Birmingham: The 22-year-old and No. 7 seed Shi Yuqi refused to walk away from his second consecutive All England final empty-handed, showing his determination to rise to the top of the badminton world by sweeping aside six-time All England winner Lin Dan in the All England Open final on Sunday.
Shi was playing like Viktor Axelsen with speed and quick powerful smashes to claim the first set 21-19. However, after levelling the score at 14-14, Shi made several uncharacteristic errors that allowed Lin to steal the second set 21-16.
Lin looked worn out as his speed, steadiness and athleticism were no match of Shi Yuqi’s stamina and accuracy in the decider. Shi quickly pulled away with a 10-1, 15-5 lead, before Shi scored the match point and fell on the court for celebration after Lin Dan’s left net shot couldn’t made it over to Shi’s side.
“Lin Dan is undoubtedly a great player no matter I win or lose in today’s match,” said Shi.
“Last year, I was a little nervous in the final, and couldn’t play the playing style I suppose to play. Today, I just played like what I should be playing as a young player, keeping the pressure on my opponent,” added Shi.
In men’s doubles, the “Fast and Furious” World No. 1 Indonesian pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo defeated Denmark’s Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen 21-18, 21-17 to lift their second All England title.
“This is the oldest and very prestigious tournament, and I always feel very easy to play here,” said Sukamuljo.
“I am disappointed, it was a close match, but they are the better pair today. We could have won that match, it was the small mistakes and lucky points,” said Mogensen.
Prior to Sunday’s All England final, Boe/Mogensen had an upper hand over the Indonesians with a 4-3 career meeting record. Gideon/Sukamuljo took home USD $74K after the victory.