 1 pair looking to put last week’s defeat to the Korean’s behind them and even up the series at 9-9. Cai and Fu needed three games to defeat the Japanese pairing of Hirata and Hashimoto whilst Lee and Jung defeated the resurgent Boe and Mogensen in two games, with both pairs almost spending the same time on court on route to the final.
The top two pairs also go at it in the women’s doubles final, with Tian and Zhao still the only pair this year to defeat the world number 1 pairing of Wang and Yu, who came through the only semi final played in the event today against the 3rd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa. The two game victory was much closer than the one sided match that took place at the All Englands earlier in the year, with the Chinese pair winning 21-8, 22-20.
Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen completed a famous double over the world number 1 pairing of Zhang and Zhao in a 72 minute match which seen the Danes save a match point at 20-19 in the deciding game before taking the next three points and booking a rematch against Ma and Xu of China. The 2nd seeded Chinese pair battled back from a game down to defeat Ahmad and Natsir and set up a rematch of the final in Odense 7 days previously.
Eddie has been a writer for BadmintonLife.com since June 2009 covering the Major BWF events and Super Series events. Previous worked for The Guardian newspaper and was also featured in the New York Times during the London 2012 Olympics.