PETALING JAYA: World No. 1 Chong Wei turned the tables on his bitter rival Lin Dan to regain the Swiss Open men’s singles title in Basel yesterday.
After losing to the Chinese superstar in the final of the preceding All-England in Birmingham last week, Chong Wei, who won the Swiss Open title in 2006 and was the runner-up to Lin Dan last year, gave a much better performance to beat the Olympic champion 21-16, 21-16 in 52 minutes.
It was the sixth time in 18 meetings that Chong Wei managed to beat Lin Dan.
His previous win over the Chinese was in the Thomas Cup (world men’s team championship) semi-final tie in Jakarta last May before crashing to tame defeats in the final of the Beijing Olympics, China Open and the All-England.
But yesterday, it was the 27-year-old Chong Wei’s turn to take glory in his fourth consecutive Super Series final appearance this year. He was the champion in the season-opening Malaysian Open and was the runner-up in the Korean Open.
Chong Wei and Lin Dan qualified for the final in contrasting fashions on Saturday.
The Malaysian dropped a game against unheralded Dane Jan O Jorgensen before securing a 21-12, 20-22, 21-9 win in 51 minutes while Lin Dan cruised to a 21-13, 21-14 win over compatriot Chen Jin.
Chong Wei was delighted to get the better of Lin Dan.
“This is also the first title I won outside Malaysia since I became the world No. 1 after the Olympics last August.
“I just told myself I had nothing to lose but to give my best,” he said in a telephone interview. Singles chief coach Rashid Sidek also felt that Chong Wei was able to play because he did not put pressure on himself to win the match.
“Lin Dan did not looked that sharp today and most of his shots were off target. But it did not take anything away from Chong Wei as he still played a quality game,” said Rashid.
In the women’s singles, 21-year-old Wang Yihan bagged a hat-trick of titles in three consecutive tournaments in Europe. The German Open and All-England champion beat compatriot Jiang Yanjiao 21-17, 17-21, 21-13 in 59 minutes to lift the Swiss Open title as well.