Zhang Nan/Fu Haifeng are a new pairing from China. Obviously both of them are world champions, olympic champions, have been world #1 so they have great potential.
Gill Clark said that this team has great potential and already plays with great class. Moreover, Fu Haifeng is now playing much differently. He's being much more active at the net as compared to when he played with Cai Yun. GC says that Fu Haifeng is now playing more freely.
They are through to the QF of the All England, where they will probably play against the world #1 Ahsan/Setiawan.
Found this video link. Cai Yun says that since Zhang Nan has been training in the first team for some years and Lu Kai has been only just admitted to the first team recently, Zhang Nan is a lot better at the moment.
I like this combination. Fu Haifeng still has it in him, he is good for another Olympics. From being more of a back court player with Cai Yun, he's the one who holds the big hammer in his thundering smashes, to now being able to play well at the front court too, shows his versatility and adaptability, amazing for someone already an older veteran at 30 in the badminton sense.
At the moment, Zhang Nan may prove to be just the right partner for him to replace the retiring 34-yr-old Cai Yun whose present role is to help train younger colleagues. I look forward to seeing this pair rise and shine as quickly as possible.
In today's AE'14 QF match with the WC Ahsan/Setiawan, the top seed, later on, we shall see how this pair perform; win or lose, it should give us an idea of their true potential. After watching their convincingly victorious match yesterday with Adcok/Ellis, I think I can afford to be optimistic that FHF/ZN's partnership will work out very well.
No, Zhang Nan plays mixed doubles with Zhao Yunlei and Men's doubles with Fu Haifeng.
Gill Clark also said she doesn't expect Fu Haifeng to last all the way to the next olympics.
But Morten Frost said he believes that CBA is planning to use Fu Haifeng in the next olympics. I think Fu would be 32 or 33 by that time. I like that his new style of play isn't as much reliant on his power, but use more angles and positioning.
Morten also said he is unsure if Zhang Nan will be a good MD player. Its hard to balance both events, XD and MD at the same time. Also, ZN has played with some other players like Chai Biao, Qiu Zihan, and hasn't had great results. But What i really enjoy about ZN is his style of Md is so different from CY's style. CY focused on speed and attack from the net. Zhang Nan focuses more on touch and positioning.
I guess it's still early days in the Olympic cycle.
LYB obviously wants FHF/CY to pass on their experiences to others.
It is also unclear whether ZYL can make it all the way to 2016 in two different disciplines, ie XD and WD. She is not young and has a bit of injury.
I think Zhang Nan wants to play in both XD and MD. But his record in MD is not good.
I think after Asian Games 2014, three pairs for each disciplines will be finalised (ie, for XD, WD and MD). These three pairs will begin to accumulate WR points starting in May 2015 till May 2016 for the purpose of qualifying for the 2016 Olympics . The best two pairs after May 2016 will go to Rio.
Three players may qualify in two different disciplines: Zhang Nan, ZYL and Ma J.
I think mental strength is not the issue, not when you've Fu Haifeng as well as Zhang Nan. It's more to do with being relatively new partnership, takes time to gel and settle in, building rapport and mutual tacit understanding on court and tying up the loose ends. Very likely, from their performance so far at the AE, the signs are good this combination will shine and CHN is dead serious and anxious about establishing a stable,reliable MD pair, esp with the Thomas Cup and the Asian Games round the corner.
i do not think mental strength is a problem. i believe one of the reason they are paired together was because both are Olympic champion.
it will be tremendous pressure for a new partner of fuhaifeng but zhang nan has a gold medal thus less pressure because he has already establish himself but if a new kid of the block, it will be momentous pressure because your partner is a well known players, if they lose, people will say the new guy is not good enough.
Well if Adcock/Ellis are seeded 3rd the road to the finals can't really be hard - unless the Koreans were experimenting again, which they aren't...well, let's hope they get a good match-up at one point to provide an entertaining match...let's hope Hong/Chai make it to the Final, with BoMo there it'd probably end up as another snore-fest (or with Kido/Fernaldi).
Too bad they're in the same half as Lee/Tsai, that could've made an interesting Final as well. I also haven't the slightest idea why Shin/Ko went out to a completely unknown pair, somehow the Korean MD seems to be falling apart a little with KKJ/LYD banned...