This is sensational news. In today's (26th Dec) CBSL's tie between BAYI and GuangDong Century City, not only did BAYI lost 2:3 to GDCC, what's even more newsworthy is Lin Dan (BAYI) suffered his first defeat in the league at the hands of Tian Houwei(GDCC) in two straight sets, 2:0, 11-9 and 11-8, followed by Li Xuerui's turn to be upset by Liu Xin (GDCC) in going the full distance, losing 1:2, 11-9,6-11 and 7-11.
I've been looking forward to Liu Xin's comeback since the CHN Masters but I don't see her name registered for next months tourney, the KOR SS and the MAS PSS. Hope to see her soon, perhaps at the GER Open GPG or the Swiss Open GPG earliest after the Lunar New Year.
Li Xuerui is to me still too error-prone for comfort. She must work to reduce her unforced errors in earnest. Lin Dan whom she looks up to and Chen Long both make far fewer mistakes, she really has to improve on her accuracy and shot consistency if she wants to emulate Lin Dan, much to learn for her.
I think Chen Jin is aware of this weakness of hers. I hope in the coming winter training, he can help her overcome this problem and that she will come out of it much improved in that aspect.
On another note I read that Li Yongbo has mandated that all the national team players compete in the China International Challenge tournament next month 11-16 Feb at Lingshui city, with the exception of Lin Dan who is considered not fully match-fit yet. In that case this IC, a tier-4 event in BWF classification, must be the strongest ever in BWF history. Looking forward to watching it on livestream at least, if available; TV broadcast will be ideal, not too hopeful about it.
Qingdao club where Intanon R plays for even got her Thai coach (of Chinese descent) to come over to attend to her during matches. It shows how serious Qingdao is taking the league championship that they are willing to pay for his services instead of using one of their own provincial level coaches as done in the previous edition.
WD: Ma Jin/Zhong QianXin vs Tang JinHua/Yu XiaoHan
WS: Wang YiHan vs Liu Xin
3vs3: Shen Ye/Guo JunJie/Mei YiLi vs Cai Yun/Fu HaiFeng/Yu XiaoHan
MS: Wang ZhengMing vs Tian HouWei
XD: Shen Ye/Ou DongNi vs Xu Chen/Tang JinHua
Worth noting that Liu Xin accounted for both the defeats of first LXR and then WYH and just as telling is that on both occasions she benefited from the coaching of none other than Grandmaster Tang Xianhu; apparently it made a difference.
Can't wait to see Liu Xin finally back in the international circuit for which she's been registered to play in the Swiss Open GPG , starting her campaign as a qualifier where she is expected to progress to the first round to meet of all persons, Intanon Ratchanok, what a drooling prospect !