Fuzhou Jing’an: The 2015-2016 season of China Badminton Super League officially kicked off on Tuesday with a fun mixed doubles match where Lee Chong Wei partnered Li Xuerui to defeat the combination of Chen Long and Tai Tzu-ying 21-16, 21-17 in a spirited exhibition.
Both Lee and Li started fast in the first set, as they quickly sailed to a 5-1 lead. Chen Long and Tai Tzu-Ying soon battled back to level the score at 6-6 and were leading 11-10 at the interval. However, Lee Chong Wei and Li Xuerui quickly got back into rhythm and overtook Chen/Tai to win the first set 21-16. It’s clear that Tai Tzu-Ying who currently ranked world No. 5 in women’s singles was having difficulty adjusting to the mixed doubles format when she committed several unforced errors at the end of first set.
Mixing their game with lethal smashes from Lee Chong Wei and beautiful net shots from Li Xuerui, the Lee/Li combination broke into the second set with a 10-8 lead and held on to extend the lead to 19-14.
The crowd got really into the match when Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long traded several brilliant shots that ended with a smash from Chen towards Li Xuerui allowing Chen/Tai to close the gap at 16-19. Imposing their fast tempo of play, Lee Chong Wei/Li Xuerui produced several energetic rallies at the end of second set to eventually cross the finish line by clinching the second set 21-17.
It is worth mentioning that including the China Open final that was held on Nov 15, 2015, and the Hong Kong Open quarter-finals that was held on Nov 20, 2015, this was the third time Lee Chong Wei has defeated Chen Long over a span of 17 days (or 16 days, depends on how you count it).
Based on the Sudirman Cup format, the new season of China Badminton Super League would consist total of 8 teams from Jiangsu, Guangdong, Shandong, Hunan, Liaoning and Zhejiang province. The China Badminton Super League also signed with three league sponsors Li-Ning, YONEX and Victor in the new season, so that players such as Lee Chong Wei or Lin Dan who are sponsored by YONEX do not need to sit out during a tie due to conflict between the sponsor of Lee and Lin and the sponsor of the league.