Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan officially split

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Wish Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan all the best with their respective new partners. (photo: AFP)
Wish Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan all the best with their respective new partners. (photo: AFP)

Beijing: The partnership of 2017 men’s doubles world champions Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan has ended where both players will be playing with their respective new partners in upcoming tournaments.

According to the World Tour Super 1000 Indonesia Open drawing, Zhang Nan will be playing with Ou Xuanyi while Zhang Nan will partner Huang Kaixiang.

Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan’s ranking has slipped to World No. 14 in the latest BWF ranking released early this week. They have participated in 6 tournaments this season, and their best results were quarter-finals appearances at the All England and the Malaysia Open. Even though both have signed up for the Australian Open that concluded on June 9, 2019, they withdrew from the tournament at the last minute, prompted speculations that their partnership has been dismantled.

In fact, the speculation appeared to be correct. Since the Olympic qualification has just begun, the split-up may give Liu and Zhang a better option to seek Olympic qualifications with their new partners.

Zhang Nan started to partner with Liu Cheng after his ex-partner, Fu Haifeng officially retired in 2017. Zhang and Liu were able to clinch the Glasgow World Championships in 2017 after a short period of partnership. However, after winning the 2017 World Championships, Zhang Nan/Liu Cheng seemed to have ran into bottlenecks and failed to achieve a bigger breakthrough than the 2017 World Championships.

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