My trip to the China Open

Discussion in 'China Open 2002' started by Tezta.com, Dec 22, 2002.

  1. Tezta.com

    Tezta.com Regular Member

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    Well it was about 5pm Dec 22nd before i arrived back to Hong Kong from Guangzhou. What a fun trip, good games, good food and no 12 hour flight to catch in order to rest my head on my favorite pillow.

    I left for Guangzhou on Monday, i had planned a rather short trip as i found myself in the qualifying draw to meet a Chinese Junior team member. When Kasper Oedum withdrew from the tournament, i was promoted to the main draw to meet Malaysia's Yong Hock kin. I had to re arrange my schedule to stay longer. This excited me as i was given a chance to play a great player, i am quite sure the chinese Jr player would have been just as skilled as Hock Kin, but there is just something else about the whole experience when you get to play a Champion.

    As i check into my hotel room, i find my teammates room number and give them a call, after settling into the room i get ready for a practice session in the main hall. Upon entering the Main hall, i watch the China Team playing some games of doubles and mixed. Next to us the Koreans set up to get as much court time as possible, i don't see any familiar faces from the Korean team except for thier coach; Li Mao.

    Getting used to a new stadium is a bit difficult for any player, this being my 2nd time playing at the Tian He Gymnasium, i was a bit more accustomed to the flight of the shuttle at first compared to my Teammates. During a short break between drills i look over at the Korean team, Li Mao had instructed his men to perform a smashing drill using a Squash racket, one player would feed about 7 birds to while the other holding the squash racket would take a set out from the center and jump smash remembering to use only his wrist. I was later told that Dong Jiong developed his killer smash from this drill.

    Skip foreward passed all the good dim sum and roast duck, i wake up and have breakfast before heading to the stadium once again to play my match. I catch the Tournament bus with the rest of the 12:20pm players and begin warm up drills in the players room.

    I cannot really comment much on my performance as i didnt record myself nor had a coach present to let me know how i did, but i can say it was a good experience. I learned during my game that i have such little experience compared to the international players, i felt that Yong Hock Kin knew exactly the ins and outs of the Tian He stadium, whether to serve short or long, which side had a drift, and most of all, how to deal with players like me. The one thing that unexperienced players need is physical strength, i found myself quite tired due to my opponents control. I am almost certain THAT is why the newcomers lose many matches during thier first year of International tournament play, we need top form to deal with being moved around and being forced to play shots we normally wouldn't peform againsts our own sparring partners.

    Later that day, after a shower i head back to the stadium to catch Peter Gade's match. I haven't seen Peter Gade play live before so you can only imagine how excited i was. Although i bet Lee Tsuen Seng wasnt that excited to play Peter in the First round:) The start of the match went Peters way, his speed and fake shots got the better of Tsuen Seng, later ofcourse Lee got into the match to try and take control, at the same time i was a bit distracted by a rather interesting match up right next to Peter. Indra Wijaya was playing Yeoh Kay bin in a great match as well, i wanted to focus on Peter's match but i was surprised to see that Indra was having trouble with his match, so much trouble that he eventually lost.

    Since i am a singles player i really tried to watch as much singles as possible, women and mens. I particularly enjoy watching Mia Audina play, her skill is superb, she has a real talent in badminton. Many will say she doesnt have the build like she used to but she is still quite a player. Mia had to play Li Li from singapore in a quarter final match, at first i thought Mia would finish off this young player but Li Li has improved quite a bit to give Mia a close match that went 3 games. After the 2nd game Mia went to sit down next to the court while Li Li went directly to her coach on the other side for help. Mia's coach on the other hand had to walk over to the other side of the court to talk to Mia, i could sence Mia was a bit upset with her game so far.

    If i could name one player i enjoyed watching during this particular tournament, i would say Wong Choong Han. He has so much strength in his wrist and forearm its like the racket is not even there, it seems like he treats the racket if its just an extra finger. His smash is very accurate and fast, infact he ended many rallies against Peter Gade and Kenneth Jonassen with a quick cross court smash.
    Peter and Wong Choong Han played a wonderful match, the bird traveled at a very high pace from the start to the finish of the match. They are both matched in racket skills but i think Peter has a slight edge over Choong Han, Peter managed to fake Wong with his backhand push, Peter prepared his racket to play a net shot while waiting for Wong to come foreward enough before changing his racket head position and playing a 45 degree push shot to Wong's back hand, this shot left Wong in the center of the court watching the shuttle fall just after the rear service line.

    Kenneth Jonassen was playing against Xia Xuanze on center court for all of the spectators and viewers at home to see that a player over 6 feet can play defence as well as Ardy Wiranata. Xia could not get any thing past Kenneth during their 2 game match. I was surprised to to see Kenneth play this well, he picked up smashes from Xia at half court, and forced Xia to smash out many times. It was one of the best matches of the tournament.

    The Hotel offers free internet service in thier buisiness center, i see some players there catching up with thier emails and reading stories from world badminton.com, i tried to read my email as well but the connection was so slow i was growing tired of sitting and wating for the page to load, as i stared into the blank screen i hear someone come beside me and politely asked how much longer i would be using the computer. To my suprise it was Jonas Rassmusen. I then introduced myself and chatted abit about his game against Kevin Han and Howard Bach, we also talked about the badminton forums and he was happy to meet someone from badmintonforum.com. Generally some players are not easily approachable, Jonas on the other hand is a very friendly person whom i believe really wants to get to know new people that are in or interested in the the sport of badminton. I hope Jonas does well in future tournaments and I wish him the best of luck with his fan site.

    One last delicious dinner and i go to bed, the next day i am ready to go back to HK. A 2 hour train ride and i am back home, happy to be back and thinking about the next tournament. :D
     
  2. viver

    viver Regular Member

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    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. If you have time later, probably you could share a little bit more of about your matches in China open? ;)
     
  3. Winex West Can

    Winex West Can Regular Member

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    Tezta,
    Great post. Boy, what an experience it must have been to be playing in that stadium.

    Good that you met up with Jonas. Too bad that he didn't get that far in the tournament too.

    Yeah, Mia is a great player and she doesn't play in a lot of the tournaments (although this year has been a banner year for her). She has been around for so long that people forget that she's only 23 yrs old (been playing on the International scene since she was 14 yrs!).
     
  4. JR

    JR Regular Member

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    Nice to meet someone from badmintonforum!!

    Hi Tezta!!

    It was nice meeting you. I saw you back when I played the US Open in ´99 and ´00 but I didn´t know it was you.

    It seems you had a heck of a time in China!!

    It´s a big experience to play in an international grand prix event for the first time in a foreign country. I had the same feeling the first time I played a tournament in asia.
    It was in Thailand and Vietnam in ´97.

    By the way, can I use the part where you describe our meeting on my website???

    Kind Regards

    Jonas
     
  5. Tezta.com

    Tezta.com Regular Member

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    Re: Nice to meet someone from badmintonforum!!

    Jonas it was nice meeting you too, actually the first time i saw you was in the '99 us open as well. Of course you can use my post on your website, that would be great.:)
     

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