Vladivostock: The 22-year-old Ho Yen Mei of Malaysia ended her international title drought that lasted more than three years by overwhelming Shiori Ebihara of Japan 22-20, 11-21, 21-18 in the Russia Open final on Sunday.
Ho was in all kinds of trouble in the decider, originally trailing 5-11 and 10-16. But once she dug her way out of that slump, Ho was unstoppable, finishing the match in 67 minutes against her Japanese opponent.
This was her first BWF Tour Super 100 title, the last time she won an international tournament was the 2015 Polish International, where she defeated compatriot Lim Chiew Sien 21–16, 21–12 for the women’s title. The Russia Open was also Ho’s first tournament in 6 months this year, after her loss to Delphine Lansac of France in the qualifying round of the 2018 Malaysia Masters.
After an unexpected walkover in the final of Russia Open when the Russian pair and No. 2 seeds Konstantin Abramov/Alexandr Zinchenko retired to due injury, Malaysia’s independent men’s doubles pair Mohamad Arif Ab Latif Arif/Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub Azriyn won the tournament without breaking a sweat.
The World No. 16 women’s pair and No. 1 seeds Chow Mei Kuan/Lee Meng Yean couldn’t add more joy to the Malaysian camp as they bowed out to unseeded Chisato Hoshi/Kie Nakanishi of Japan 11-21, 18-21 in 42 minutes.
Indian men’s singles shuttler Sourabh Verma came back from dropping a set to see off Japan’s Koki Watanabe, 18-21, 21-12, 21-17 to win his first title of the season.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Ivanov/Kim Min Kyung of Russia/Korea picked up an easy victory when the pair overcame No. 2 seeds Rohan Kapoor/Kuhoo Garg 21-19, 21-17 in 37 minutes to clinch the mixed doubles gold.