Tears of joy as China lift Uber Cup  
Published on 27/05/2012     Source : New Straits Times

World No 1 Wang Yihan dramatically survived four match points in an epic singles contest as hosts China won the women's Uber Cup yesterday, laying to rest the ghosts of two years ago

"I saw the Uber Cup and thought, 'what if I lose the match again like 2010?'. But then it made me more determined to prove that wrong," said Wang Yihan after the 14-21, 22-20, 21-13 win lasting nearly 90 minutes.

"I never thought I would cry on court but when I shouted suddenly I felt tears, and then when I hugged Li Yongbo (China's head coach) I saw there were tears in his eyes too. It was a very emotional match," Wang Yihan said.

All week the World No 1 had said it was her responsibility to bring the Uber Cup back home since the South Koreans broke China's run of six consecutive wins in 2010.

Wang Yihan had rushed ahead in the first game as South Korea's World No 11, Sung Ji Hyun, looked stiff on court, nerves and tiredness taking their toll after a week of some punishing late-night thrillers.

But taking animated orders from Sung Han Kook, her coach and father on the sidelines, the South Korean clawed her way back and as she edged ahead as Wang Yihan's game began to unravel.

The cool Ji Hyun closed out the first game and went ahead in the second, attacking fiercely and also benefiting from a host of Wang Yihan smashes that went wide.

The battle at the net was fierce, drop shot against drop shot, the shuttle barely clearing the net. As the South Korean reached four match points, the partisan Wuhan crowd fell to near-silence.

On the sidelines, coach Yongbo told Wang Yihan to stop going for the lines: "He said I shouldn't try to be so precise because that is not my strength."

Her sheer determination and refusal to give up took her on a stunning six-point winning streak, while Ji Hyun's game fell apart, the chance of a fantastic upset so close forcing her into careless mistakes.

Once level going into the third and final game, Wang Yihan never looked back.

"I have a bad habit of letting players reach match point. It is my weakness and I did it again today. I have to overcome this," Wang Yihan said afterwards.

After her emotional triumph, the first doubles pairing Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli never gave the South Koreans a chance to get a grip on their match, setting the stage for World No Wang Xin to secure the Cup for China.

The 3-0 win makes it China's 12th Uber Cup victory since the competition began in 1957.

The Chinese men's team will look to make it a double victory over the South Koreans when they contest the Thomas Cup today.

Results -- Uber Cup Final

China 3 S. Korea 0: Wang Yihan bt Sung Ji Hyun 14-21, 22-20, 21-13; Yu Yang-Wang Xiaoli bt Kim Min Jung-Ha Jung Eun 21-15 21-13; Wang Xin bt Bae Youn Joo 21-10, 21-16.



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