LEE Chong Wei was not fluent but did just enough to beat long-time rival Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia for his fourth consecutive Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold title in Johor Baru yesterday.
Chong Wei dropped the first game against Sony, who has been troubled by injuries for the last two years, but came back strongly to win 17-21, 21-8, 21-10 in 50 minutes. Sony, who last played Chong Wei in the 2010 Indonesia Open, looked to be in the mood and put the World No 1 under a lot of pressure in the first game to win 21-17.
However, Chong Wei broke away after that by playing his trademark attacking game and Sony was unable to adjust to the change of pace and failed to match the Malaysian in the second and third games.
Chong Wei said the fact that he has not played Sony for a long time now had him struggling a little in the first game. "It has been a long time since I played Sony. He used to play an aggressive game but now he rallies a lot and it took me some time to adapt to his style," said Chong Wei. "So I started playing a more aggressive game and managed to take control of the match.
"I have achieved my target of winning a fourth title and the focus now is on preparing for the Thomas Cup Finals where we will train a week at home and another week in China (Dongguan) before the event in Wuhan.
"Although our team are not as strong as previously, we will still be fighting as a unit.
"I am not 100 per cent yet but I have another two weeks to prepare. I hope our inexperienced players will give their everything for the nation."
In the women’s singles, Busanan Ongbumrungpan of Thailand announced her arrival on the international stage by upstaging Sayaka Takahashi of Japan 21-17, 22-20 to win her first title.