Liu Shiwen Defeats Seong Ha Jung
to Reach Guangzhou Women’s Singles Final
China’s Liu Shiwen, the no.1 seed, beat Korea’s Seok Ha Jung at the semi-final stage of the Women’s Singles event at the Evergrande Real Estate Asian Cup in Guangzhou on Saturday 27th March 2010, to book her place in the final.
In the “Battle of Liaoning” Liu Shiwen won 10-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 10-12, 11-6
Both players originate from Liaoning Province in northern China as do Li Xiaoxia and Wang Yue Gu also competing in the tournament; Liu Shiwen later moved to Guangzhou; whilst Seok Ha Jung, formerly Shi Hejing, travelled across the seas to compete in the powerful Korean Companies League.
Style Suits Korean
It was Liu Shiwen who made the better start; she captured the opening game being the more consistent player; however Seok Ha Jung was comfortable in the rallies.
The style of play executed by Liu Shiwen is to her liking; the problem always for Seok Ha Jung is when playing a defender. Thankfully from her point of view there are no backspin players in the whole tournament; when it comes to topspin play against block or topspin versus topspin then Seok Ha Jung excels.
In the second game Seok Ha Jung proved that fact; she captured the game with consistent heavy topspin play, the early attacks being directed primarily towards the body of her adversary.
The reverse brought a sigh of sadness from the Guangzhou crowd then in the third game it was “Jia You Liu Shiwen, Jia You”; basically more steam, play harder.
Liu Shiwen may be petite, she may have the appearance of a precious China doll who will dissolve into to tears if pressure mounts; don’t be fooled, there is a steely desire to win, an inner determination and bucketfuls of bravery.
In the fourth games, Liu Shiwen started proceedings the more aggressive player; Seok Ha Jung was very much following the rhythm of the Chinese star.
Determination was written across her face as she stayed close to the table and increased the speed of the game. In order for Seok Ha Jung to gain success she needed Liu Shiwen to make mistakes. Liu Shiwen did not oblige.
In the fourth game, Liu Shiwen started aggressively but Seok Ha Jung was not going to lay down and die.
Liu Shiwen made the better start but a 7-all the scores were level; then two errors from the racket of Liu Shiwen and Seok Ha Jung held a two point lead; the next point went to Liu Shiwen; Korean coach Kang He Chan called “Time Out”.
The next point went to the Korea, two game points; furthermore, Seok Ha Jung was serving. Both game points were saved but then the next two points went the way of Seok Ha Jung, the deficit was down to one game.
The sixth game started with Liu Shiwen in a positive frame of mind. She attacked quickly, staying close to the table to give Seok Ha Jung minimal time to react.
She forced Seok Ha Jung into a “half distance” position; she won the game 11-6 and was in the final; her bravery had once again shone through.