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  1. #1
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    Post NEWS : Xiao's eight minutes of glory

    The Straits Times Interactive

    Xiao's eight minutes of glory

    But effort was not enough for S'pore's latest citizen to upset 6th seed Xie

    By Peh Shing Huei

    FOR eight breathtaking minutes, it seemed that Singapore's newest citizen had a chance in creating the upset of the night at the World Badminton Championships in Birmingham against an overwhelming favourite.

    Xiao Luxi, who on Monday received word that she has received her citizenship after spending six years here from the time she was picked from China, surged to a six-point lead in the second game against sixth seed Xie Xingfang of China.

    After surrendering the first game 2-11, Xiao was a different player when she stepped back for the second game at Birmingham's National Indoor Arena.

    The defensive and tentative strokes of the first game went out, and the 21-year-old gave Xie the greatest form of flattery - by imitating her.

    She is well-suited to do so. Both shuttlers are 1.78 metres - prompting Xiao's diminutive team-mate Li Li to term the match 'a battle of the giraffes'.

    The Chinese 'giraffe', an attacking player with a deceptive chop, began to see a mirror image of herself across the court.

    For eight minutes, Xiao rattled off a series of exquisite chops that forced Xie to stretch, lift and scuttle across the four corners of the court.

    Xie needed an unforced error from Xiao, a smash into the net, to gain her first point, but it was already 7-1 in favour of the Singaporean.

    Four more points and there would be a rubber set. But the magic was over. Xie took stock and adjusted her game.

    Instead of just serving low at the net, the 24-year-old All-England runner-up mixed it up with high and flat serves to the back.

    She slowly crawled into the game and reached 4-7, and Xiao's anxiety rose.

    Xiao said: 'I was very focused, but when she started to catch up, I got a little anxious.'

    While Xiao maintained the three-point advantage at 9-6 when Xie lifted long, her anxiety started to work against her.

    The game and match's turning point came at that stage, when Xiao produced a delicious drop that got Xie scrambling and only lifting it to half court.

    The opposite half was open for the taking, but Xiao sent her smash into the net. Disgusted with herself, she turned to the side and raised her hand to reprimand herself.

    Xie moved in for the kill. She went back to her first-game routine of chop and smash to tie the game at 9-9.

    After a ding-dong exchange of service, Xie took the crucial penultimate point with, what else, a sharp chop and then a smash.

    The 25-minute battle of the giraffes ended at 11-9 when Xiao's smash came a few centimetres short of clearing the net.

    Said a dejected Xiao: 'It's so disappointing. I took control in the second set and could have set up the rubber. Once it gets there, anything can happen.

    'But before I sleep tonight, I will think hard about this game and how I can improve for next month's Singapore Open.'

    Singapore women's coach You Guangli was pleased with Xiao. He said: 'To have done so well after such a short period of training, I consider her to have won.'

    Xiao, a semi-finalist at last year's Asian Championships, has been suffering from an elbow injury since the Swiss Open in February and resumed full training only last month

    And since she abdicated the chance to score the tournament's first major upset, Malaysia's Roslin Hashim obliged with a minor one.

    He edged out 12th seed Boonsak Polsana of Thailand 15-12, 15-9 and set up a dreaded second-round clash with his younger brother Muhammad Hafiz Hashim today.

    Hafiz, who won the All-England in February at the same venue, beat Russian Stanislav Pukhov 15-5, 15-5.

    Said Roslin, who shares a room with Hafiz: 'Today, we will go out, enjoy and sleep. But we will not talk about our game with each other.

    'I don't want to meet him. But we are professionals and we have to play whoever is in our paths. Tomorrow when we get up, we are enemies.'

  2. #2
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    Isn't this another proof of how much chinese player hate the 7-pt rule?

    If still using 7-pt, Xiao will win the 2nd set, and who knows, maybe she will upset Xie in the match...

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    Indeed Xiao in her original form is already a very elegant player to watch,

    and more awesome her ability to switch playing style.

    Unfortunately I think modern badminton has no room for players with flair and

    she doesn't get much match practice in Singapore, so we may not see much more of

    her.

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    Unfortunately I think modern badminton has no room for players with flair and

    You might be right but it is the flair that keep the audience captive and wanting to see more. It is one of the main ingredients that pulls in new audience interested in badminton.

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    Maybe IBF or TWI managed to record the game,

    they could use the CD to promote the game.

    Xiao is slightly better looking than Xie, a bit dark though and

    looks more Thai than Chinese. Both could be fashion models,

    Xiao looks like some actress from recent HK series(never knew her name).

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    i find Xie's playing style and calmness more attractive than her appearance.

    the article mentioned that they are both 178cm tall, i have been trying to figure that out as there hasn't been many reports on Xie. 178cm is around 5'10"-5'11". certainly very very tall for a ladies singles player.

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    Regular Member Bbn's Avatar
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    Ye Zhao Ying I think is 6 Ft tall.

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    I thnk Xie's playing style is useful if shuttles are heavy

    and fly fast. If suddenly she is forced to play slow shuttles

    or against the draft, she may find problems hitting full length with her

    style of hitting.

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    Isn't this another proof of how much chinese player hate the 7-pt rule?
    If still using 7-pt, Xiao will win the 2nd set, and who knows, maybe she will upset Xie in the match...
    but Xie won the first 11-2
    so if they were playing to 7, Xie might have already had a 4-0 lead in the second game and Xiao might not have started her comeback...and then lost 3-0

    who can say?

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    I think she is 1.75m, which is about 5 Ft 9 inches.
    I like her badminton skills a lot. Susi Susanti often does splits after Ye's attack, fun to watch.
    Originally posted by Bbn
    Ye Zhao Ying I think is 6 Ft tall.
    By the way, it is said Xiao is from Fujian, China. Anyone form Sigapore knows which city or region of Fujian is she from?

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    Originally posted by Bbn
    Maybe IBF or TWI managed to record the game,

    they could use the CD to promote the game.

    Xiao is slightly better looking than Xie, a bit dark though and

    looks more Thai than Chinese. Both could be fashion models,

    Xiao looks like some actress from recent HK series(never knew her name).
    Yeah, I know |r|s find Xiao Luxi pretty attractive! She has pretty long legs I must say!

    Here's the article link and pic of Xiao Luxi.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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