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The gallant run of Japan’s qualifier Akane Yamaguchi ended, in the women’s singles quarter-finals of the Malaysia Open 2014. Akane who became the youngest ever Super Series Champion lost to more experience Korean women’s shuttler Bae Yeon Jun 15-21.16-21 in 39 minutes. Bae Yeon Jun who was the winner of this tournament 4 years ago, seems to be overpowering the young Japanese player with accurate smashes and chop, alongside with superb shuttle control which pushed the young Japanese to all corners of the court. Akane who had trouble dictating the rallies, probably due to lack of experience despite fighting till the end. Truly a prospect to look for in the near future.
image source: zimbio
In the men’s doubles event, Malaysia’s only hope in this category of Lim Khim Wah and Goh V Shem managed to extract a sweet revenge against England’s Chris Langdrige and Peter Mills who defeated their team mate of Hoon Thien How and Tan Wee Kiong in the first round. The young Malaysian lads played brilliantly to stomped into the semi finals, winning the match 21-16 and 21-14. They will be meeting Indonesian dark horses Angga Pramata and Ryan Agus Saputra in the semi finals. The Indonesian who earlier beaten the favourites of Korea superstars Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong in straight games, 22-20 and 21-16.
Truly heartbreaking for Malaysia’s mixed doubles fans, the number 6th seed Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying displayed great skills and perseverance but went down fighting to Jordan Praveen and Debby Susanto 21-18, 17-21,22-24.
The last year finalist, Goh Liu Ying and Chan Peng Soon were actually 1-10 down in the deciding game. All thanks to Jordan Praveen’s blistering and steep angle smashes. Jordan Praveen is truly a next prospect for Indonesia’s doubles department. He has the tricky skills similarity of non other than former world champion Sigit Budiarto.
However, Goh Liu Ying and Chan Peng Soon managed to stay in there and kept putting pressure on their younger Indonesian opponent and they managed to score the game first match point, but maybe due to nerves and excellent deceptive and double motion shots of Jordan Praveen, which left Goh Liu Ying a little confuse to kill the shots at the front court.
Here’s Goh Liu Ying showing great dissapointment at the parking lot area after a nerve wrecking match which had the crowd at the edge of their seats. Great effort but in was in vain. Goh Liu Ying, who is still delima on whether to get an operation on her long time knee injury which got worse over the past couple of months.
Meanwhile in the men‘s singles, World number 1 Lee Chong Wei live up to expectations as Malaysia’s hero by winning his match in style 21-17, 21-18 against China’s number 4 player Wang Zheng Ming. Wang managed to display some resistance but Chong Wei is at another level.
The match that kept the home supporters roaring through the night was Malaysia’s sole survivors pair of Lim Khim Wah and Goh V Shem in men’s doubles event. Lim Khim Wah and Goh V Shem were 16-20 down in second game but managed to pull through and won the match 21-19, 25-23 against Thailand’s pair of Maneepong Jongjit and Nipitphon Puangpuapech. Despite having some weak serves from Khim Wah and was being fault multiple times from the umpire, Khim Wah displayed great defensive control and while V Shem displayed brilliant attacking game.
The 1st round of the Malaysia Open Super Series shown the exits of Malaysia’s players the likes of Chong Wei Feng, Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong, Hoon Thien How and Lim Khim Wah and other top players. The most heartbreaking is the men’s doubles match when Malaysia’s second pair and the 8th seed Hoon Thien How and Lim Khim Wah lost to Chris Langridge and Peter Mills of England. At one point the Malaysian pair of Hoon Thien How and Lim Khim Wah hold a match point lead in the rubber game 20-15! but lost the match 21,-18,19-21,20-22 which left the home crowd and supporters utterly disappointed. They were leading 20-15 in the rubber game but caused too much unforced errors which made the English pair boost in confidence.
The highlight of the tournament was the match between the reigning World Champion Ratchanok Intanon who was is the 3rd seed and Qualifier and Japan Open 2013 Champion Akane Yamaguchi. Last year, 18 years old Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand became the youngest World Champion ever and 16 years old Akane Yamaguchi became the youngest Super Series Champion, winning Japan Open Super Series 2013.
These 2 top prospect of badminton and future giant of the sport collided last time, and Akane Yamaguchi managed to pulled through and won the world champion 21-18,23-25, 21-16 in 1 hour hard fought match. Akane Yamaguchi who is still studying in high school displayed great maturity and experience which left the world champion Ratchanok clueless at some point of the match. Despite being a little chubby, the teenager Akan Yamaguchi showed great coverage of the court and dictating is rally with great attacking shots. Truly showed great potential and could be the next hall fame-er.
In the men’s singles singles as expected World number 1 and Malaysia’s pride Lee Chong Wei breezed through the first round hurdle against Denmark’s Han Kristian Vittinghus 21-7, 21-13. During the second set, Kristian Vittinghus showed a little aggression but couldn’t keep up with the blistering pace and accurate shots of the world number 1 Lee Chong Wei. In the men’s doubles event 7th seed Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong left the crowd disappointed with poor display and inconsistency in the game losing to unseeded China’s Biao Chai and Wei Hong 17-21, 14-21.
Malaysia second ranked Chong Wei Feng was made to look like a little boy when he faced Japan’s old timer Sho Sasaki 13-21, 19-21. Chong Wei Feng did stepped up his game in the second game but was too late as the Japanese roped in for the win.
While the crowd in the stadium was in disappointment after poor performance of their home players, Goh V Shem and Lim Khim Wah brought back the joy to the face of the supporters when displayed a brilliant performance which the won their match against the 2nd seeeds Mathia Boe and Carsten Mogensen 24-22, 17-21, 21-18 in an hour match!
Malaysia’s younger and semi retired players eagerly steps in the court. We’ve seen the return of Misbun Sidek, the former coach of World Number 1 Lee Chong Wei. Misbun Sidek was there to coach his son Misbun Ramdan Misbun, since quitting the national team (BAM) 3 years ago. Ramdan Misbun, did well in the first round of qualification defeating former compatriot Goh Soon Huat in a hard fought match 24-2222-20 in 44 minutes.
image source: the star
Misbun Ramdan who left the national team to be under the guidance of his father who is a legend in badminton as player and a coach, early last year. Misbun Ramdan dug deep in his reserves and put up a great fighting performance but when down to China’s Huan Gao in an hour match 9-21 21-12 17-21. Nervousness and maybe lack of experience cost him the match but won the attention of the crowd and displayed great skills like his father. Huan Gao made a surprise win over much more reputable opponent, non other than Indonesia’s Simon Santoso 14-2124-2221-19 in 1 hour and 20 minutes titanic battle.
Another young player Zulfadli Zuklifi who managed to scored an upset to much more experienced player and Singapore’s number 1 Derek Wong. Zulfadli who was Malaysia’s first World and Asia Junior Champion, which he won 2 years ago; displayed great controlled and understanding of game and won Derek Wong in an almost one sided game 21-1521-18 in the first qualifying round. Zulfadli was tamed by Korean upcoming star Lee Dong Keun in 47 minutes 17-21, 14-21. The Korean proved to be physically over powering the former World and Asia Junior Champion who more soft in physical appearance.
image source: the star
Another surprise is the return of Hafiz Hashim who was the 2003 All England Champion. The former badminton star of Malaysia, partnered up with former national player Razif Latif and managed to choked up a win with more experienced and doubles specialist Indonesian’s Alvent Yulianto and Japan’s Ikeda Shintaro 16-2121-1521-17 and disposed younger national players Low Juan Shen and Tai An Khang 21-816-2121-18 to qualified to the first round the Premier Super Series event. Hafiz Hashim and Razif Latif gallant run did not last long as they might went out of gas and was outplayed by the 6th seeds Japan’s Endo Hiroyuki and Hayakawa Kenichi 6-21, 7-21 in just 24 minutes in the first round of the tournament.
Tan Chun Seang the Canada Open 2013 Champion stressed a point this year that he’s back in action after a few years playing and coaching in Europe. He was served a two years banned after quitting the national team 2 years ago.
Tan Chun Seang who reached the final of the Vietnam Open Grand Prix Gold a couple of weeks proved that he’s performing better than most national players who are in the national team and more over he’s without a coach. Now he’s in the final of the National Grand Prix Final Circuit, where he won another professional player and defending champion Misbun Ramdan in a tough 57 minute match, Chun Seang won the match 18-21, 21-17, 21-19.
Tan Chun Seang will be facing currrent Malaysia number 2 Chong Wei Feng in the final today.
Photo Source: India Today
World number 1 end the year with a fashion, when he destroyed younger Indonesia player Tommy Sugiarto in the finals of the BWF Super Series Finals 2013 with a score of 21-10, 21-12. Tommy Sugiarto who appeared a little sluggish and slow probably due to his tough match against Japan’s number 1 Kenichi Tago in the semi finals match up. However, Lee Chong Wei is expected to win this title without much force as his arch rival Lin Dan and Chen Long decided not to participate in this year BWF Super Series Finals 2013.
Here’s Lee Chong Wei’s son Kingston Lee supporting his father!
Mean while, the highlight of the tournament would be mixed doubles and women’s doubles player Christina Pedersen of Denmark. She won the mixed doubles title for the 3rd time with partner Joachim and displayed great fighting spirit and desire to win the title yesterday against the much more reputable Chinese, who are the reigning Olympic Champions and world number 1 Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei 12-21, 21-19, 21-4. Christina won the mixed doubles titles in 2009 and 2012. In the women’s doubles she won over China’s Ma Jin-Tang Jinhua 21-19, 21-12 yesterday to become the first European pair to win the women’s doubles title.
Image Source: All England badminton
Meanwhile in the South East Asia Games, Woon Khe Wei and Vivian Hoo pulled off a stunning win in the women’s doubles event ina hard fought match against Indonesia’s Nitya Krishinda-Greysia Polii 21-17, 18-21, 21-17 in an 85-minute titanic battle. Malaysia had a target of winning 2 golds in the game went short but thankfully Woon Khe Wei and Vivian Hoo brilliant performance saves the blushes of the Malaysia Camp.
image source: bwf badminton
The First day of the final tournament of the year, the grand finale Super Series Finals in Kuala Lumpur. The tournament started on Wednesday at 12 noon, with the first match of the day Sony Dwi Kuncoro facing his younger team mate Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia. The Olympic bronze medallist Sony Dwi Kuncoro breeze through the first match as he displayed great experience that left Tommy clueless at some point. Sony Dwi Kuncoro won 21-19, 21-10.
The crowd rushed in and packed the stadium when their home super star and world number 1 Dato Lee Chong Wei walks in for his first match of the tournament against China’s younger player Wang Zheng Ming and dominating the first game but was challenged a little in the second game. But Lee Chong live up to expectation and gave the crowd what they want and won the game 21-10, 21-18 in their Group A match.
Another match which kept the crowd cheering after Chong Wei’s match was the match between Malaysia’s number one mixed doubles pair of Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying against the recent Hong Kong Open 2013 winner England’s Chris Adcock-Gabrielle Adcock. Chris and Gabrielle Adcock seems to be dominating the game when they displayed great attacking game especially when Gabrielle stands in front the net and did a brilliant job dominating the front court . The Malaysia just kept fighting and playing themselves into the game, which forced the English pair to make unforced errors and the Malaysian pair won the match in a thriller rubber game 16-21, 21-14, 21-19.
image source: nusa mahsuri
Professional player Misbun Ramdan who left the Badminton Association of Malaysia in January, has performed significantly well this year as he clinches his 4th international title last Saturday. Misbun Ramdan Misbun is currently under the guidance of his father Misbun Sidek who is a legendary coach and player in Malaysia. Misbun Ramdan has won the Portugese International, Forza Slovenia International and Hellas International in Greece this year.
image source: badminton central
However, another independent player who has performed quite well without a coach is Tan Chun Seang, reaching the final Vietnam Open last Sunday and winning the Canada Open a few months back.
These 2 players seems to be performing way better than the players from the Badminton Association of Malaysia.
Image Source: India Times
Upcoming star of India badminton PV Sindhu who recently won the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold 2013 last week is on the verge of ruling the badminton world. She has gained so much confidence after winning the Grand Prix Gold and settling a bronze medal at the recent world championship in Guangzhou.
She has never beat the reigning World Champion Ratchanok or Saina Nehwal, but is confident of beating Ratchonak in their next meeting as their last meeting when down the wire in Hon Kong Open last month. PV Sindhu stated in an interview she’ll be a complete player in a year time.
On Sunday in Macau Open Grand Prix Gold 2013, Malaysia ranked number 2 Hoon Thien How and Tan Wee Kiong won their first ever men’s doubles title. It was a perfect giver for their former coach Paulus Firman who guided them for almost a year. Paulus Firman will be leaving back to his home country this Wednesday due to family problems.
Hoon Thien How and Tan Wee Kiong who is the world number 10 and should be climbing up the rankings after this win and seeded 2nd in this tournament pulled of an upset to world number 8 and the number 1 seeeds Lee Sheng-mu-Tsai Chia-hsin of Taiwan, winning 21-16, 21-19. I think it’s a great win for Hoon Thien How who was in the national for over a decade and has been changing partner since winning the world junior title in 2004 with Tan Boon Heong.
Another cheer in the tournament would be the young upcoming star in the women’s singles event, 18-year-old starlet P.V. Sindhu in the women’s singles final. She scored a 21-15, 21-12 win over Michelle Li to deny the Canadian