I AM an ardent badminton fan and player and I watch the live telecast of the Super Series whenever possible. Lately, I noticed an unsporting tactic used by the Chinese players during crucial moments of a game to upset their opponents.
Whenever a Chinese player is receiving service, he will put up a hand to show he is not ready even though he is already in position. This will upset the rhythm of the server.
Those who play doubles will know that executing a good, low service is one of the most tense moments in the game.
The server will go through a preset routine, both physically and mentally, before executing the service. It requires a lot of mental strength and concentration to execute a good low service, especially during the end of the game when the score is very close or when the game goes to deuce.
It is at this crucial moment that the Chinese player receiving service will raise a hand even though he is already in position, thereby forcing the server to stop his execution of the serve and thus upsetting his rhythm.
The server will then have to start his pre-service routine all over again, and with additional stress and tension.
In the semi-final match between the Chinese and Taiwanese pairs in the recently concluded China Open, the Chinese players were resorting to this unsporting tactic in the closing stages of the third set. The Taiwanese pair lost despite holding match point twice.
The Chinese players have refined the art of using this unsporting tactic and using it at critical stages of the game and doing it in such a subtle way that the umpires are not cautioning them. This tactic is used by all the Chinese players – men and women, singles and doubles and mixed doubles.