Zheng wary of new scoring system

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 March, 2006, 12:00am

Hong Kong's Wang Chen begins her campaign in the US$250,000 Aviva-Cofco China Masters Championships today hoping she can handle the new scoring system and get off to a winning start. The world number three, who received a bye in yesterday's opening round, will take on Wang Yihan of China after the latter defeated Kim Moon-hi of South Korea 21-17, 21-12.

Although Wang Chen easily Wang Yihan at the National Games in Nanjing last October, Hong Kong coach Zheng Yuming is not taking anything for granted.

'Wang Chen would easily hold the upper hand under the old system but it could be a different story under the new scoring system,' said Zheng, who is Wang Chen's husband.

'Every point counts under the new system as you do not need a service to win a point. Therefore you need to pay full attention throughout the match because a lapse of concentration will cost you dearly. We gained some experience when we played the new system in the Uber Cup qualifiers in India last month, but we still need more real matches to get used to it because it is a brand new game in terms of tactics and mental preparation.'

The coach added his charge had recovered from a bout of flu. 'She is an experienced player and she should know how to handle the situation,' he added.

The Hong Kong men's doubles team of Liu Kwok-wa and Albertus Njoto will also start in the second round when they meet little known Shen Ye and He Hanbin of China today. 'They are a young and new combination and we know little about them. We'll just take our usual approach to the game,' said Zheng.

It was a disappointing opening day for Hong Kong, however, as they lost both matches yesterday. Youngster Chau Hoi-wah and Wong Man-ching were thrashed 21-5, 21-9 by Chinese pair Yu Yang and Du Jing in the opening round of the women's doubles.

'They still have a long way to go and playing in a world-class tournament like this requires a lot more confidence,' said Zheng. 'They only started as a team in the Uber Cup qualifiers in India last month and of course they need more international exposure.'

In the men's singles, Yohan Hadikusumo Wiratama of Hong Kong also lost his opening match to Lu Yi of the host nation. Lu easily took the first set 21-5, but had to fight off a late comeback by the Hong Kong player in the following set as he sealed the match 21-18.

Most of the top players enter the tournament today. World number one and top seed Lin Dan of China will take on Dicky Palyama of the Netherlands after the latter beat Yousuke Nakanishi of Japan 2-0.

Second seed Chen Hong, also of China, will meet Lee Tsuen Seng of Malaysia who beat China's Li Yu 2-0.

In the women's singles, China's top seed Zhang Ning should have little problem against Anu Nieminen of Finland. Both players had byes in the first round. Reigning All England champion Xie Xingfang of China takes on Juliane Schenk of Germany.