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All-England: Ye Wins Third All-England Crown

** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is presented by YANG YANG Badminton Products and their Western USA agents BADMINTON ALLEY. **

March 14, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Women's singles world champion Ye Zhaoying of China captured her third consecutive All-England title today when she beat teammate Dai Yun in the championship match of the one hundredth edition of the All-England Open badminton tournament in Brmingham, England 9-11, 11-5 and 11-1.

Ye started off poorly and erratically against the lefthanded Dai. She was very quickly behind Dai 0-6, and although she mounted a comeback once she found Dai's backhand corner with her strokes, the lead was too much even for a world champion. Dai managed to keep her nose ahead and took the game 11-9 with the set winner coming on a crosscourt half-smash.

Ye had Dai's number in the second set, sending the shuttle to Dai's backhand to get either a weak round-the-head drop or backhand reply. She combined this tactic with her tight netshots and deceptive sliced drops to take and keep the lead late into the set. Ahead at 8-5, Ye used a well-disguised delayed half drive to the backline to score and close in on the game. After swapping service turns, Dai made two mistakes that handed Ye the set at 11-5.

The world champion's game was on-song in the decider while Dai's game went sore. Ye raced to a 7-0 lead before Dai managed to sneak a point in. The single was all Dai could muster with Ye doing all the scoring afterwards - point 8 with a round-the-head dropshot, point nine with a Dai backhanded dropshot miscue, point ten with an out-of-bounds Dai atacking clear, and the championship winner with a backhanded tapshot at the net off a crosscourt netshot from Dai.

Ye's feat marks the first time that the same player has taken the All-England women's singles title three consecutive times since Judy Devlin Hashman, the Irish-American-turned-Briton, won four in a rown in 1964.

Koreans Ra Kyung Min and Chung Jae Hee won the women's doubles title. They beat China's Huang Sui and Lu Ying 15-6 and 15-8. Ra and Chung were more of a team than Huang and Lu today. The Koreans worked their rotating attack well while the Chinese pair often found themselves hesitating especially when the shuttle was directed in between them. Ra and Chung also were able to turn the attack more often that Huang and Lu, with the Koreans having learned to use the flat block while Huang and Lu had to rely more on the more tiring and rally-prolonging crosscourt liftblocks.

Indonesians Chandra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan took the men's doubles title. They defeated defending champions Lee Dong Soo and Yoo Yung Sung of Korea 15-7 and 15-8. The Indonesians who had lost to Lee and Yoo in last year's final werea different pair this year. Gunawan was more sure of himself in both the front and rear courts and he worked well with Wijaya. The Indonesians were more than able to match up with Lee and Yoo's vaunted lightning drives and smash attacks, and oftentimes, it was the Korean pair who would make the rally-ending mistake.


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