Home champs Liang-Wang set to spoil it for Aaron-Soh in Tour Finals

PETALING JAYA: Chinese shuttlers Liang Weikeng-Wang Chang could pose a huge threat to national pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik in the men’s doubles competition in the World Tour Finals in Hangzhou from Dec 13-17.

World No. 1 Weikeng-Wang Chang had captured the China Masters on Sunday in front of their passionate home fans after a thrilling 21-19, 18-21, 21-19 victory over India’s reigning Asian Games gold medallists Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty.

The victory signalled the Chinese pair’s return to form after they had suffered a drop in standards since beating Aaron-Wooi Yik in the final of the China Open in September.

Weikeng-Wang Chang had suffered shock early round exits in the Asiad in Hangzhou and the Opens in Denmark and France before rebounding superbly to triumph at home.

“After becoming world No.1, we didn’t play in the Japan Masters (before the China Masters); we were training and doing some analysis,” said Wang Chang in a post match interview with the Badminton World Federation.

“This helped us produce our best performance in this tournament.”

Weikeng-Wang Chang have qualified for the prestigious Finals after finishing in third spot in the Race to Finals rankings.

Aaron-Wooi Yik, who booked their own spot as the fifth best pair, could face the Chinese pair as early as the group stages depending on the draw and need to be on their toes.

The draw will be released two days before the competition.

Aaron-Wooi Yik don’t have a good record against Weikeng-Wang Chang, having only come out on top once against the latter in their past six meetings.

The other pairs that have confirmed their spots in the Finals are Indonesia’s Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto, Shohibul Fikri-Bagas Maulana, another Chinese pair Liu Yuchen-Ou Xuanyi, South Korea’s reigning world champions Kang Min-hyuk-Seo Seung-jae, Japan’s Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi and Denmark’s Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.

Men’s singles: 1. Jonatan Christie (Ina), 2. Li Shifeng (Chn), 3. Viktor Axelsen (Den), 4. Shi Yuqi (Chn), 5. Anthony Ginting (Ina), 6. Kodai Naraoka (Jpn), 7. Anders Antonsen (Den), 8. Kunlavut Vitidsarn (Tha).

Women’s singles: 1. An Se-young (Kor), 2. Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn), 3. Chen Yufei (Chn), 4. Carolina Marin (Spa), 5. Tai Tzu-ying (Tpe), 6. Han Yue (Chn), 7. Gregoria Mariska (Ina), 8. Zhang Beiwen (US).

Men’s doubles: 1. Kang Min-hyuk-Seo Seung-jae (Kor), 2. Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto (Ina), 3. Liang Weikeng-Wang Chang (Chn), 4. Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi (Jpn), 5. Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (Mas) 6. Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (Den), 7. Shohibul Fikri-Bagas Maulana (Ina), 8. Liu Yuchen-Ou Xuanyi (Chn).

Women’s doubles: 1. Baek Ha-na-Lee So-hee (Kor), 2. Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara (Jpn), 3. Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (Chn), 4. Liu Shengshu-Tan Ning (Chn),

5. Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Shida (Jpn), 6. Kim So-yeong-Kong Hee-yong (Kor), 7. Apriyani Rahayu-Siti Fadia Ramadhanti (Ina), 8. Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai (Tha).

Mixed doubles: 1. Feng Yanzhe-Huang Dongping (Chn), 2. Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino (Jpn), 3. Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong (Chn), 4. Seo Seung-jae-Chae Yu-jung (Kor), 5. Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha), 6. Kim Won-ho-Jeong Na-eun (Kor), 7. Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei (Mas), 8. Ye Hong-wei-Lee Chia-hsin (Tpe).

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