HONG KONG — Olympic and four-time world champion Lin Dan crushed Chen Jin 21-12, 21-19 in an all-Chinese men’s singles final at the Hong Kong Open on Sunday, drawing an emphatic line under a recent indifferent spell.
Victory over 2010 world champion Chen in the $250,000 event was just the second Super Series title of the year for third-ranked "Super Dan", the sport’s most decorated player, who won his fourth world crown in London in August.
Lin, who ended the hopes of Malaysian arch-rival and world number one Lee Chong Wei in the semi-finals, proved too strong for Chen in front of a sizeable crowd at the Hong Kong Coliseum.
After a closely fought opening to the match, left-handed Lin won seven consecutive points to seal the first game 21-12. He hit a total of eight smash winners, always looking in control against his fifth-ranked opponent.
The second game was a closely fought affair as a dogged Chen stayed in touch with Lin but the world champion eventually wrapped it up 21-19, sealing the match in just 31 minutes.
Lin said he felt that the air conditions in the indoor arena were a little different from those he had experienced in the semi-final, and that had affected Chen, who had made "some careless mistakes".
"It’s been a long time since I won the Hong Kong Open," said Lin, who last won the event in the southern Chinese territory in 2007.
"In between there were two or three years I didn’t play very well so that’s why I didn’t win but it’s good to win this time."
And Lin said the crowd was not as fired up for the final as it had been for his clash against Lee in the semis.
"Compared to yesterday, competing against Lee Chong Wei, the audience response was not as big," he added.
The 28-year-old Beijing Olympic champion, who won the Korea Open earlier this season, has courted controversy by forfeiting matches against Chinese teammates through injury or illness.
Lin, who has now won five Hong Kong titles, was forced to pull out of last month’s French Open semi-final against Japan’s Kenichi Tago when in sight of victory following an early exit at the Denmark Open.
An injury-blighted season also saw him concede a walkover to Chinese teammate Chen Long in the semi-final of September’s Japan Open.
In Sunday’s women’s singles final, China’s Wang Xin, ranked third, beat Danish veteran Tine Baun 21-17, 21-14 in just 30 minutes.
Wang sealed her third successive Super Series title, becoming the first female singles player to do so, edging a tight opening game but stamping her authority on the second game to take it easily.
In the men’s doubles Chinese top-ranked pair Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng beat South Korea’s Jung Jae-Sung and Lee Yong-Dae in a thriller 14-21, 24-22, 21-19.
Top-ranked Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of China beat compatriots Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei in the women’s doubles final after the second-ranked pair were forced to retire trailing 12-21, 2-14.
In the mixed doubles final, China’s Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei beat Denmark’s Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen 15-21, 21-17, 21-17.