Maybank Malaysia Open 2012 Day 5: Semi-finals Round Up
The semi-finals of the Maybank Malaysia Open 2012 was rather well organized. They had 2 sessions, played on 1 court.
This ensured that the spectators could have a chance to catch all the badminton action that was happening.
Previously they had a few games going on at once which meant that the spectators had to miss some exciting moments of the game.
The main highlight was the match between the defending champion of the Malaysia Open, Lee Chong Wei, and Chen Long of China.
Last year, Chen Long was deemed Chong Wei’s next nemesis because he defeated Chong Wei on 2 occasions.
This was something significant because as of 2011, Lin Dan and Chen Long were the ONLY players who managed to beat Lee Chong Wei.
The Malaysian Open crown is an important title for Lee Chong Wei. This made this a crucial match for him. He was definitely up for the tough challenge against Chen Long.
Here are the match reports for all matches:
Wang Yi Han (CHN) vs Saina Nehwal (IND)
Saina Nehwal took the lead at the start of the game. Saina played extremely good drop shots. She made a few good slices from steep angles which made it difficult to retrieve.
As the game went on, Saina started to make a couple on unforced errors. The young Indian made a couple of misjudgement for Wang Yi Han’s baseline clears.
She left a couple of shots which landed inside.
This was costly to Saina Nehwal’s game because every point was difficult to earn against the current world no.1 women’s singles player.
Wang Yi Han had extremely good court coverage.
It was extremely difficult for the Indian to get her out of position. Wang Yi Han seldom used her backhand even though Saina hit the shuttle deep into her backhand corner.
This showed the speed that Wang Yi Han possesses in moving to her backhand corner to use her forehand strokes.
The Chinese player established the lead right before the mid-game interval. She went on to dominate the rest of the game.
Similar to the first game, Saina Nehwal played extremely good net shots.
She won a couple of rally points while playing along the net. Her tight net shots forced a high lift from Wang Yi Han.
However, Saina Nehwal was not able to capitalise on the lifts/clears performed by the Chinese.
Her baseline smashes were not working and it was difficult to get the world no.1 out of position.
Saina Nehwal had to work through long rallies to win previous rally points. Saina did try to end rallies by attempting winning shots.
However, Yi Han demonstrated absolute class when she defended the attacks easily.
The Chinese continue to dominate the world of badminton. We will be seeing ANOTHER China vs China in the Badminton Malaysia Open 2012 as Wang Yi Han won in 2 straight games.
The score was 21-15, 21-16.
Zhang Nan/Zhao Yun Lei (CHN) vs Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying (MAS)
Badminton fans here in Malaysia were proud to have their home mixed doubles players in the semi-finals of the Maybank Malaysia Open 2012.
The audience in the stadium definitely got behind their favourite mixed doubles pair.
This was the fourth encounter between the 2 pairs where the Chinese had won in the last 3 occasions.
However, this was the first time the Chinese took on the Malaysians in Malaysia. Would the home ground advantage make a difference?
The Malaysian players would have expected a tough match against the current world no.1 Zhang Nan and Zhao Yun Lei.
The Chinese pair was catching the Malaysians off guard.
Although the Malaysians were in an attacking position, the Chinese produced quick counter attacks which the Malaysians could not defend.
The Chinese took the lead from the start and never game a chance to the Malaysians to get ahead.
Goh Liu Ying had superb skills at the front court while Chan Peng Soon certainly had powerful smashes.
This was, unfortunately, not enough as they could not match the speed of the Chinese players.
When the game was played at a high pace with both sides exchanging drives, the Malaysians lost out. They could not keep up with it.
Zhang Nan and Zhao Yun Lei were dictating the pace of the game all along.
The Chinese took the first game down at 21-13.
The second game was more competitive. Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying were leading at the mid game interval (11-9).
With the support and cheers from the crowd, Goh Liu Ying became more confident and sharper at the front of the court.
This is extremely crucial in a doubles game because the players standing in front usually create opportunities for the back player to attack.
However, the Chinese were just too quick for Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying. Zhang Nan and Zhao Yun Lei were capitalising on their drives.
As the game picked up pace, the Malaysians lost control.
Sadly for Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying, as well as for the Malaysian supporters, the match was ended in 2 straight games (21-13, 21-16) by the Chinese.
Kenichi Tago (JPN) vs Chen Jin (CHN)
Chen Jin seemed to be injured when the game started. He made a several delays and called out for the tournament referee and the tournament doctor.
After a while, Chen Jin walked over.
He mentioned that he injured his ankle right after the second rally of the match. The picture above shows Chen Jin under the treatment of the tournament doctor.
On the other hand, let’s hear it from Kenichi Tago.
Kenichi Tago said he was very upset that Chen Jin walked over because he was here at the stadium to play badminton.
Considering that Kenichi did not play today, he will miss one day of badminton and he wasn’t sure whether he could deliver his best form in the finals after skipping a day of badminton.
He thinks that his opponent will most likely be Lee Chong Wei and he is not very sure that he can beat the world no.1 badminton player especially when Lee Chong Wei is at home.
However, he will still try his very best.
So it was a walkover from Chen Jin and Kenichi Tago will proceed to the final of the Maybank Malaysia Open 2012.
Lee Chong Wei (MAS) vs Chen Long (CHN)
This was the major match of day. This was also the match that all badminton fans had been waiting for all day at the semi-finals of the Maybank Malaysia Open 2012.
Lee Chong Wei truly made a big entrance. The stadium erupted with cheers as he walked in.
The crowd had certainly given the world no.1 a big boost in confidence.
Chen Long on the other hand appeared to lack confidence in his game.
Chen Long might have beaten the Malaysian in 2 straight tournaments last year, but it is entirely different trying to beat the world no.1 on his home ground.
Lee Chong Wei fired smashes with power and precision. The Malaysian took a very big lead at the start.
After that Chen Long managed to get into the game. He picked himself up and narrowed the score gap.
In the end Lee Chong Wei ended the game despite Chen Long’s hard work.
If there was something missing in Chen Long’s first game, it was that he did not attack!
The Chinese hardly attempted any winning shots in the first game.
This time, it was different. Chen Long showed what he was made off when he fired deadly smashes from steep angles. He also injected additional pace in his game.
Chong Wei, however, stayed confident. He even ambitiously played deceptive shots, which were successful in a few rallies.
The game was now more competitive for Lee Chong Wei. The score was so tight that both players could not establish a solid lead.
Chen Long electrifyingly obtained game point at 20-17.
The Chinese player eventually took down the second game and forced Lee Chong Wei into a third rubber game.
Chen Long took the lead at the start of the game. It almost looked like the game was going to Chen Long.
The pressure was on the world no.1 to defend his Malaysia Open title and maintain a consistent winning record for 2012.
Chong Wei eventually found his form during the match. He widened the lead after the mid-game interval. He read the game extremely well.
He predicted Chen Long’s next move and was always waiting to surprise Chen Long with his attacks.
Meeting the expectations of the crowd, the defending champion took down the third game and will proceed to the finals of the Maybank Malaysia Open 2012.
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