Preview: Avenging matches to be staged
2007-11-25 13:11:00   CIS

  (Guangzhou, November 24) All the titles of the China Open Badminton Open 2007 will be known on November 25. Bao Chunlai has set up a rematch of the final of the French Super Series against Lee Chong Wei; while Xie Xingfang knocked out of the quarterfinals last year is expected to avenge herself on Malaysia's Wong Mew Choo at home.

  Focus I: Whether Bao will take his first title of this year

  This was the third consecutive time that Bao had advanced to the semifinals of the men's singles in BWF Super Series, Bao who finished runner-up in the previous two Super Series said aggressively, "I will let the chance go any longer." From his performance in the semifinal, Bao overpowered Korea's Park Sung Hwan who had successively beaten Lin Dan, Hafiz and Jonassen. Due to the withdrawals of Taufik and Chen Hong in succession, Bao were physically efficient in this match, setting Zhong Bo, head coach of the men's singles, at ease. What tomorrow's final will be is still unknown. After all, Bao felt a bit tired after 11-all in the second game today.

  However, Lee's condition is no better than Bao's. After a three-game hard game against Chen Jin, Lee also felt tired, saying that toughness had prevailed over tactics, towards the end of this match. Thus, the final tomorrow will be a contest of will as the two players are almost even in physical strength and energy after continuous combats.

  Bao is more desirous of win, because this is the third consecutive place in the final of Super Series; because he suffered losses in Indonesia in May and in France in November; because he has not taken a title yet this year, and because he needs a title to boost his confidence on the eve of the Olympics.

  Focus II: Whether Xie Xingfang can fight back

  Xie Xingfang, who was knocked out of the quarterfinals of the China Open last year, finally got the opportunity to show her real strength at home. She advanced the final first after an easy 2-0 victory over her compatriot Lu Lan beyond people's expectation before this match.

  Wong Mew Choo, Xie's opponent in the final, had fought hard on her way to the final. He met Pi Hongyan from France in the second round, then new world champion Zhu Lin, and Zhang Ning from China in the semifinal today. After three tense matches, she was undoubtedly physically inferior to Xie.

  It was Wong that upset top-seeded Xie at the World Championships in August this year and shatter Xie's dream of taking the title a third time.

  Focus III: Whether China can make a breakthrough in the men's doubles

  Xie Zhongbo/Guo Zhendong continued their journey of myth. The unpromising pair boldly shouldered the heavy burden of defending the honor of China's men's doubles after the out of their compatriots Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng.

  After a victory over Korea's No. 1 June Jae Sung/Lee Yong Dae yesterday, they cruised to a victory over Malaysia's Chong Tan Fook/Lee Wan Wah to set up a final clash against new world champion Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan. In the Demark Super Series, the latter beat the Chinese pair.

  However, with their first Super Series title near at hand, Xie stayed calm, "I have been satisfied with our performance and will try my best in the final."

  Besides, Du Jing/Yu Yang will take on Gao Ling/Zhao Tingting in the final of the women's doubles, and the final of the mixed doubles will be between Thailand's Sudket Prapakamol/Saralee Thoungthongkam and Indonesia's Nova Widianto/Liliyana Natsir.