The all-conquering Chinese stormed into all five finals, three of being all-Chinese finals with only Taufik Hidayat as well as the partnership of Koo and Tan in the doubles breaking up the Chinese monopoly.
The mixed doubles final was the first meeting between Zheng and Ma, the 8th seed against the 6th seed He and Yu in the first of the all-Chinese finals. The match went in the favour of Zheng and Ma from the start, only giving up the lead in the middle part of first game at 10-11 before winning 11 of the next 14 points to take the opening game 21-14. The second game was more of the same dominating play from the 8th seeds as they pulled out an early 7-2 advantage and took the second game and their first world title, winning the match 21-14, 21-10.
Taufik Hidayat entered the final in a superb run of form after his quarter final win over Lee Chong Wei and semi final against Park Sung Hwan. His opponent was also in excellent form after his three-game win over Peter Gade in the semi final. The match promised a lot but it was a one-sided encounter that was dominated by the Chinese player. Hidayat failed to even take a lead in the final, with Chen Jin winning 21-15, 21-13.
The second all-Chinese final was in the women’s singles as Wang Lin took on Wang Xin and unlike the previous two finals, it was a highly competitive encounter that went all the way to a third and final game. Wang Lin took the initiative in the final game and after a tight opening to the third game that seen her 8-10 down, she reeled off 5 points in a row to take a lead that she would never give up to win her first world title, taking the match 21-11, 19-21, 21-13 in 58 minutes.
Yu Yang had her chance for revenge after her mixed doubles defeat over Ma Jin in the women’s doubles final and duely delivered with the most one-sided of the matches on finals day in Paris. The 21-9, 21-17 victory was a 39 minute encounter and was the third win in a row for Yu and Du over their Chinese team-mates.
Cai and Fu usually always deliver an memorable final such as last year, this year they took on the top seeded Koo and Tan of Malaysia for a chance of a clean sweep of titles for China. They lost their opening game to the top seeded Malaysians, only to fight back to take it into another deciding game like the 2009 final. There was no repeat of the 2009 final as the 5th seeds dominated the 3rd game to retain their world championship and complete the Chinese sweep as well as five wins for the lower seed in the matches played today.
Ten years of Chinese success ended in a stunning upset to challenge the Chinese women’s dominance as a young Chinese squad humbled by a resilient Korean team.
The 21-year old world #1 Wang Yihan had been tested previously by Saina Nehwal but was expected to defeat Sueng Hee Bae in the opening singles of the Uber Cup Final, but the 26-year old Korean took a shock opening game lead with a 23-21 scoreline. The second game was completely one-sided, for the Sueng Bee Hee and she completed a famous victory over China’s #1 23-21, 22-11 to give Korea a 1-0 lead.
The top Chinese partnership of Ma Jin and Wang Xiaoli was expected to level the scores, but two young players (20 and 21) were against the more experienced Kim Min Jung and Lee Hyo Jung in the first of the doubles matches. The Chinese partnership took the opening game 21-18 and was expected to win the second without trouble, only for the Koreans to bounce back and take the second game 21-12 to send it into a deciding game. The fate of an entire nation seemed to be on a very young partnership and they never came close to winning the deciding game, failing to take a lead in the deciding game and eventually losing out 21-15 to give Korea a 2-0 lead going into the second singles.
Wang Xin had to win her singles to keep China with a chance of retaining their Uber Cup title, she played Korea’s newest starlet Sung Ji Hyun, who had the chance to win the Uber Cup for Korea at just 18. Wang Xin started the better, taking the opening game 21-14 but just like in the opening doubles match, the match was levelled in the second game, with Sung Ji Hyun taking the second game 21-16. Korea were just a game away from the Uber Cup, only for Wang Xin to dominate the final game and to take the match 21-14, 16-21, 21-7.
Korea’s second chance of Uber Cup glory came with the second doubles match, between Du and Yu of China against Lee and Ha of Korea. Du and Yu came in as the clear favourites, winning the All-England this year. The Korean pair however came into the final unbeaten, without dropping a game en route. The match took on a similar theme to the previous two matches, with China taking the opening game (21-19) but like the previous two matches Korea responded by taking the second game (21-14) to set up another deciding game. Lee and Ha were in the ascendancy going into the final game but it ended up being a very tight encounter, with China leading 14-13 in the final game. Lee and Ha strung six points together to take them within 2 points of the Uber Cup, only for China to bring it back to 19-18, then the pair exchanged points before Lee and Ha took the match on their first match point to stun the Chinese pair 19-21, 21-14, 21-19 and take the third match to secure the Uber Cup for Korea.
It was the year of the unseeded players to shine, a resurrection of Danish badminton and a dream realized for one of the best players ever as Lee Chong Wei took his first All England Championships. Tine Rasmussen avenged her 2009 defeat and a new force in mixed doubles shone on the biggest stage.
Unseeded Kenichi Tago looked for one last sensational performance in a week he will consider one of the best of his career to date, all that stood in his way of the most stunning of stories was the winner of the Korean and Malaysian Super Series events, Lee Chong Wei. The Japanese player lead for most of the opening game before a 6-point run for the top seed put him ahead and despite a stern fightback by Tago, Lee Chong Wei took the game 21-19.
The second game was more comfortable for Lee Chong Wei, despite several fightbacks by Tago to level the scores up, he was unable to take the lead in the second game. Tago managed to save two match points from 17-20 down but Lee Chong Wei took the match at the third attempt to claim his first All England title 21-19, 21-19.
The final turned into a repeat of the 2009 final, with Tine Rasmussen taking on Wang Yihan. The opening game was dominated by the Dane, never letting Wang Yihan into it and winning the game 21-14. The Chinese top seed turned the match on it’s head with a dominating performance in the second game, a game she lead for the majority of and won 21-18 to take the match into a deciding game. The third game was a much tighter encounter, as both players held the lead at stages throughout, with the match poised at 19-19, Tine Rasmussen calmly served out to win the title 21-19 and avenge her 2009 defeat to Wang Yihan.
An All-Danish final guaranteed a second title for Denmark as Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen took on 4th seeded Boe and Mogensen. The unseeded pair had defeated the top seeds and 3rd seeds to reach this point and needed just one win over the 4th seeds to cap off an incredible week in Birmingham. The opening game was a tight affair, with the 4th seeds leading for most of the game before a late fightback from the unseeded Paaske and Rasmussen gave them a late lead, only for the 4th seeds to retake the lead to win the opening game 23-21 after saving two games points.
The second game was a copy of the first, only this time Paaske and Rasmussen led most of the way only to slip up late on but rallied back to take the second game 21-19 to set up a deciding game. The third game was a superb encounter, with the duos exchanging points with each other for the opening 18 points, Paaske and Rasmussen then broke into a slight lead, only to be reeled back in at 18-18 and then the 4th seeds saved a match point and then had four chances to win the match before Paaske and Rasmussen strung three points together from 23-24 down to win the match 26-24.
The All-Chinese final was between the top seeded Du and Yu and 3rd seeded Zhao and Cheng. The first game was dominated by the lower seeded Zhao and Cheng before giving up an 18-13 lead to allow the top seeds a game point in the first, before coming back to win the game 22-20. The second game looked to be going the same way but Du and Yu reeled off 7 points from 15-12 down to an unassailable lead in the game to win the second game and level the match up at 21-16.
The top seeds had the momentum in third and proved why they were the top seeded pair in the event with another run of points late in the third game to give them a lead that they would never give up and won the third game 21-13.
Unseeded Zhang and Zhao had defeated the 1st, 4th and 8th seeds to reach the final and had another seed standing in their way of their unlikely mixed doubles success in the 2nd seeded Widianto and Natsir. The second seeds started off the better and took a lead for most of the game. At 14-18 down, the Chinese pair reeled off point after point before winning the opening game with their first game point and a 7-point streak to take a shock lead in the match. The second game was a much tighter affair but the Chinese pair managed to stay in touch and had two chances in the second game to win the match before the 2nd seed clinched the second game 25-23 to set up a deciding third game.
Natsir and Widianto continued on in the third game from where they finished in the second, opening an early 9-3 lead. The Chinese continued to chip into the lead and levelled the scores at 14-14 and reeled an important three point run off at 16-16 to give them breathing space, Natsir and Widianto brought it back to 19-18, then the Chinese pair calmly served out to claim their first All England title, winning the deciding game 21-18.
In another demonstration of his superior abilities Lee Chong Wei has won back to back super series titles today as he disposed of Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana in two straight games 21-13, 21-7. While Lin Dan may take the big titles out of Lee Chong Wei’s hands, even the Chinese star cannot match Lee’s consistency and prolific winning.
Lee wasn’t the only hometown hero on the day however. Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong did well to take the men’s doubles title after defeating not one, not two, but three Chinese pairs. In the final they defeated Guo Zhendong and Xu Chen in three games 21-15, 17-21, 21-16.
The women’s singles final provided some drama and speculation after Bae Youn Joo withdrew during the final against Wang Xin. There appeared to be some confusion between Bae and the chair umpire as Bae requested to place a strap on her ankle, but was refused because she did not indicate to the umpire what was wrong and did not request the tournament doctor. Later there was speculation that it was either an ankle injury, or even potentially more serious issues like a heart problem. We have no verification on either report at this time.
Throughout the tournament Du Jing and Yu Yang managed to go relatively untested, and won the women’s doubles title without dropping a single game. The second seeded pair defeated their compatriots Ma Jin and Wang Xiaoli 21-16, 21-12 in only 34 minutes.
While it was a good comeback tournament for the Danish World Champions Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl they didn’t have what it took to go all the way in Malaysia this week. After a great run they fell in the final to China’s Tao Jiaming and Zhang Yawen 19-21, 21-18, 21-15. Nonetheless Laybourn has to be happy with his first super series event after injuring himself at the end of 2009.
Visit the draws below for full results
Malaysia Super Series 2010 Draws