By : K.M. Boopathy
LEE Chong Wei did his best but it was China's World No 1 Lin Dan who had the final say in the Hong Kong Open title clash yesterday.
Lin Dan, a two-time world champion, battled hard against the Malaysian second seed to clinch a 9-21, 21-15, 21-15 win in 51 minutes an secure his fourth straight Hong Kong Open crown and his seventh title this year.
Chong Wei didn't show any signs of an injured right knee as he came out firing on all cylinders to take the first game 21-9 in a ferocious manner.
Lin Dan looked lethargic but Chong Wei's attacking game was so solid the former never had no chance.
However, Lin Dan's resilience and class showed as he put Chong Wei under tremendous pressure in the second game.
Chong Wei was playing the perfect game but Lin Dan also raised his game to win his points on merit. His straight and cross-court smashes went unanswered.
Chong Wei, much to his disappointment, was again the victim of some dubious line calls as in the China Open final last week against Bao Chunlai.
But there was no denying that yesterday Lin Dan looked the better player in the second and third games.
"Quite a lot of his (Lin Dan's) shots were outside. Everybody could see it," complained Chong Wei after the match.
"This also happened in the China Open final. Maybe playing in Hong Kong is the same as in China."
Chong Wei may have a point regarding poor umpiring and equally bad line calls but the Malaysian must get used to all that quickly as it could happen again in next year's Beijing Olympics.
"Lee played fast and it wasn't easy to match him at the beginning. I lost the first game but I managed to win in the end," said Lin Dan.
Indonesia's Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan also ended the year on a strong note when they beat the Indonesian-American combination of Candra Wijaya-Tony Gunawan 21-12, 18-21, 21-13 to win back-to-back Super Series titles after triumphing in China last week.
In the women's singles, World No 1 Xie Xingfang of China bounced back from her loss to Malaysia's Wong Mew Choo in the China Open final last week, to overcome compatriot Zhu Lin 21-19, 21-14.
Results (All Finals) – Men's singles: Lin Dan (Chn) bt Lee Chong Wei (Mas) 9-21, 21-15, 21-15.
Doubles: Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan (Ina) bt Candra Wijaya (Ina)-Tony Gunawan (US) 21-12, 18-21, 21-13.
Women's singles: Xie Xingfang (Chn) bt Zhu Lin (Chn) 21-19, 21-14.
Doubles: Du Jing-Yu Yang (Chn) bt Zhang Yawen-Wei Yili (Chn) 22-20, 13-21, 21-17.
Mixed doubles: Nova Widianto-Lilyana Natsir (Ina) bt Zheng Bo-Gao Ling (Chn) 21-23, 21-18, 21-19.