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The Real Story Behind Taufik and Lin Dan

Discussion in 'Asian Games 2006 - Badminton' started by quisitor, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. quisitor

    quisitor Regular Member

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    Scene 1: Serve / Net Play

    Even from the service, we observe that Lin Dan showed tremendous fear against Taufik while Taufik showed the heart of a fearless champion. Lin Dan consistently served in a manner to attempt to minimize the weaknesses in his own game, while Taufik served to constantly attack Lin Dan's weaknesses.

    While one served to cover up their own inadequacies, the other served to attack his opponent's weaknesses. The match was over after the first few serves.

    It is clear that Mulyo and Taufik must have identified a perceived weakness in Lin Dan's game; namely, his backhand net play and backhand defence. Taufik consistently served to Lin Dan's backhand and tried to serve into his body (backhand side) as much as possible. These were Taufik's most effective serves as serving into the body limited Lin Dan's options in addition to Lin's already weak backhand returns. The thing that was identified by the Indonesians was that Lin is unable to put much spin on his backhand net shots meaning that Taufik need not be threatened by a strong net reply to his short serves. This gave Taufik the freedom to play off the net a bit more since he knew a net reply by Lin to his serve would (a) lack spin and/or (b) be too high above the tape. Further, while Lin has woked on his net game over the last couple of years from non-existence to passability, it is his forehand net shots that he is able to impart spin to. It is also only from his forehand that he is able to utilize strong flicks and employ other forms of deception at or close to the net. Lin's backhand net returns are very predictable and plain-- something for him to definitely work on.

    Being able to play off the net that extra inch allowed Taufik to conserve energy in his travels to the baseline on clears. Taufik also did not mind replies to his backhand as this meant less footwork / energy expended to retrieve the shuttle since it is easier to make an effective shot from the backhand than from the forehand when the bird is past you. Rather than expending his energy constantly running around the head, Taufik invited Lin to hit the serve reply to his backhand. This was done for a couple of reasons. One, Taufik was not yet in peak form-- he needed to train about another 6 weeks before reaching a more ideal level of fitness and standard. Two, playing against a right-handed player or a left-handed player with superior backhand strokes, Taufik might not have been wise to invite play toward his backhand. The standard reply in the backhand corner is some form of a straight shot-- straight drop, straight half-smash, etc. Since Lin's smash defense on his backhand side is not all that impressive and since his backhand net replies are very weak, Taufik could play backhand straight drops without fear, waiting for Lin's unforced errors or weak replies-- mixing it up just enough to keep Lin honest-- but in comparison to most other opponents, Taufik had little to fear with a backhand straight drop.

    Was there something Lin could have done during the match given his own technical limitations? Yes. But he and his coaches did not identify it.

    When we observe Lin's serves, we see the exact opposite. Lin consistently served to Taufik's forehand hoping/praying for the standard reply toward Lin's own forehand. Rather then attempting to limit Taufik's options by serving more into the body as Taufik did to Lin, Lin served in a manner attempting to encourage Taufik to hit toward Lin's forehand. Lin served to the T when holding an odd score, which in doubles might be the standard, but in singles without variation, it is predictable and allows your opponent many options. Taufik avoided serving to the T, which allowed him to anticipate Lin's replies more easily; standard reply is straight--if Lin tried to played a flat cross-court, Taufik was ready to intercept--Lin was probably taught early on as a kid in the Chinese national system not to play cross-court lifts to opponent's forehand (but this is actually an acceptable tactic against Taufik who is expecting this type of reply the least). By being able to eliminate some of Lin's replies (lift to Taufik's forehand, flat shots to Taufik's forehand--Taufik's reaction time is too quick and he would easily intercept them, etc.), Taufik was able to narrow down Lin's possible replies, which allowed him to anticipate, get a quicker jump on Lin's replies, and play at ease and with confidence knowing what his opponent would do. When Taufik did serve to the T, it was more of a strategic mistake due to mental laziness and his observation that Lin's backhand replies were so weak, Taufik did not even need to serve into Lin's body.

    The disparity and contrast in serve selection was quite startling. One player showed confidence in his game and looked to attack his opponent's weaknesses. The other player showed insecurities in his game and looked to minimize his own weaknesses. The victor was, as is usually the case, the confident one.
     
  2. tino4

    tino4 Regular Member

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    nice read....man....
     
  3. indra

    indra Regular Member

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    Write more please...interesting:D
     
  4. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    great analysis. we need more quality posts like this instead of the mindless fighting between TH and LD supporters.
     
  5. phaarix

    phaarix Regular Member

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    I guess this is why I usually lose out in the last few points of a tough three set match in my own games :rolleyes:.

    Anyway nice post! A very interesting read, I'll have to watch the match again after reading that... I take it there's more to come (judging by the way you put "Scene 1..." at the top)?

    I sense a big thread :).
     
  6. glencomienda111

    glencomienda111 Regular Member

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    nice one, i agree on kwun on your post.
     
  7. yy_ling

    yy_ling Regular Member

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    Taufik was more calm, at least thats what I think. He kept his composure and made less errors, also when you are calm you wont get all anxious, Taufik didnt smash much, he was waiting for a good chance, but he ends the rally at the net most of the time, maybe his netplay is better. I dont know, thats what I think, and when LinDan pounced at the net and tap the shuttle down, in the slow motion replay we see Taufik anticipating the netkill, waiting for it come and lift it back. I mean most of the time when they pounce at the net you try to stay sharp so that you can return it, but Taufik waited for it so that he can lift it back, somehow welcomed the netkill. I think Taufik's composure during matches is a great asset to him. His relaxed and steady playing style lets him concentrate at crucial moments

    Well, LinDan was great too, but he did not keep calm and let the game slip
     
  8. franxon

    franxon Regular Member

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    this line i am quoting here is a plain exaggeration IMO. i seriously don't think the low serves between LD and TH play such a huge part in the game. Attack LD's weakness with the "right" low serves? I personally take it as a joke.
     
  9. Simp84

    Simp84 Regular Member

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    I disagree with you regarding the Taufik smashing less, I noticed in 1st game he smashed pretty aggresively, and you rarely see him try so hard to smash in recent tournament, he really went all out attacking this time.. if you downloaded our video which was kindly uploaded by aero, and trace back to 9:05, we rarely see Taufik attempt these sort of shots despite it went out.. the only time I can recall him smashing like that was against SSM in OG04 final.. What I am trying to emphasise is that he hardly smashes straight in the recent tournament, he attempt too much crosscourt smash from the backhand side, however this time he went back to basic attacking every opportunity without bothering whether it goes cross or straight, as long as he kept the shuttle low and flat, forcing LD to be on defensive all the time..
    I really think there was nothing much LD can do in the 1st game as Taufik court coverage and speed was far exceeded LD..
    However in 2nd game Taufik performance had dipped, this is definatly due to all the hardwork he did in 1st game trying to finish the match in 2 straight game, and yes I agree this time he was attacking less in 2nd game...
    And also I have to agree with you that his anticipation was superb! There were 2 shots in 1st game I can vividly recall, where he just brush accross the shuttle lightly and made LD struggled... (10:38 and 12:38)..
     
  10. Simp84

    Simp84 Regular Member

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    I disagree with you regarding the Taufik smashing less, I noticed in 1st game he smashed pretty aggresively, and you rarely see him try so hard to smash in recent tournament, he really went all out attacking this time.. if you downloaded our video which was kindly uploaded by aero, and trace back to 9:05, we rarely see Taufik attempt these sort of shots despite it shot went out.. the only time I can recall him smashing like that was against SSM in OG04 final.. What I am trying to emphasise is that he hardly smashes straight in the recent tournament, he attempt too much crosscourt smash from the backhand side, however this time he went back to basic attacking every opportunity without bothering whether it goes cross or straight, as long as he kept the shuttle low and flat, forcing LD to be on defensive all the time..
    I really think there was nothing much LD can do in the 1st game as Taufik court coverage and speed was far exceeded LD..
    However in 2nd game Taufik performance had dipped, this is definatly due to all the hardwork he did in 1st game trying to finish the match in 2 straight game, and yes I agree this time he was attacking less in 2nd game...
    And also I have to agree with you that his anticipation was superb! There were 2 shots in 1st game I can vividly recall, where he just brush accross the shuttle lightly and made LD struggled... (10:38 and 12:38)..
     
  11. kenny7_2006

    kenny7_2006 Regular Member

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    nice post, and nice spot... hehe... gotme reading, and had to agree with ya...

    waiting for the next scenes!
     
  12. ssuly

    ssuly Regular Member

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    quisitor, you have certainly made a great story assuming your observation is correct. However, I think some of your observations are not quite right. I'll just point out one of them since I don't really have time to watch the entire match now.

    I just don't think LD's backhand is weak. Although his backhand is inferior to TH's, LD's backhand is still quite strong. LD can do a good backhand clears from the baseline and he can also do a high deceptive backhand serve to the baseline which completely outfooted TH during the JO final. According to my experience, those two shots requires much more power than backhand net flicks or even deceptive backhand net flicks to the baseline.

    Just wonder what you think on my opinion...:D
     
  13. ants

    ants Regular Member

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    Its not easy to come up with that commentary. It would probably take 1hror more to observe , review and writeup. Great read.
     
  14. westwood_13

    westwood_13 Regular Member

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    Excellent commentary. Gave me some insight into my own game, too, especially with serving.

    Thank you for putting in that effort and sharing it with us!
     
  15. ye333

    ye333 Regular Member

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    Taufik's reflex is much faster than in any other game he played this year. I think this shows he really concentrated this time.

    Also I think Taufik was exhausted around 9:9 in the 2nd game. He mananged to get 11:9 lead but then cannot do anything to hold LD. Maybe he decided to use the remaining stamina to fight the last few points. He succeeded in his gambling.

     
  16. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    Very engaging write up..

    (rest of post snipped for brevity)..
    quisitor, i read your post last night quickly before i went to sleep(and yes it was a bit of a challenge to read it at first, at least for myself), but after re-reading it again today, it is a very compelling write up..lots of angles and pretty detailed as well..:cool:

    Anyways, on my personal take, re the serve, i would tend to somewhat agree and disagree. I agree that it was part of Taufik's approach in controlling the match, but it was more probably a calculated approach. But then I wonder, is this actually the first time Taufik had employed that approach?? I personally feel this wasn't the *first* time Taufik used that approach nor *first* time LD seen those serves. I'm sure both players have seen each other's serves many times before. I don't know if you've watched any other Taufik vs. LD's matches, but if you have, do you noticed any differences in Taufik's or LD's way of serving between this particular Final match and those other matches?? I personally don't recall, but from my own recollection, there weren't much. And if there were discrepancies, then it was pretty minor almost iundistinguishable.;)

    Personally, from what i see, the match could've either way. But what i feel the factor was, Taufik knew before the match began what he wanted to do and he stuck to that plan. He was the "aggressor" and "initiator" rather than the "reactor", thruout from the beginning and clearly towards the end when he clinched those 5 straight pts. ;)
     
  17. -MiYu-

    -MiYu- Regular Member

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    wow....if thats the fact....

    :D taufik is just so smart. but if he knows bout Lin Dan's weakness, why did Lin Dan defeated him in the matches before the final?
     
  18. ye333

    ye333 Regular Member

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    All the previous matches are just preparations and to get more understanding of LD's games. In fact this is what LCW did in the 2/3 of this year, he tried to face LD as often as possible, got beaten and at the same time more understanding of LD. LCW is preparing for the WC. Unfortunately he fell before facing LD in the WC... :cool:

     
  19. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    good! u got it;)
    TH done his homework and preparation for this final AE match. Is this smart?? yes and no. LD won all other previous matchs against TH in 2006 and came to play as tho it's like other previous meets and came second. Does this means he's dumb and lack talent? It come down to how u value each event.

    Analogy: better to capture 2 rooks or 1 queen? It depends;)
    If u have short memory, u celebrate the most recent outcome coz that's what TH fans are relishing now since it will be a long dry spell until TH win another title.
     
    #19 cooler, Dec 11, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2006
  20. jerby

    jerby Regular Member

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    good read...
    I was afraid of another bashing thread, but ncie to read...

    though you make it sound like the services dominated the match, but that's probably my misinterpretation...

    Though if I look, I also see a personal taste: if LD serves at TH's body TH líkes to hit it forehand...whil LD choose backhand.
    If it really was LD's weakness he'd have chosen to use his forehand..on som eoccasions.

    But it does happen a lot, and isn't accidiental..great observation! I'd never have seen that...

    EDIT: lookign at the match: LD's mostly serving straight (a safe bet).
    and TH mixes in a cross-serve, msotly on LD's backhand..But he does this just as much in his match against Chen Hong at the WC...
     
    #20 jerby, Dec 11, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2006

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