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  1. #1
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    Default My Reflections on China Open Final

    Well..well...we know all the results by now, so, let me just post my thoughts.

    After experiencing some delays in streaming using pplive, I decide to cross the border to Shenzhen and watch the finals. I had a sumptuous chilly-crab meal (Sichuan style -- RMB 148, rather expensive for China standard, but superb!), before hopping on a taxi to a foot reflexology place to relax while watching the matches. I arrived a little late and the first match had already started, with scores nicely poised at 7-5 for the England pair if I am not wrong.

    Robertson/Emms completely controlled the match with superb net play by Emms and great smashes by Robertson. The first half was pretty even but then Lee/Lee made too many unforced errors and the England pair took the set 15-10.

    Lee/Lee continued to make errors and they appeared to have lost the match when they let Roberson/Emms take a 10-0 lead. Slowly, they began to stage a comeback (mostly due to errors by the England pair) and almost levelled the match at 9-10. Then, Robertson/Emms regained control of the match and finished off with 15-10. I think Robertson/Emms can be considered the top mixed double pair this year with Zhang/Gao definitely starting to show some frailities.

    The first two sets of the women's singles match were forgettable, with easy wins for Xie and then Zhang. Things get more interesting in the third set. Zhang looked to win the set easily with a 6-0 lead before Xie unexpectedly turned the table and got 7 straight points to lead 7-6. Things got a little tight since then and Zhang managed to regain the lead at 8-7. Xie tied the match again at 8-8 but that proved to be the last point for her. Zhang wrapped things up with 3 consecutive points.

    I only watched the first 2 sets of the men's singles match as I was switching places to watch the match. I spent RMB 30 for 1 hr of foot-reflexology but ended up spending 3 hrs in the room watching the first 3 matches Anyway, Chen Hong managed to win in rubber games.

    The women's doubles match was boring to watch, with Yang/Zhang winning quite comfortably in 2 straight sets.

    The highlight of the day was of course the men's doubles match between the current world no 1 and world no 2. I knew that the match will be tough as Eriksen/Lundgaard-Hansen has improved a lot these days. The first set was tight from the very beginning, with Candra/Sigit contented in letting the Danes to attack. Score was 7-6 to Eriksen/Lundgaard-Hansen when they suddenly got 5 easy points and lead 12-6. Candra/Sigit clawed back to 9-12, before Eriksen/Lundgaard-Hansed added another pt to 13-9. Service went back to the Indo pair and it was their turn to capitalize on their serves and obtained 5 pts....game pt to Candra/Sigit. It was not over though as the Danes levelled things up at 14-14. I believed at this time, everyone was nervous (including me). I was constantly biting my nails and prayed that it will end quickly. No such luck though....the Indo pair got a point on their serve to lead 15-14, but service again went back to the Danes. They got 2 points and were at gamepoint, 16-15. Luckily, service goes back to Candra/Sigit. They got a point and it was 16-16. Tense moments all around the stadium and for those who were watching the match. Finally, an out of court return by the Danes allowed the Indo pair to steal the first set 17-16, in 31 mins. Wow...what a relief....I actually shouted "yeah...."

    The second set also started with the Danes leading 3-1, then, Candra/Sigit got a few easy points to lead 7-3. They could not keep this lead though because the Danes again got 5 pts to lead 8-7. Scores were then a little tight untill the Indo pair nearly levelled the match at 11-12. Service change to the Danes and it was all over! Eriksen/Lundgaard-Hansen won the second set 15-11. So, a 5-mins break before the rubber set.

    For the third time, the Danes had a better start and they first lead 4-1 and then 6-4. But, Candra/Sigit battled hard to get to 8-6 and then 10-6 after they changed court. For those who thought the Danes were finished, you were wrong! Yet again, they showed why they are world no 2 now and stormed back with 5 easy points to lead 11-10. Candra/Sigit regained the service and got 2 additional pts to once again lead 12-11. It went the same way after service changed to the Danes. They now lead 13-12.

    At this time, the best rally of the match (if not the tournament) happened! Both pairs had to dive several times to save the shuttle cock and eventually, Lundgaard-Hansen could not save the point and his returned shot was too low. This rally was so wonderful that he clapped using his feet! So humorous Service back to Candra/Sigit at 12-13. This time, they made use of the momentum to regain the lead at 14-13...match point. Still, they could not serve out the match and service back to the Danes. Unfortunately, this time, the Danes could not get a single point and Candra/Sigit had 2 match pts. They yielded the first one, but, they made sure they got the second one. Candra's smash sealed the match at 15-13. Both he and the coach (Ko Herry I believe) got so emotional at the end....and they had to because it was such a roller-coaster match...definitely the best men's doubles match this year! Even I was shouting all the times during the last few pts!

    So, Candra/Sigit ended the year with a title...and what a year they have had! Apart from All England and HK Open where they crashed out at Round 1/16, they managed to get into 8 finals, winning 4 of them! Congrats...and I hope they can retire at the end of next year with another All England title, Thomas Cup, an Asian Games gold medal (both team and men's doubles), and hopefully another World Championship title! They should be focused on just these events and let the youngsters compete in the other Opens.
    Last edited by badMania; 11-13-2005 at 11:10 AM.

  2. #2
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    Wow, great report. Thanks!

    That MD match already sounds like a classic. Can't wait to see it! (Wrong pair won though... he he)

  3. #3
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    That was quite an exciting report you wrote there

  4. #4
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    what a great and thrilling report. almost like watching it first hand. you should do more of these in the future. i'll print it and show it to my friends at school

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