Photo credit: Tang Shi
There was another treat in the bag for the spectators and TV viewers who watched the mixed double final at Japan Open. Once again we had a match between the two best pairs in the world.
The world number 1 against the world number 2 – it sounds like it cannot get any better. There is one small note to add to this story though; Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong (number 1) have never lost to Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping (number 2) in any of their five previous encounters. Did that mean it would once again automatically be a new victory for the top seeded Zheng and Huang?
It was an even start of the match where Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong went to mid-game interval half-way through first game with a narrow 11-9 lead. After the short break the two pairs kept on following each other. Both pairs put a high pressure on each other and both pairs had problems winning any points when they had the serve.
Same procedure as last game…
The last game the two Chinese pairs was at the final of the World Championships where Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong won 21-19. It was also the two who always manage get in front with a point or two, but only to see the small gap be closed every time. At 19-19 things were still very open and Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping had their only second successful game against their compatriots in sight. But things went like they did so many times before. The world number 1 took first game 21-19.
Second game continued like all first game had been – as a very close affair. Again it was Zheng and Huang who were just one step ahead but at 9-7 in their favor the match changed completely. The world number 1 took 9 consecutive points and few minutes later the match was over. Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong won 21-8 and took their sixth win against their compatriots and world number 2 in as many attempts.
This only strengthens their solid position on the world ranking where they already had more than 14,000 points more than Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping before Japan Open. It is their 8th title in the past 12 months and with the new 11,000 points they gain for the world ranking now, they will reach a magical 100,000 world ranking points.
Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong, China vs. Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping, China 21-19 21-8
Total point score: 42-27
Total points played: 69
Length of match: 36 min
Average points per minute: 1.92
Average seconds per point: 31.30 sec
Stay tuned! There are more updates from the Japan Open finals on the way…