Few expected the results on finals day in Hong Kong as the Chinese juggernaut was tamed for the first time in recent memory with two stand out performances. There is no doubting Lee Chong Wei’s credentials as the world number 1 at the moment in the men’s singles with his performance this year and he added the Hong Kong title to his list of achievements this year with a 21-19, 21-9 win over the 3rd seeded Taufik Hidayat in just 31 minutes.
Few expected Saina Nehwal to pose much of a threat to Wang Shixian, even though the Indian was seeded higher in Hong Kong. Their only meeting previously resulted in a 21-8, 21-14 win for the Chinese player and it looked to be going that way again with Wang Shixian taking the opener 21-15. However the Commonwealth champion faught back to take the 2nd and then continued her excellent form to stun the 3rd seed in a 71 minute encounter which could be the future of things to come in the women’s game in 2011 with the Chinese ranks in the women’s singles being so open, with no outright number 1 player.
Ko and Yoo pulled off their own shock in the men’s doubles final, as they defeated Kido and Setiawan in a three game, 52 minute match that the 6th seeded Koreans took 23-21 in the third to bolster Korea’s strength in this discipline. Wang and Yu were the class act in the women’s doubles and then impressive run continued in the final with a 21-11, 21-12 victory over the top seeded Chien and Cheng of Chinese Taipei.
The week ended on a downer for the Chinese squad as they lost their second final of the day, this time in the mixed doubles as Pedersen and Fischer Nielsen pulled off another impressive win after their victory over Xu and Yu in the semi finals, this time defeating the 5th seeded Zhang and Zhao in a toughly faught 67-minute matchup, with the Danes winning 22-20 in the third.
After the withdrawal of Chen Jin and Lin Dan earlier in the week, the tournament needed a show final in the men’s singles. The top seeds left in the due delivered in their semi final matches. Lee Chong Wei’s 21-14, 21-17 win over the 8th seeded Tien Minh Nguyen put the top seed into the final and was joined later that evening by the 3rd seeded Taufik Hidayat, who defeated China’s Chen Long in a three-game, 69 minute encounter that Hidayat battled back from an opening game defeat to win and reach the final.
Wang Xin has been excellent in recent months when playing against any other players apart from just two, one of those players is Wang Shixian and it was the 3rd seed who defeated top seeded Wang Xin for the second week running to reach the women’s singles final, she will play the 2nd seeded Saina Nehwal who has continued her excellent form from her Commonwealth Games gold in October. The Indian defeated Juliane Schenk in three games to set up her second meeting against Wang Shixian, the first being a comprehensive win for the Chinese 3rd seed at the World Championships in August.
Lee and Jung will not make it two titles in two weeks as they lost in their semi finals to the 2nd seeded Kido and Setiawan in a tight two game match, the Indonesian pair take on another Korean pair in tomorrow’s final as Ko and Yoo beat the 2005 world champions Bach and Gunawan of the USA in two games to reach the final. Top seeded Cheng and Chien are through to the final of the women’s doubles after defeating the 3rd seeded Vislova and Sorokina in three games, taking just 39 minutes to complete. The top seeds take on the Chinese pair of Yu and Wang who demolished their Chinese team-mates and 5th seeded Pan and Tian in a 21-9, 21-8 victory in just 23 minutes, the pair have not dropped a game and have been on court just 91 minutes on route to the final.
The All-England champions Zhang and Zhao are through to the final this week after a two game win over Chien and Lee in their semi final and will take on the Danish pair of Pedersen and Fischer Nielsen who defeated the Chinese pair of Xu and Yu in three games, but the Danes made hard work of the third game as their 16-8 lead was brought back to 19-19 before regaining the lead and taking the match 21-19 in the third game.