Defending champion Datuk Lee Chong Wei was stretched to the limit by veteran Wong Choong Hann before retaining his Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold men’s singles title in an all-Malaysian affair at the Johor Baharu Indoor Stadium here Sunday.
Chong Wei, fresh from winning the Indonesian Open, had to go the extra mile before overcoming the seasoned veteran 21-8, 14-21, 21-15 in three sets.
Choong Hann who had defeated former Olympic and world champion Taufik Hidayat in the semi final yesterday, was run over by Chong Wei in the first game but pulled up his socks in the second game to show that he was not a spent force.
In the deciding set, Chong Wei, the reigning world number one, pulled out all his tricks in the bag to dash the veteran’s hopes of landing his first title of the year.
In the women’s singles, Yip Pui Yin, the number three seed, pulled off a brilliant 21-16, 14-21, 21-19 three set victory over second seeded Zhou Mi in an all-Taiwanese affair.
The men’s doubles which also saw an all-Indonesian affair, favoured Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan who beat Hendra Gunawan/Alvent Yulianto 8-21, 21-17, 21-12.
Malaysia’s Ng sisters, Hui Lin/Hui Ern who featured in the final of the women’s doubles, put up a credible performance against Thai pair Duanganong Aroonkesorn/Kunchala Varavichitchaikul but it was not good enough to secure the title for the youngsters who eventually lost 21-12, 17-21, 13-21.
In the mixed doubles final, Devin Lahardi Fitriawan/Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia defeated third seed Sudket Prapakamol/Saralee Thoungthongkam of Thailand 13-21, 21-16, 21-17 to clinch the title.
Probably for the first time, all the titles were decided in three-set ties, giving enough thrills and spills for the local fans, especially those in Johor Baharu.
Winners in the singles competitions received USD9,000 (RM29,000) cash while the runners-up received USD4,560 (RM14,592).
Winners in the doubles competitions took home USD9,480 (RM30,336) while the runners-up received RM4,560 (RM14,592).