Maybank Malaysia Open 2012 Day 1 Report: Qualifying Rounds
Despite it being the first day, the Maybank Malaysia Open 2012 was surprisingly crowded!
Basically there are 2 sessions for day 1’s qualifying matches; the morning and afternoon session. The players who lost in the first session will be eliminated. Then the winners will compete against each other in the afternoon session.
There were not much action during the first session of the qualifying matches. The ACTION started in the second session.
Note: Besides the badminton action going on inside the stadium, there were also interesting activities going on OUTSIDE the stadium.
The following are highlights on the major matches during the qualifying rounds of the Maybank Malaysia Open 2012.
Highlight of Major Matches
Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif/Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazri (MAS) v Jui Wei Liang/Kuan Hao Liao (TPE)
The Malaysians started off strong and finished the first game fairly easily.
The second game got more competitive. The Chinese pair opted for more attacks and manage to pierce through the Malaysians’ defences on certain occasions.
The score gap was tighter in the second game. In fact, the Chinese pair managed to get a deuce in the second game.
It was obvious that they performed much better in the second game. Perhaps they were just starting to get use to the foreign grounds. However I have to say their confidence level did not appear to be very high.
Unfortunately for Jui and Kuan, they did not adapt fast enough. The Malaysians secured a victory in the qualifying rounds of the Badminton Malaysian Open 2012. You will see them in the first round of the tournament the next day.
It was surprising to see a big crowd during the qualifying rounds. Majority of the crowd were Malaysians who were there to cheer for their country’s players.
Wong Choong Hann (MAS) v Mohd Arif Abdul Latif (MAS)
Wong Choong Hann was the star of today’s qualifying matches.
The former world no.1 in badminton plays badminton as a part time profession now.
Due to his relatively low ranking in world badminton, he needed to qualify in today’s matches to compete in the rest of the tournament.
Experience vs Talent
Choong Hann’s opponent was much younger than him and there was a huge age gap between the 2 (Choong Hann was born in 1977; Mohd Arif was born in in 1989).
Choong Hann used all his skills and experience in badminton to play this match. He was reading the game at the front of the court so well. Most of his winning shots came from his net play.
Mohd Arif was agile and a relatively aggressive player. Even Choong Hann was not able to defend some of Mohd Arif’s smashes to the sidelines.
Strategy, Precision and Experience
Choong Hann’s strategy was not about forcing the rallies into a faster pace. He knew that he was not able to keep up with the fitness level of his younger opponent.
Choong Hann used a strategy where he placed his shots towards the 4 corners of the court, which forced Mohd Arif to work hard for it and forced some weak return shots.
Choong Hann’s winning shots were very nicely placed on the sidelines, which are usually extremely effective in any badminton singles game.
The former world no.1 was merely trying to end the rallies as fast as possible. When Mohd Arif starts gathering momentum, Choong Hann couldn’t do much about it.
Put simply, Choong Hann tried to finish the rallies as fast as possible by taking the winning shot as soon as he saw the opportunity. However, he was also trying to slow the game down.
It was indeed a wise strategy employed by Choong Hann.
Third Game – Mohd Arif’s Change in Service Style
The match went into a third and deciding game. Wong Choong Hann took a far lead ahead of the game. Mohd Arif somehow switched to using the high serves instead of the low serve.
I was not quite sure why he went for this option, because the high serves by Mohd Arif actually favoured the tall Choong Hann.
Wong Choon Hann took the third game. The score was 22-24, 21-17, 21-14.
As far as this match was concern, experience and skills proved more valuable than speed and aggression in this game.
Tell me what you think!
What do you think about what you just read? Leave me a comment below.