Birmingham: By 2017, there weren’t many ways for World No. 1 men’s singles player Lee Chong Wei to be considered an underdog. But playing through a medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury and winning the All England title — did add a new chapter to his legacy.
Lee Chong Wei came very close to be forced to withdraw from the 2017 All England after he injured his left knee when he slipped and fell on a slippery mat early February.
Facing Shi Yuqi of China who is 13 years younger than him, the rampaging Lee Chong Wei delivered a stunning reminder of his class at the All England final with a crushing win over his Chinese opponent on Sunday.
Lee was able to reach wide attacks on both left and right sides of the court through his exceptional speed, and tricky net shots, demolishing Shi 21-12, 21-10 in 45 minutes to claim his 4th All England title. His victory on Sunday made Lee the 9th players in the history of badminton to win four or more men’s singles titles in All England.
When Lee was asked if he would come back to defend his All England title in 2018, Lee’s answer was clear and firm.
“Yes,” said Lee.
No. 6 seeds Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying who became the first Malaysian mixed doubles pair to advance to the All England finals, put up a spirited show of resistance against No. 5 seeds Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong of China in the final. Both pairs took the match into a nail-biting third set before the Malaysian pair seemed to drop off in concentration towards the end third set, making a number of uncharacteristic errors to go down 21-18, 19-21, 16-21 in an 86 minutes marathon battle.
In men’s doubles, No. 5 seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia played superbly and blasted past the “twin towers” of China – No. 6 seeds Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen with their brilliant attacks and quickness, outlasting the lengthy Chinese pair 21-19, 21-14 in 36 minutes to claim their fifth Superseries and their first All England title.