SAR star blows her chance to banish gold jinx
Hong Kong's highest-profile mainland star Wang Chen squandered a great chance to lay to rest her gold medal jinx yesterday, losing 3-1 to unseeded home player Ellen Angelina in the Indonesian Open women's singles final.
Wang must have thought her chances of winning were excellent when she replaced world number one Zhou Mi as the tournament's top seed. A number of teams including the Chinese decided to pull out of the tournament amid security fears in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.
Things also looked good after Indonesia's number one and second-seed Lidya Djaelawijaya suffered a shock defeat to Angelina in the semi-finals.
But the Jiangsu-born world number nine failed to contain the 56th-ranked Indonesian who had the crowd cheering every time she won a point.
'It's a disappointing result. She was too eager to win it quickly and she made too many mistakes when attacking. It's the first time she played in front of such a huge crowd in a final,' said Hong Kong coach Chan Chi-choi after Wang was beaten 5-7, 7-3, 7-1, 7-2.
'The Indonesian managed to keep her nerve and stayed focused. She displayed a consistent game throughout the match.'
It was the second time Wang had to settle for the silver medal in a five-star event since she moved to Hong Kong two years ago. She finished second to Danish star Camilla Martin in the same event last year. The 25-year-old also had a fine run before losing to Olympic champion Gong Zhichao in the semi-finals at the Malaysian Open a week ago.
Wang should not be too downhearted as she prepares for the Grand Prix finals in Brunei later this month. She said she hoped to finish in the top four by topping the group in which she was drawn against mainlander Dai Yun and Holland's former Indonesian star Mia Audina.
Angelina emerged as the find of the tournament as she also took the scalp of another Hong Kong star, world number 19 Ling Wang-ting, in the third round. The SAR's number three female player Koon Wai-chee fared better by reaching the quarter-finals.
In the men's singles, Hong Kong's new star Agus Hariyanto, an Indonesian-Chinese, made it to the quarter-finals, losing to Indonesia's Marleve Mainaky.