TOKYO — Bao Chunlai shocked Athens Olympic gold medallist Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia to make it a Chinese double at the Japan Open Sunday after Wang Yihan won the women’s crown.
The unseeded Asian champion, who previously eliminated third seed Peter Gade of Denmark and Vietnam’s Tien Minh Nguyen, the eighth seed, powered his way to a 21-15, 21-12 win.
Earlier, defending champion Wang Yihan chalked up a 21-8, 21-9 victory over Wang Xin in an all-Chinese final to retain the women’s singles title.
"When I reached the final for the first time here, I was still young and I was nervous. Today, I was able to play my very best," said Bao, the runner-up in 2004.
"Lin Dan and Chen Jin stayed away this week and I was alone with Chen Long, so I played against players from other countries. That made me more comfortable to play. Although I felt pressure, I prepared very well," he added.
Bao’s gameplan was to move the Indonesian around by hitting well-controlled shots.
"I played patient. That’s why I won. Besides, Taufik didn’t move as well as I had expected. I expected it would be a tougher match, so I was surprised that I won in two games," said Bao.
It was his fourth title of the season, following victories in the German Open, the Asian championships and the Singapore Open.
In the women’s clash, Wang Xin hit several effective drop shots to stay with her opponent in the first game and the players were level at 7-7.
But Wang Yihan then began to dominate, taking the next 11 points with several winners following quick attacks at the net.
She surged into an early 4-0 lead in the second game as Wang Xin lapsed into making errors, and the defending champion never looked back.
"I’m very happy to win the title for a second year running," said Wang Yihan, 21.
"She is my team-mate, so I knew how she would play. I prepared for this match very well yesterday. I think both of us played our very best. Hopefully I can win other big titles in the future as well," she said.
Wang Yihan said she had improved in every aspect — strokes, physical strength, and control of the shuttlecock — since she won her first Super Series victory here last year.
It was her fifth title of the season, after the All England, German Open, Swiss Open and Macau Open crowns.