Cramping Baek/Lee Hobble Over the Line

A two-hour women’s doubles ultramarathon ended with Baek Ha Na and Lee So Hee limping out of court, battle-weary and cramping but victorious.

It was nearly not to be, for Chiharu Shida and Nami Matsuyama came tantalisingly close after the Koreans had opened up a big lead of 17-6 in the third game. Things suddenly changed as Lee started cramping, and the Japanese slowly but surely worked their way back in, punishing the Koreans by dragging Lee back and front. The pressure fell on Baek to make up the lack of movement from her partner, but with the Japanese inching closer, she too started cramping and the Koreans were in danger of falling apart from a near-victory.

A final burst of spirited play by Lee So Hee helped the Koreans nudge the tape ahead of the stubborn Japanese, and enter their ninth final of the year, while giving them a shot at their first World Tour Finals title as a pair.

“It was a real struggle out there, and I must thank my partner for stepping up when I couldn’t move,” said Lee So Hee. “Fortunately we had a big lead in the third game, so that made it easier for us in the end.”

Other Highlights:

The men’s doubles final will feature world champions Kang Min Hyuk/Seo Seung Jae against world No.1 Liang Wei Keng/Wang Chang who progressed in contrasting fashion. While Kang/Seo demolished Liu Yu Chen/Ou Xuan Yi in straight games, Liang/Wang needed three games to get past Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto.

Chen Qing Chen is one win away from her sixth Finals title overall after she made the women’s doubles final with Jia Yi Fan. Chen has two mixed doubles titles with Zheng Si Wei and three in women’s doubles with Jia Yi Fan. Today the favourites proved too strong for young compatriots Liu Sheng Shu/Tan Ning, making the final in 50 minutes, 21-12 21-15.


BWF World Tour News

Title Sponsor