Jakarta. Taufik Hidayat’s latest triumph should help quiet all the doubters who questioned whether Indonesia’s best shuttler still had what it took to win on the biggest stage.
Taufik beat Joachim Persson of Denmark, 21-16, 21-11, to win the men’s singles title at the French Open Super Series in Paris on Sunday.
It was Taufik’s first Super Series victory in four years, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the former world and Olympic champion, who will head to this week’s Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, with momentum on his side.
For someone who had gone so long without a Super Series title, Taufik made it look easy in Paris. He didn’t drop a game or even allow an opponent to score more than 18 points on his way to the title. Along the way, he found a measure of redemption for a season that looked to be headed toward another disappointing ending.
His win over Persson came a week after Taufik was routed in the final of the Denmark Open.
Prior to Denmark, Taufik had lost in two other finals this season. He fell to Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the world championships in Paris and the Indonesia Open.
But Taufik wouldn’t be denied this time, taking down the eighth-seeded Persson in 36 minutes and sending a message that he is a threat for a second straight gold medal at the Asian Games, where Lin Dan and China’s other top shuttlers await.
Taufik advanced to Sunday’s final by beating Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand 21-13, 21-14, while Persson beat fellow Dane Peter Hoeg Gade 21-14, 16-21, 21-17. Gade was the tournament’s top seed.
In other finals on Sunday, Matthias Boe and Carsten Mogensen beat Ingo Kindervater and Johannes Schottler 21-15, 21-19 to win the men’s doubles title.
In women’s singles, Wang Yihan routed Li Xuerui 21-13, 21-9 in an all-China final. The women’s doubles and mixed doubles finals were played after press time.
The other Indonesian shuttlers who made it through to the semifinals on Saturday were Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan in men’s doubles.
They failed to join Taufik on the final day, though, losing a tough three-setter to Kindervater and Schottler, 13-21, 21-17, 22-20.