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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tournament Prediction - China Open

the cracking of the Great Wall?

Lee Chong Wei vs. Bao Chunlai
This is the third setup for a Super Series Final. Both prior times Lee prevailed in 2 straight sets, and Bao had to settle for runner up position. Bao seems to posses some kind of jinx in the finals of all tournaments, being runner up in 4 Super Series tournament, rightfully earning the title: Mr. Runner Up. Lee exhibited incredible patience and shot making in his 3 set triumph in yesterday's semifinal against Chen Jin, but he will not be going in on a stamina high, thanks to the 2 consecutive games that went the whole way. Bao will have the stamina advantage, thanks to the walkover from Chen Hong courtesy of our favorite coach Li Yongbo. Therefore, I think this match will be closer than the last few encounters. However, Lee should win eventually, in 3 sets.

Wong Mew Choo vs. Xie Xingfang
Although I would like Wong to win her maiden Super Series title, Xie is the first seed and world number 1. Xie's speed was impressive, and the key to unsettling her is to commit less unforced errors and play the bread and butter shots flawlessly. When Xie is faced with such shots, she will start to panic. However, Wong is just not good enough to unsettle Xie yet, and Xie would take this match in 2 sets.

Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan vs. Guo Zhengdong/Xie Zhongbo
If there is a silver lining in this year's China Open, it is the fact that China has shown that they have a credible 2nd Men's Doubles team. However, the world champions are strong opponents, and will most likely win this match. Both have exceptional attacking skills, but Markis and Hendra have the upper hand. I have been impressed with both pairs, but I think the world champions would prevail eventually in 3 sets.

Nova Widianto/Lilyana Natsir vs. Sudket Prapakamol/Saralee Thoungthongkam
This is a big dilemma for me. On one hand, the world champions Widianto and Natsir have been in impressive form, beating compatriots Marrisa/Limpele in the Quarters while sweeping past ex world champions Emms/Robertson yesterday. On the other hand, this Thai pair has impressed me immensely, first in defeating world number 1 Gao Ling and Zheng Bo, then annihilating Xie Zhongbo/Zhang Yawen despite questionable line calls. Very hard to call. I would however, give slight advantage to the Thai pair the benefit of the doubt, as I witnessed their match and unfortunately not the Indonesian's, and I was thoroughly impressed with the Thais. Saralee/Sudket in 3 tight sets.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the bad line calls undermine the entire game and also one's assessment of the players' performances. When one player is leading and loses his focus owing to bad line calls, the opponent's 'performance' from that point onwards does not reflect his real form. A player's form and performance in a match is relative to his/her opponent's performance. If his/her opponent does not lose focus and can execute smart game plan with good attacking and defending skills, the player's performance may not be as great. The fact that BCL started to pick up successive points after several bad line calls that affected LCW's concentration is not only unfair to LCW. It is also unfair to BCL, because it makes it impossible for one to judge the true performance and form of BCL. We cannot say that he was in smashing form or was performing superbly when LCW's loss of concentration does not allow the latter to perform well. Had LCW's performed well, BCL might or might not perform as well as what he did. So the fact that LCW has been prevented from performing his best in such an unfair manner makes any assessment of BCL's performance unjustified.