Zhang Ning: Mew Choo Wong is not my strongest rival
2007-11-24 19:31:00   CIS

(Guangzhou, November 24) A women's singles semifinal of the 2007 China Open Badminton Championships took place today and saw the defeat of the second seeded Chinese shuttler Zhang Ning by Mew Choo Wong, the No. 1 woman player in Malaysia. Zhang, who was consequently eliminated from the finals, said after the match, "Mew Choo Wong is not my strongest rival."

Misplay was the chief cause for Zhang's failure in this match. As she put it herself, "I just wanted to control the shuttle instead of playing in a more relaxed manner. Besides, due to my consideration of such problems as the wind direction, I played into the net several times." Zhang lost the first set 16-21. In the second set, she won three consecutive scores after lagging behind 16-20 and thus reduced her gap from her opponent to 1 score---19-20. However, Zhang then had to recover from her exhaustion by holding her waist with both hands. So even if she could win the second set Zhang would absolutely not have been able to vanquish her rival in the final clash. "Because of some problems in my physical strength, I had not participated in very normal training during the two weeks before coming here," said Zhang. Xia Xuanze, coach of the women's singles, also disclosed after the match that Zhang had caught a cold and suffered from a fever, which restricted the full play of her prowess.

Speaking of her contestant Wong, Zhang said, "On the whole she was in good form and had outdone many top players in the previous few matches. She has indeed made huge progress recently; nevertheless she is still not my most powerful challenger." When asked about the final between Wong and Xie Xingfang, Zhang said without any hesitation that "there should be no problem".