Lee Chong Wei vs Kenichi Tago
I expected Lee Chong Wei to win and I’m delighted the scoreline reflected a good final. Tago has been my big find in this tournament and I hope he wins one of the big Super Series Events this year – he deserves to if he retains this form.
I’m thrilled for Tine Rasmussen to come back from injury to win this tournament. There seems to be so little threat to Chinese dominance at the moment so this really was a great win. I do wonder what would have happened if her opponent Wang Yihan, hadn’t had such a tough semi final against a fellow Chinese. It was nice that this repeat final went the other way this year in the Danes favour.
Ladies Doubles – who can stop the awesome Du Jing and Yu Yang? They are an absolute delight to watch. Their overall game is too strong for most ladies combinations at the moment. Fantastic pair to watch! Thank you ladies for continuing to show us all how good ladies doubles can be.
In mixed doubles there was another shock. Most of us expected Widianto and Natsir to overcome the new super Chinese pair of Zhang and Zhao bearing in mind their titles won to date and experience of playing and winning big tournament. But the Chinese pair played an outstanding game to come out on top.
Last, but by no means least was the all Danish mens doubles. A thiller and fitting end to this Centenery All England. Very few would have bet on the eventual winners Paaske and Rasmussen. I think Boe and Mogenson peaked too early in their win over Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng. The older Danes have weathered this tournament incredibly well and that’s what makes champions.
Congratulations to all finalists and winners. These have probably been some of the best finals in years with all but mens singles going to 3 games.
For me, I came away from Birmingham with a lot of ideas to help improve the players I work with. The big reminders for me were the following:
1) The serve is still the most critical part of a rally
2) Play around the net is getting tighter every year
3) If you want to win in doubles, learn to defend
4) Even a big gun smash will be returned easily. Smashes are a tactical move to get a weaker response.
5) You’ve got to be mentally strong to succeed as the pressure to win a point gets harder. You’ve also got to understand tactics to win.
That’s it for this year. I hope you enjoyed my review of the tournament – one of the best I’ve even been to.
To your success