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World Championships: Women's World Champion In Shock Loss

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

May 18, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Women's singles world number one and defending world champion Ye Zhaoying of China was defeated this afternoon in a shocking first round upset at the world badminton championships in Brondby near Copenhagen, Denmark. Ye, who was bidding to become the first player ever to win three consecutive world titles in any of the five disciplines of the sport, was beaten by Kelly Morgan of Wales in three sets 11-5, 9-11 and 12-13.

Instead of entering the record books again on a high note, Ye became the first defending world champion to lose in the first round of a world championship.

The match seemed to be all Ye's in the first game. She had her trademark sliced dropshots working to near-perfection as she easily took opening set 11-5. She had the match well under control in the second set, leading at 8-2 when she seemed to lose her concentration and made three service return mistakes to give life to the player from Wales.

Morgan's tactics of lifting crosscourt from the net and clearing diagonally also began to take its toll on Ye and the Chinese player began to make more mistakes. Morgan rallied to take the second set 11-9, winning it with one of her crosscourt shots.

In the decider, Morgan continued her patient defensive style and went ahead 5-0 before she began to make many mistakes. Ye came back into the match and caught up to Morgan at 7-all. She then reached match point at 10-7 but the Welsh player saved the point with a lift at the net that Ye could not return into play.

Morgan scored three times to force tiebreak at 10-all. Ye then tallied twice to get to her second match point at 12-10, but Morgan once again was able to frustrate the world champion with another lifting shot.

The Welsh player then got a match point of her own at 12-all but Ye fought that one off and regained the serve and another match point. For a third match point, Morgan stopped Ye, this time with a shot that barely crawled over the net for a winner.

Morgan then had her second match point. In the exchange that ensued, she struck a crosscourt clear that Ye was slightly too slow to reach. The world champion hit a clearing reply but did not have enough control of the shot and sent it wide to give Morgan the upset victory.

Morgan gave credit for her upset victory to new British Olympic badminton manager Lars Sologub who gave her some helpful tips on how to play Ye and to her teammate Jo Muggeridge and her team physiotherapist who helped her train with one-against-two practice matches. She also said that when she was behind in the scoring, she decided to relax, return the shots and just enjoy the match.

According to sources close to the Chinese team, Ye has a neck injury that has stopped her from practicing properly and playing at her best. Other sources also point to a decline in Ye's play since she got married in February and since former world champion Li Lingwei stopped coaching the Chinese women's singles players.

Women's world number three Camilla Martin of Denmark almost followed Ye out of the tournament. She managed to survive a tough first-round three-setter against Ellen Angelinawati of Indonesia 9-11, 11-7 and 11-9 to move ahead to the second round.

In another big-name upset, Malaysian ace Ong Ewe Hock was beaten by Vladislav Druzchenko of Ukraine 13-15 and 3-15. According to unconfirmed reports, Ong had problems with a old leg injury.

In mixed doubles, Wahyu Agung and Ema Ermawati of Indonesia, one of the seeded pairs, were beaten by Chen Qiqiu and Huang Sui of China 7-15, 15-3 and 10-15.

Men's singles favorites Peter Gade of Denmark and Sun Jun of China as well as defending champion Peter Rasmussen of Denmark won their first round matches today. Gade beat Korean Ahn Jae Chang 15-3 and 15-7, Sun defeated Ricardo Fernandes of Portugal 15-4 and 15-5 and Rasmussen took care of Kevin Han of the USA 15-8 and 15-3. Olympic champion Poul-Erik Hoyer of Denmark was taken to a first-set tiebreak by Rio Suryana of Australia but came through with the win 17-14 and 15-5.

Gade has a tough match in the next round. He faces 1995 world champion Heryanto Arbi of Indonesia who beat Sergio Llopis of Spain today 15-5 and 15-6.

Mixed singles top-seeds Kim Dong Moon and Ra Kyung Min made it through to the third round. They beat Pavel Uvarov and Ella Karachkova of Russia 15-7 and 15-11 in the opener and then defeated Chris Hunt and Donna Kellogg of England 15-4 and 15-6.

Second seeds Simon Archer and Joanne Goode of England joined Kim and Ra in the third round, as did defending champions Liu Yong and Ge Fei of China. Archer and Goode defeated Germans Joachim Tesche and Anika Seitz 15-1 and 15-2 in the first round and China's Yang Ming and Yang Wei 15-7 and 15-1 in the second round.

Liu and Ge put out Frederik Bergstrom and Jenny Karlsson of Sweden 15-2 and 15-5 in their opener. Later in the day, they beat Valeri Shmakov and Vlada Tcherniavskaia of Belarus 15-5 and 15-7.


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