Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia maintained his perfect record against Kenichi Tago, seeing off the challenge of the Japanese player to win the India Open badminton tournament in New Delhi on Sunday.
NEW DELHI – Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia maintained his perfect record against Kenichi Tago, seeing off the challenge of the Japanese player to win the India Open badminton tournament in New Delhi on Sunday.
The Malaysian, ranked number one in the world, needed just over an hour to down a battling Tago 21-15, 18-21, 21-17 for his 13th victory over his opponent in as many matches.
In the women’s singles, Thai teenager Ratchanok Intanon claimed her maiden Super Series title with an impressive 22-20, 21-14 victory over second-seeded German Juliane Schenk.
Lee and Tago entertained a near-capacity crowd with some exciting badminton, with the Malaysian eventually ending the match with a smash to claim his second India Open title in three years.
Top-seeded Lee was the winner in 2011 and runner-up last year.
Sixth-seeded Tago lost the opening game but raised his performance to level the match and gave his illustrious opponent some anxious moments in the decider.
Lee led 16-9 in the final game, only to see the margin cut to 17-16. The Malaysian then won three points in a row to make it 20-16, with the Japanese saving one match point before slipping to defeat.
"It was a tough match as Tago did very well. I have played him a lot of times and hope to keep winning against him," said Lee.
"Thanks to Indian fans who came to support me today. Last time, I lost in the final at the India Open, but this time I won," said Lee. "I am very happy with my performance."
Third-seeded Ratchanok, 18, trailed 10-5 in the opening game but came back strongly to lead 20-13. But she was forced to wait as Schenk saved seven game points before losing 22-20.
Ratchanok looked in control in the second game, building an 18-12 lead before completing her sixth victory over the German in nine matches.
"I am very excited to win my first Super Series title. I lost seven points in a row (after leading 20-13 in the opening game) as I tried to finish the game in a hurry," she said.
Schenk, who lost to Ratchanok at the 2012 London Olympics, said her opponent played better on "deciding points".
Chinese pair Liu Xiaolong and Qiu Zihan claimed the men’s doubles title with a 22-20, 21-18 over South Koreans Ko Sung-Hyun and Lee Yong-Dae.
Japan’s Miyuki Maeda and Satoko Suetsuna won the women’s doubles when they rallied to down Denmark’s Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl 12-21, 23-21, 21-18.
Top-seeded Indonesians Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir won the mixed doubles, defeating South Koreans Ko Sung-Hyun and Kim Ha-Na 21-16, 21-13.