Like I've said elsewhere, in my humble opinion, consistency is what separates the good from great players. And I add,among the great players what differentiates one from the other is their natural talent and mental strength.
For Tian Houwei, the fact that he has beaten Lee CW in a rousing match proved he can go further as it was achieved early in his career, for how many can really overcome Lee CW the last five years when he (LCW) is at the top of his game.
now he should have learn that beat WR#1 sure make him a phenomenon for one day, but still nobody if he can not keep his good performance. hope he can work on it if he want to establish his name in the bigger stage.
there are many one time wonders in badminton who made it huge in one occasion but never been able to keep it up, some that comes to mind are Hafiz, Gopichand, Ji Xinpeng. They have at one or a few occasions beaten the best of the best in badminton, but never able to keep up their performance.
Tian's achievement is much less than the ones mentioned above, beating Lee Chong Wei once in a GP Gold tournament is great, but we only take notice because of his being relatively unknown to us. Everyone like to see a no-namer coming from no where beating the world number one. But we have to look at him from a bigger perspective and not just one tournament alone. From now on, he will have to prove his mettle by consistently reaching higher and higher rounds in future tournaments.
His failure in the New Zealand Open is also not that surprising. It is not uncommon for someone to win the first of consecutive tournament only to fail miserable in the latter one. Fatigue and lack of recovery is usually the blame. afterall it is likely that their opponent didn't have to play close matches the whole week prior.
Rashid Sidek commented that Lee CW's defeat could not be attributed to his recent recovery from illness (I think he caught a flu after the All England) which affected his training, not an excuse. He praised Tian Houwei for the unexpected outstanding performance and for playing in such a mature and steady manner.
Chen Long is 188 cm tall, and 88 kg heavy; while
Tian HW is just 178 cm, and 78 kg.
78 kg at the age of 21... not exactly light!
This guy definitely has tremendous potential. As with everything else, there are so many variables and factors that will finally decide if he makes it to the top echelon -and remains there for a significant while. Meanwhile, it will be worth following his career path.
So i just watched some of the AO MS final and MS semifinal and honestly, and i'm not convinced about THW just yet. Yes, he is quite quick, precise footwork and i think he is naturally athletic guy. He seems pretty strong as well, especially at his age. LD, BCL, CJ and CH looked no where near as solid at the same age. He plays a pretty quick game, lots of drives and pushes with an above average smash.
With all that said, the first thing i noticed about him was that he is extremely raw. There is no finesse in his game at all, which i believe you need in todays game to be successful. Over time that can be trained for, aka CL and LD. Especially CL who was very similar in styles when he started out as well and he really learned that "control" part of the game over the years. Smashing, driving and pure speed will only last so long on the pro circuit, he 100% needs to add that other element to his game, which i'm pretty sure his coaches are going to do.
The thing that kinda "bothers" me with him is that he doesn't fully open up his shoulders when he plays his overheads and this is especially noticeable when he goes for his around the head shots. I mean i guess it works for him and has got him to this level but i'm surprised it hasn't been corrected for. Due to the shoulder rotation thing, it seems he has very little overhead deception.
Furthermore, he doesn't seem to have a flexible upper body (very mechanical swing), especially his wrists. That's not to say his wrists aren't strong (they look extremely strong) it just seems like they are always locked into one position and thus it gives the impression he is forcing shots off his racket which again goes back to the deception topic and can potentially affect his shot variety.
I'm not trying to take away anything from this guy as he did something very few people can claim, but it think it's way too early to label this guy the next superstar. The potential is there, he just needs to put it all together. IMHO, he is a young CL right now. In terms of rawness, body type and style. Hopefully he goes in the same direction as CL.
BTW, can someone confirm is he really only 178cm? From the video's he seems quite a bit taller and plays a big mans game too. Thanks