Georgetown: Malaysian badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei who has won the Malaysia Masters title four times – 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, hit a forceful smash to capture his fifth Malaysia Masters title on Sunday.
Playing against his junior Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Lee did not take his opponent lightly in the men’s singles final. Zainuddin put up tough challenge for Lee in the first set where he fought from 10-14 to level the score at 14-14. Lee then made a great run to end the first set in his favor with 21-18.
The second set turned out to be a one-sided affair as Lee Chong Wei reeled off seven consecutive points after 12-10 to give himself an unassailable lead with 19-10 before securing his fifth Malaysia Masters title with a 21-11 victory in the second set.
“I wasn’t aggressive enough in the first set, and Iskandar did make the effort to challenge me. I have better anticipation of his move in the second set, and I am very happy to win my first title of the year in my hometown,” said Lee Chong Wei.
As for Zainuddin, he told reporters that his moves were looking very predictable by his “brother” Lee Chong Wei.
“Chong Wei played with tremendous speed, I’ll have to improve on my physical athleticism after this tournament,” said Zainuddin.
In women’s singles final, India’s P.V. Sindhu won her second Malaysia Masters title by beating Kirsty Gilmour of Scotland in straight sets of 21-15, 21-9 in 32 minutes. Sindhu first won the tournament in 2013.
As for the 22-year-old Kirsty Gilmour, she was hoping to catch up with World No. 1 Carolina Marin to become another top women’s singles player from Europe.
“Carolina Marin defeated a lot of great players from Asia last year, I hope I can be like her this year,” said Gilmour.
The singles champion at Malaysia Masters received prize money of US$9,000 (RM37, 800) and the runner-up took home US$4,560 (RM19, 152).