Women beat the odds
Just 24 hours after qualifying for the Uber Cup finals for the first time, Hong Kong achieved another one for the record books when they reached the final of the regional qualifying competition in Melbourne yesterday. And the local women were celebrating after they defeated one of the world's most feared teams, Indonesia, 3-2 to advance to the final against South Korea, who blanked Japan 3-0 in the other semi-final.
Although the team has already qualified for the Uber Cup finals in Guangzhou in May and these results are now purely academic, it was another fillip for Hong Kong coach Chan Chi-choi. 'It's a great result because Indonesia are considered one of the strongest teams in the world. Indonesia produces some of the world's best players so it was great result for us to beat them even though the results have no bearing,' said Chan.
Like their previous match against Japan on Friday, Hong Kong left it until the deciding rubber to produce the shock of the tournament when Wang Chen and Koon Wai-chee beat Emma Ermawati and Eny Erlangga 5-7, 7-4, 7-2, 7-1 in doubles. Wang gave Hong Kong a 1-0 lead when she beat Atu Rosalina 7-0, 7-0, 7-2. Ling Wan-ting came back from two games down to edge Ellen Angelina 4-7, 0-7, 7-5, 7-3, 7-4.
Indonesia's Novita Sari Dian defeated Siu Ching-man 7-5, 7-4, 7-0 and Deyana Lomban and Marisa Vita levelled matters when they defeated Li and Ling 7-5, 7-1, 7-1 in the opening doubles match. But Koon and Wang had the better of their more heralded opponents in the deciding doubles match. 'We have nothing to lose against Korea in the final,' said Chan. 'We will try to relax and not think too much about getting a result.'