I have been to the AE again this year & enjoyed it very much this year as I have in the others. Plase bear with me if thi review drags & apologies for the delay, but leaving it later gives me the pleasure of reliving it once more! FINALS DAY! (in order of schedule) MIXED DOUBLES Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei Vs Nova Widianto/Lilyana Natsir As I said before Zhao is officially my favourite XD player now. Throughout this match she carried Zhan, especially in the first where everything she touchd turned to gold. I haven't seen the match, but everytime she touched it in the 1st half of the first end, INA were in trouble. Zhan was nervous I felt in the first, helped only by Nova/Natsir ability to relax and "gift" people the 1st end. They should have finished it in the second, and In the interval I was interested to see whether Zhang Nan would crumble after the shock of losing, or come good. He came good. As for the future of this pair, not sure Zhang is fully world class, but I can't see who else they could play with. Zhao is top rate & needs a good man to fulfil her XD potential. They ned another Zhang Jun! WOMENS SINGLES Tine Rasmussen Vs Wang Yihan Having beaten Tine in last years final I expected Wang Yihan to win. The tactic is clear for Wang, Play fast and attacking, move Tine around. The whole coaching staff know this, Wang knows this. I expected thre games, but expected Wang to run out the winner nonetheless. Wan did well, but if you watch the video near the end she was geting the chances, but didn't have the confidence to finish the rally. One point (at maybe 19-19) she had a rear-mid court smash, which should have gone straight don the line for match point. She hit it straight down the line, but not ful blooded, tine got it back & eventually won the point. This is the failing of the current CHN WS, not good enough to dominate as there predecesors, but good enough still to win, but fail to finish the match. Looking at the form guide in the Programme I was surprised to see CHN domination, but unsurprised to see one player not dominating. Wang Yihan is my pick of the bunch, but the fact TR ha now won 2 AE at 28 tells its own story, why couldn't she win before?Injuries maybe, quality of opposition now & then, definitely. Fairplay to Tine though, she got the victory & now has 3 AE Finals to her name, winning two, no mean feat. MENS SINGLES Lee Chong Wei Vs Kenichi Tago The first JPN player to reach AE Final in decades, playing a player who is (IMO) reknown for not making the big victory - surely a Recipe for a great match. Yes & No. Yes the scorelne was close, but realistically I thought the scoreline flattered Tago. LCW is a slow starter & Tago, being tired from his previous 3 setters (in all but rd 1) would have to win in 3 against a player known for his fitness. When he didn't win the 1st the writing was on the wall. Tago Fought & fought, but LCW is still a clas ahead of him and was in control. After the interval in the 2nd it was clear Tago gave it full throttle an got back to 11-11, but beyond that he was spent an no matter what adrenaline he found to get close I always felt LCW would win. Is LCW a better player than last year? Difficult to tell, maybe not, I still think he hasn't fulfiled his potential in that he plays the wrong shots at the wrong times. He certainly isn't as quick as he was, or powerful, but at the end of the day he is now an All England champion. WOMENS DOUBLES Du Jing/Yu Yang Vs Shu Cheng/Zhao Yunlei Du/Yu are still the most exciting WD pair for me, they are fast and sharp in attack despite their relative small size. Cheng/Zhao had another chance to win after last years disappointment with Chengs' injury. Cheng/Zhao took it to them in the beginning and showed how much their power has improved, but I thought Du/Yu were playing a waiting game, absorbing the younger pairs attacks, then they came back with the pace & tactical play they are best at. They almost took the first game too. The 2nd & Third ends were less close. I felt Zhao tired from then on & they lacked a belief to beat Du/Yu. In the third they never looked like winning it. So my Fav pair won!! MENS DOUBLES Jonas Rasmussen/Lars Paaske vs Mattias Boe/Carsten Mogensen A dream final for the vociferous danish supporters, 2 Danish winners. JR/LP were chasing a major double of WC & AE, MB/CM their first big break. The match was stunning, Boe on top of the net in for much of the game, but JR/LP hung in there. JR/LP are the best pair in the worls on their day, but they have two weaknesses. Lars defence and silly erors on an off day & JR sometimes loses out on the net. I will never forget the way JR played in WC 2003 he owned the net - like he knew exactly where the opponents were hitting it. This match was not quite o spectacular, but they were very consistent throughout the match. Look at the Tournament software match analysis the scores were pretty even in every game. Unfortunately at 1955 I had to leave to take my borther to the train station, so mised the final part from 11-9, but I was so happy when I got home & checked the result that JR/LP won. I only hope they can find one more tournament win......2012 OG!!!!!