HCM CITY — Viet Nam’s top male badminton player Nguyen Tien Minh won his second Viet Nam Open title with the bonus of US$3,750 after defeating Malaysian fourth seed Chong Wei Feng in the men’s singles final at Phan Dinh Phung Gymnasium in HCM City yesterday.
The victory is the culmination of a triumphant year for the world No 7, who won the SCG Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold 2009 in July and the Yonex Chinese Taipei Grand Prix 2009 Gold in August.
It is also Minh’s seventh international title. Previous wins include the Malaysia Satellite in 2004, the Viet Nam Satellite in 2006 and in 2008 and the Viet Nam Open in 2008.
The 26-year-old had to fight hard against the world No 58, whom he beat 21-7, 19-21, 21-14 in 55 minutes.
In the first set, the Malaysian seemed intimidated by the home crowd and conceded lamely 21-7.
In the second set, Chong showed more poise, giving Minh fewer chances. When the set reached 18-all, Minh made three unforced errors to allow Chong to level the score.
In the decider, Chong took the first point but then quickly fell behind.
"After an easy first set, I did not know why I became less active in the second set and I just tried to drain my opponent of energy," Minh said.
"Choong seemed to tire in the third set. He slowed down and his shots were less accurate."
Minh will next compete in the Hong Kong Super Series, after which he will play in the 25th SEA Games in Laos next December.
Fifth-seeded Fransisca Ratnasari of Indonesia defeated Chinese Taipei giant killer Tzu Ying Tai in the women’s singles final in three sets – 21-19, 15-21, 21-13 – to take the title.
In the men’s doubles, Indonesian seventh seeds world No 57 Luluk Hadiyanto and Joko Riyadi clinched the title by defeating Malaysian sixth seeds Thien How Hoon and Soon Hock Ong 21-19, 22-20.
Indonesian top seeds Anneke Feinya Augustine and Annisa Wahyuni easily beat Savitree Amitrapai and Vacharaporn Munkit of Thailand 21-14, 21-13 to take the women’s doubles title.
In the first match of the tournament, newly formed pair Flendy Limpele (Indonesian) and Wen Hsing Cheng (Chinese Taipei) edged out world No 25 Malaysian top seeds Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh 25-23, 21-19 in the mixed doubles.
Vietnamese players made it to through to the semi-finals.
Previously, Viet Nam’s top female badminton player number eight seed Le Ngoc Nguyen Nhung performed impressively after a period of absence to study to reach her first Grand Prix semi-final.
The 25-year-old recovered from a set down to beat Indonesian Fanetri 14-21, 21-13, 21-12 in the quarter-finals.
Nhung lost 21-11, 21-23, 21-14 to Chinese Taipei’s Tzu Ying.
This year’s tournament did not go according to script, with a number of big names being ousted.
Second seed Andre Kurniawan Tedjono, a semi-finalist last year and finalist in 2007, failed to make it into the quarter-finals after being downed by compatriot eighth seed Tommy Sugiarto, while Indonesian third seed Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka exited in the third round after losing to compatriot Andreas Adityawarnman.
Women’s singles defending champion and second seed Zhang Beiwen of Singapore was ousted by fifth seed Fransisca Ratnasari of Indonesia in the quarter-finals, while Indonesian top seed Maria Febe Kusumastuti was surprisingly eliminated by Chinese Taipei non-seed Tzu Ying Tai.
Defending champions and top seeds Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah, who were once the world No 1, suffered a shock defeat at the hands of seventh seeds Luluk Hadiyanto and Joko Riyadi. The Indonesian duo needed just 30 minutes to see off Lee and Choong 21-17, 22-10 in the semi-finals.