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Discussion in 'Professional Players' started by pcll99, Nov 30, 2011.
Woah, Michelle just took a match off Intanon at All England. Congrats!
And it's choosen as a WS highlight match too
Nice match against SN, an confident booster. Hope you can make it 2 in a row against NO.
It's quite possible because NO seems to be not fully fit, as seen from her matches vs KOR in weeks ago in Japan.
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It would be another different type of opponent.
vs Saina Nehwal is clearly having power play opponent, everything comes with a strong powerful shot.
Against Nozomi Okuhara is totally different. Okuhara more about tactical player, she's used to have a smart play.
But, yes it would be another interesting match to watch. It's on Court 1.
Has Canada ever reached the big 8 of Uber Cup before? Will Michelle Li leads the first ever milestone for Canada? Or someone else has already done it before?
In 1986, there was a very different format but the Uber Cup Finals involved just 8 teams, one of which was Canada. Although the Canadians qualified by winning the Pan Am regional qualification tournament, because of the different format, it required them to finish ahead of all Pan Am teams, one Asian team, and one Oceania team, just as they will have to do this year to reach the final 8.
An excellent effort, Michelle, we are proud of you.
Hope that she can bring lots of future development in Canada badminton, not only as a player, but maybe as a coach, manager or executive
She has improved significantly past year or two, having beaten RI, Nehwal, and yesterday Sung JiHyun. Especially clip smashes, smash returns, and her amazing deceptive cross court net play that even Tai TzuYing would approve.
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Do you think after her injury and operation, she is unable to play the same style game preinjury. And then now forced to develop different shot choices, these have actually improved her game?
I don't know, but I think she plays even more physically aggressive now than before. Perhaps the injuries and surgeries of 2016 forced her to condition more her body better with off court therapy and exercises.
Much like TTY after her poor showing at Rio 2016 (due more to her Yonex shoe fiasco) and now quite seriously conditioning her body (and abds!) to be the most physically fit female player we've seen in a while.
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i would call michelle a late bloomer. at 26 1/2 yrs old she's playing her best ever, which is out of the norm for female badminton players.
yes, she is playing more physical now. i think one major reason for that is her body is finally able to do so. she has always been on the thin size for her height, but, she has been looking stronger/thicker lately.
Michelle rules in Macau
by Don Hearn – November 4, 2018
Photos: Jane Piyatat / Badmintonphoto
Back in 2013, Michelle Li of Canada was the Pan Am Champion but had never been in a major final in a worldwide event. At the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold late that year, Li pulled off some minor upsets and faced a promising 18-year-old shuttler named Pusarla Venkata Sindhu in the final. Sindhu, who had already won a Grand Prix Gold title and a World Championship bronze medal, denied Li the title and began a long, frustrating wait for the otherwise successful Canadian.
Actually, since sustaining an injury against Sindhu in the Rio Olympics, Li again went through a long patch with no titles other than the 2018 Pan Am title. But today in Macau, she finally picked up the first Super 300 title of her career.
Michelle Li combined consistency and creativity to beat 19-year-old Han Yue of China. Han, whose first major final was the Vietnam Open in August, did an excellent job of putting her opponent under pressure, both in the rallies, and just in staging a surprise comeback that allowed her to snatch the first game 25-23. But Li stood her ground in the deciding game and she patiently picked her chances en route to winning the tiring game by a comfortable margin.
Michelle Li thus moves into 7th place in the Race to Guangzhou. There are only two players within 10,000 points of catching her as she proceeds to Fuzhou and Hong Kong for her last two tournaments before awaiting hopefully an invitation to the World Tour Finals.
Michelle Can Break Into Top 5: Jennifer Lee
The success of Michelle Li, Canada’s most successful contemporary Women’s Singles player, is remarkable given the constraints she has had to face. Over the last few years she has travelled the circuit on her own, unlike most of the other top players who are part of teams with coaches, practice partners and managers.
The key figure behind the recent Macau Open champion’s success is her coach Jennifer Lee, who spotted her talent and groomed her into the player she now is. Lee was the earliest badminton coach in Canada to convert a warehouse into a badminton facility; the model has since become popular, with a number of academies sprouting up in former warehouses.
Despite their training base being in Markham, far from the elite tournament circuit and at which Li can only train a few months a year, Jennifer Lee has evolved a system that has worked well despite the challenges. Excerpts from an interview in Markham, on the sidelines of the Li-Ning BWF World Junior Mixed Team Championships 2018:
When did you first sense that Michelle was special?
I started to coach her when she was 15. We didn’t know how far she could go. Once we asked her to run on the treadmill and she fell and she started bleeding. One of my coaches told me she didn’t cry, she just went back on the treadmill and started running again. This is the reason I paid more attention to her, because it showed her mental toughness.
Did you imagine then that she could become a top-level player?
Yes, I could see that. But once she turned 17, she had to take the decision of whether to turn professional or go back to school. Her parents didn’t want her to become a professional player.
I told her parents that we could let her play four international tournaments and take a decision based on her performance. I took her to watch the All England after which she played a Mixed Doubles event at the Swiss Open. I took her to observe the players and asked her if this was the life she wanted, and she said yes.
She did well in the four tournaments – she finished second in two of those and the quarterfinals of the other two. I thought then she could go for it.
Michelle was possibly the only top Women’s Singles player, apart from USA’s Beiwen Zhang, who didn’t have a coach in her corner. How did she manage, when all the other players had someone to turn to for advice or practice during tournaments?
It is difficult for her. But we do have Whatsapp. I try to communicate with her before the match. I analyse her opponents and we chat about the coming match. Before she went to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, we spent six weeks focussing on playing Pusarla V Sindhu. I couldn’t go to the Games, so each night I would analyse her opponent and would communicate with her.
I have travelled with her for many years, and I’m familiar with many of her opponents. We have a quick system in place. Players from some countries have particular styles. We cannot repeat tactics though, because her opponents are also changing their tactics. Since July last year she has had a travelling coach, because she felt she needed someone to practice with at tournaments.
Given that her opponents are training in national camps with high quality sparring, how do you manage without those resources?
It’s very difficult. In the past, we used a couple of doubles players. The key thing is quality of feeding, so sometimes I have to stand on a box, I try to feed those quality shots that she faces against top players. She has had a travelling coach since last April. She needed a person to travel with her and practice with at tournaments.
Michelle had a couple of surgeries after the Rio Olympics. How difficult was it for her to get through that phase?
She’s very tough. She can handle pain. By the time we had her foot checked, the bone in her toe had cracked. I never saw her cry or say she wanted to stop. She had a faint crack in the little toe before she went to Rio, but we didn’t know that. When she got back, she did an X-ray and we found it was a deep crack.
What does Michelle need to do to win a big title, like a World Tour Super 750 or 1000?
When she’s back (from the Hong Kong Open), we will have a discussion. Her endurance has to improve, her tactics have to be more detailed. Strategy-wise, we have to get into more detail. I’m confident that she can move up to the top five.
Women’s Singles is the most competitive of the five categories. Tai Tzu Ying is hard to beat, she was born with skill. Carolina (Marin) is very strong, very muscular. They do a lot of strength conditioning. Nozomi Okuhara and Akane Yamaguchi have a lot of endurance. Michelle has to keep on changing, otherwise she cannot match up.
You started your badminton academy in a warehouse. How has badminton in Canada grown since then, and is there a fresh line of upcoming players?
I moved to Toronto in 1989. In those days badminton was not popular here. When I wanted to rent the warehouse, the owners didn’t see that the business would pay the rent. I started with a few courts and then expanded. Now there are 20 clubs around my center. The sport got popular and in Markham this Pan Am Center (venue of the World Junior Championships) came up.
There are a few promising Women’s Singles players. I’m trying to convince their parents. The kids want to play professionally. Hopefully we will have some who will qualify for the 2024 Olympics.
Recent interview of Michelle Li:
Golly, that guy knows how to drag someone down.
“Michelle, you must be so lonely”. “Michelle, why don’t you just quit?”
(He’s lucky she was polite and didn’t go full-Canadian:)
that guy is an idiot. he barely asked her any ?'s. When he did manage a ?'n it was about something she just said two seconds before. smh...
Michelle Li Makes History for Pan Am
Canada’s Michelle Li became the first singles player from the Pan Am region to qualify for the season finale, in its current version as the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2018.
The Markham native qualified in seventh place in Women’s Singles on the HSBC Race To Guangzhou Rankings.
The by-invitation HSBC BWF World Tour Finals features the top eight players and pairs on the World Tour in the calendar year. Two doubles players from Pan Am – Canada’s Charmaine Reid and USA’s Tony Gunawan – had qualified for previous season finales, then known as the World Superseries Masters Finals. Reid had qualified with Germany’s Nicole Grether in 2008 and 2009 in Women’s Doubles, while Gunawan had qualified with Indonesia’s Candra Wijaya in Men’s Doubles in 2008.
The eight qualifiers in all five events were finalised after the final qualifying tournaments – the Syed Modi International Badminton Championships and the Scottish Open that both concluded on Sunday 25 November 2018.
BWF Unlimited Ep.261 feature Michelle Li