UALA LUMPUR: World No. 11 Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong scored a career first after surging past Cai Yun-Chai Biao to storm into the final of the China Open in Shanghai on Saturday. Thien How-Wee Kiong were in their element as they came up tops, winning 23-21, 21-17 against the Chinese pair.
It is the first Super Series final for the pair who have been playing together for almost two years and they certainly did it in style.
Thien How-Wee Kiong, who had already toppled the likes of Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark, and South Korea’s Ko Sung-hyun-Shin Baek-cheol in the earlier rounds, trailed 3-11 in the early stages.
But they mounted an impressive comeback and saved a game point before stealing ahead to nick the first game 23-21.
The Malaysian pair had better control in the second game and never looked back after taking a 16-15 lead.
This win certainly means Thien How-Wee Kiong will qualify for the Super Series Finals hosted by Malaysia next month, and it also avenged their third round defeat to Cai Yun in the World Championships in August.
The pair, who are well on their way to surpassing the misfiring Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, will certainly fancy a shot at winning their first title.
They will take on South Korea’s Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong in the final – a pair they beat in the French Open last month.
The Koreans just about edged out Japan’s Kenichi Hayakawa-Hiroyuki Endo 19-21, 21-19, 21-11.
But while Malaysia’s doubles department has cause to celebrate, it was agony for world No. 17 Chong Wei Feng who had no answer to China’s Chen Long in the men’s singles semi-finals.
The world No. 2 All England and Denmark Open champion was just a class above, winning 21-18, 21-7 in 47 minutes.
“I just lost my momentum in the second game,” said Wei Feng.
“I think I got my strategy wrong as well. I should have stuck with a simpler game instead of thinking of how to get points from Chen Long.
“In the second game, I made too many mistakes early on and the gap got too big eventually.”
Despite the defeat, Wei Feng can still hold his head high as it is his best result for the year and he can surely be counted upon to deliver in next month’s Myanmar SEA Games.
Wei Feng will now prepare for the Hong Kong Open which starts on Tuesday – his final tournament before the SEA Games.
China however will be assured of the women’s singles title after a resurgent Wang Shixian thrashed Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasetsuk 21-13, 21-5.
She will go on to meet world No. 1 Li Xuerui for the title.