TOUGH FIGHT: China pair show their class in Changzhou
MIXED doubles Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying fought valiantly but local favourites Xu Chen-Ma Jin packed enough firepower to reach the final of the China Masters in Changzhou yesterday.
Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, who were thrashed by Xu Chen-Ma Jin in the London Olympics last month, battled for 66 minutes but fell to a 21-18, 15-21, 21-11 defeat in the semi-finals.
Despite the defeat, Peng Soon-Liu Ying will move one rung from eighth to seventh position in the world ranking next week and further inroads in the Japan Open, beginning on Tuesday, will see them push for a top five position this year.
Liu Ying had already suffered an embarrassment in the women's doubles earlier when she and Lim Yin Loo were hammered 21-1, 21-14 by top seeds Bao Yixin-Zhong Qianxin of China.
In the men's singles, top seed Chen Long of China received a walkover from compatriot Du Pengyu in the last four and will meet Hu Yun of Hong Kong, who defeated Ajay Jayaram of India 21-16, 21-18, in the final.
The China Masters has turned into a sideshow as the top players who competed in the London Olympics skipped the event.
However, the top seeds will compete in the Japan Open, including Olympic champion Lin Dan of China and Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei, next week.
RESULTS -- (All S-Finals) Men's Singles: Chen Long (Chn) w.o. Du Pengyu (Chn); Hu Yun (HK) bt Ajay Jayaram (Ind) 21-16, 21-18.
Doubles: Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa (Jpn) bt Issara Bodin-Maneepong Jongjit (Tha) 21-18, 19-21, 21-11; Chai Biao-Zhang Nan (Chn) bt Hong Wei-Shen Ye (Kor) 21-13, 23-21.
Women's Singles: Jiang Yanjiao (Chn) bt P.V. Sindhu (Ind) 21-10, 14-21, 21-19; Wang Yihan (Chn) bt Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) 21-13, 21-9.
Doubles: Bao Yixin-Zhong Qianxin (Chn) bt Goh Liu Ying-Lim Yin Loo (Mas) 21-1, 21-14; Cheng Shu-Luo Yu (Chn) bt Shizuka Matsuo-Mami Naito (Jpn) 21-16, 21-13.
Mixed Doubles: Xu Chen-Ma Jin (Chn) bt Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) 21-18, 15-21, 21-11; Qiu Zihan-Tang Jinhua (Chn) bt Sudket Prapakamol-Saralee Thungthongkam (Tha) 21-16, 19-21, 21-17.