With her defeat against top seed Li Xuerui in the semifinal of Maybank Malaysian BWF Super-series Tournament, India’s Saina Nehwal also lost her world no.1 ranking. She took the first game but couldn’t sustain the pressure against the Olympic champion. In the other semifinal, Spain’s Carolina Marin showed her class in beating Wang Shixian to set up the title clash with Xuerui in the women’s singles final. In the men’s singles semifinals, no.1 seed Chen Long accounted for compatriot Wang Zhengming in two easy games. In the other semifinal, however, Jan O Jorgensen looked like sailing through, when Lin Dan drew upon the range of his deceptive shots and turned the tables on the Dane. It will be an all-Chinese men’s singles final on Sunday between Chen Long and Lin Dan. In men’s doubles, Korean combo of Lee Young Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong defeated Chinese Taipei’s Lee Sheng Mu/Tsai Chia Hsin to set up the final clash with no. 4 seeds Indonesians Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan, who overpowered Denmark’s Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen. In women’s doubles semifinals, no.3 seeds Chinese Luo Ying/Luo Yu defeated compatriots Ou Dongni/Xiaohan Yu to meet Korea’s Chang Ye Na/Jung Kyung Eun for the title. The Korean women disposed of China’s Tian Qing/Xia Huan in the other semifinal. The mixed doubles was reduced to another all-Chinese affair when no.1 seeds Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei defeated Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir, while in the other semifinal; Chinese pair of Xu Chen/Ma Jin had a walkover on compatriots Liu Cheng/Bao Yixin.
The Maybank Malaysian Super-series Premier reached the climax on Saturday with finalists in all categories being decided. The first match of the day involved India’s Saina Nehwal, who came face to face with no.1 seed Li Xuerui. Saina began well by taking the first game 21-13 but the top seeded Chinese was in her elements afterwards. The Chinese took the second game 21-17 but it was a grueling fight in the third between the top seed and the Indian. At the end of 68 minutes, however, the Chinese took the third game 22-20 and emerged victorious. Just as in the All-England final against Marin, Saina paid a heavy price for her poor judgment and lost several precious points. With this semifinal defeat, Saina was also robbed off her new world no.1 status as the Chinese was back to where she belonged for a long time. It was also the ninth time in 11 meetings that Saina had lost to the Olympic Champion Chinese. Li will face Spain’s Carolina Marin, who was all class as she defeated Wang Shixian in a tough match. It will be Marin’s first ever final on the Malaysian soil. In her match with Wang Shixian, Marin exploited the tiredness that Shixian suffered from her yesterday’s efforts against the Japanese Nozomi Okuhara. Marin took the first game 21-17 but the second game seemed to go on and on before Marin closed it at 24-22.
In first men’s singles semifinal, no. 1 seed Chen Long beat his countryman Wang Zhengming 21-18, 21-16 without breaking sweat but the second semifinal between fifth seeded Lin Dan and Denmark’s no.2 seed Jan O Jorgensen went to three games. The Dane looked good as he took the first game 21-14 and held a sizeable lead in the second. Then out of nowhere, Lin Dan came up with some delicate drop shots, powerful smashes and deceptive placements. Jorgensen was up to the challenge even after losing the second game as he raced to a 5-1 lead in the third. The Chinese, however, continued with a mixture of erratic play and powerful strokes that flew at the speeds of over 340kph in Jorgensen’s court. In the end, the experienced Chinese prevailed with a 14-21, 21-19, 21-17 victory to make Sunday’s final as an all Chinese affair with compatriot Chen Long.
In men’s doubles, the Koreans Lee Young Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong defeated Chinese Taipei’s Lee Sheng Mu/Tsai Chia Hsin in three tough games 21-15, 20-22, 22-20. Lee/Yoo will play the final on Sunday against no.4 seeds Indonesians Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan, who also dropped a game before coming through against Denmark’s Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen 21-16, 18-21, 21-6. In women’s doubles semifinals, China’s no.3 seeds Luo Ying/Luo Yu defeated compatriots Ou Dongni/Xiaohan Yu 17-21, 21-19, 21-9. Ying/Yu will take on Korea’s Chang Ye Na/Jung Kyung Eun in the final since the Korean pair defeated China’s Tian Qing/Xia Huan in the other semifinal 24-22, 21-15. The mixed doubles final will be an all-Chinese affair since no.1 seeds Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei defeated Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir 21-19, 14-21, 21-11 and they will meet compatriots Xu Chen/Ma Jin, who had a walkover on compatriots Liu Cheng/Bao Yixin.