She may have found herself in unfamiliar waters, but Liu Xin had the strength to push through.
Perspiring profusely after the game, the Chinese shuttler still more than happy to answer as many question as the media posed; and why not? It was after all, a big day in her career. Not only is she playing in her first Asian Badminton Championships, but the shuttler also registered the best result of her career by making it to the semifinals of the coveted event.
For the unheralded Xin, it has been a momentous journey all the way from qualification, through the main draw. She breezed past the initial hurdles, beating her opponents without even dropping a game. Then, she came up against the eight seed, Japanese Sayaka Sato, who she dispatched with élan to enter the quarterfinals. And on Friday Xin beat Aditi Mutatkar of India in straight games to announce her arrival in the semifinals.
The shuttler’s progress is significant also because she is one of the three ‘replacement’ players coming in for the top Chinese talent, reflecting the depth of talent in their ranks. Xin is ranked 20th in China.
China are defending the Uber Cup crown, and since the finals begin on May 8, the team decided to field its second-string.
An understudy of Zhang Ning, the former world champion and the current national women’s coach, Xin doesn’t have any future plans. But as far as this championship is concerned, she does have road map.
“Earlier, I would think about too many things. Now, I am going to take one match at a time and will try to put my best foot forward,” said the Chinese.
The shuttler hasn’t played many international tournaments, but hope to change that. “This result should bring me happy news,” Xin said.