China come from behind to beat Indonesia for Sudirman Cup final

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-5-17 8:57:37

China's Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng(R) compete during the semifinal against Indonesia's Hendra Setiawan/Mohammad Ahsan at 2015 Sudirman Cup BWF World Mixed Team Championships in Dongguan, south China's Guangdong Province, May 16, 2015. Photo:Xinhua

Favorite China will take on either South Korea or Japan at the Sudirman Cup badminton finals after a 3-1 victory over Indonesia here on Saturday.

China, who have won five Sudirman Cups in a row since 2005, met some challenges in two double disciplines but controlled the momentum throughout. Now, the defending champions are only one step away from their sixth consecutive title of this world team championships.

Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng, London Olympic champions, failed to take the lead for the hosts as the veteran pair lost the opening men's doubles 16-21, 17-21 to Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan, the world No. 3 combination.

"We have played so many years. There is always one day when I can lose. It's difficult to keep unbeaten," said Cai Yun, the 35-year-old captain of the Chinese team. They had never beaten the Indonesian pair since 2013.

Although Cai/Fu had no chance to compete in Rio Olympics due to age and fatigue, they are still popular with Chinese fans, hailed as a combination of "Wind and Cloud".

"No regrets. This should be my last time to compete in Sudirman Cup. Now, every time when I pair with Fu Haifeng, it is a breakthrough for me," added by Cai Yun.

Cai Yun's appearance in the opening game can be seen as a strategy for China. Fu Haifeng's fixed partner in recent years is Zhang Nan. And they have a better head-to-head record against the opponents. But Zhang still needs to pair with Zhao Yunlei in the last discipline of mixed doubles.

So it was not a surprise for Indonesia to lead 1-0 before a packed arena composed of home fans at the Dongguan Sports Center, in Guangdong province.

The followings are in the hands of the defending champions. Li Xuerui, London Olympic winner, trailed 5-3 to Bellaetrix Manuputty at first, but an accidental injury of the visitor let the game finish after just seven minutes, bringing the two sides to a 1-1 draw.

"When I turned back, I saw she has kneeled down. It looked painful and I also felt sorry for her," said Li Xuerui.

The closet match was in women's doubles. The newly-assembled pair Yu Yang/Tang Yuanting overcame a first-game slump and came from behind to upset the world No. 7 Nitya Krishinda Maheswari/Greysia Polii, sealing the tie at 17-21, 21-17, 21-15.

Posted in: Eye on the ball

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