Yesterday Lin Dan won his 4th All England title in 6 years. I doubt too many of you could properly argue against my assertion that Lin Dan is the best men’s singles player of all time. While he may not be the most classy, or courteous champion or sportsman, he is the most dominant in spite of his current #2 ranking.
The scoreline was 21-19, 21-12 for Lin Dan and the match lasted 43 minutes. This was the first time that Lee Chong Wei had ever reached the All England final, but that was it for him. He will have to wait for next year for his chance. As I see it, Lin Dan is Sampras to Lee Chong Wei’s Agassi. Perhaps Lee Chong Wei is more popular and a nicer guy, but Lin Dan has the most win’s by a long shot.
The Malaysian Star has more on this story if you’re interested.
Stay tuned for updates on the Wilson Swiss Open Super Series which should be starting up tomorrow I believe.
I was fairly confident yesterday that Taufik was going to take this tournament, well that isn’t going to happen anymore. Lee Chong Wei crushed Taufik today 21-8, 21-13. I’m curious to know if this was just Taufik being tired, or if there was more to this loss. Regardless it is an impressive performance on the part of Lee.
Lin Dan won his match after Chen Jin retired in the second game. So we now have a very exciting final to look forward to tomorrow. Lee Chong Wei the world number one, against Lin Dan the world number two. Lin Dan has already won a number of titles here, while this is Lee’s first ever final in Birmingham. I really can’t offer any reasonable prediction here, certainly Lee will be a little more hungry for this title, but he has been known to succumb to nerves against Lin Dan before.
Just as I predicted, Taufik has beaten Peter Gade. I also must add that this is a particularly gutsy prediction seeing as Gade has been playing well the past few months, and Taufik has done very little over the last couple years. Taufik won the match in two straight games 21-17, 21-18 and now faces Lee Chong Wei in the semi-finals. My money is still on Taufik. Lee Chong Wei has yet to really be tested, he lost a game in the first match of the tournament, but I’m sure that was just a bit of a slow start for him. Taufik on the other hand has had a few tough matches, so he is more ready for a battle than Lee Chong Wei is.
On the other side of the draw we’ll see Lin Dan aginst Chen Jin. Lin Dan thumped Joachim Persson while Chen Jin barely snuck out a win against Sho Sasaki. My money is on Lin Dan for this one, he is out to make a point that he is the world’s best, too bad Taufik will show him what’s up in the finals!
This is what I’m looking forward to seeing the results from tomorrow, Gade vs Hidayat. I’m betting on Hidayat, my friend Stephan is betting on Gade. I would normally agree with Stephan, but this is the only title that Hidayat has not won yet, and I think he is going to really put his everything into this event. He had a close one today against England’s Andrew Smith, but don’t underestimate Smith, he is good.
None of the other matches have the same intrigue that this one does. Joachim Persson may be able to challenge Lin Dan, but it’s unlikely. Persson has yet to have another breakthrough since his really big win over Kuan Beng Hong, and Lin Dan is looking as fierce as ever. Chen Jin will beat Sho Sasaki hands down, and Lee Chong Wei will definitely beat Ville Lang who is only at the stage he is at because Sony Dwi Kuncoro dropped out. I would say that overall today was a fairly boring, routine day, and what we saw was an example that in spite of the depth, the top 8 or even the top 5 players, are a fair bit better than the rest (or at least way more consistent). Anyway, tomorrow should be more exciting than today!
Yonex All England Open Super Series 2009 Draws
This has to be the upset of the day, Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen defeated Malaysia’s Wong Choong Han in straight games 21-13, 21-15. He didn’t just win, he won decisively, and in spite of Wong Choong Han slowly fading into the twilight of his career, this is a big win for Jorgensen. What makes this especially exciting for Jorgensen is that he now plays Joachim Persson, a player that many view as the next great Danish hope, but perhaps Jorgensen can lay claim to that title tomorrow? Elsewhere in the draw Germany’s Marc Zwiebler had a very big win as well over Boonsak Ponsana winning 22-20 in the third, and Ville Lang defeated Dicky Palyama in three games as well. These were certainly the surprises of the day.
Peter Gade has continued his strong super series performances with a clear win over Simon Santoso 21-14, 21-13, while my pick Taufik Hidayat struggled against Hsieh Yu Hsin, but managed to win in three.
Tomorrow should have some very intriguing matches, particularly amongst the the Chinese players who are all playing each other! Yes that’s right, Gong Weijie plays his juniors nemesis Chen Jin, while Lin Dan plays his juniors nemesis Bao Chunlai. These are some ridiculous matches to have in the second round, well at least the Lin Dan vs Bao Chunlai match is. I will go with the favourites in both of these matches, Lin Dan and Chen Jin will win. To top things off though, they are all in the same half, which means there will NOT be an all China final, I like that.
I’m nervous about my Taufik pick, but I’m thinking it’s just a bit of jitters, he’ll pull things back together and perhaps it’s even good for him to have an early round challenge to keep him sharp, just so long as his fitness can handle it.