Chen Long wins French Open after beating Shi Yuqi in final

Chen Long (R) celebrates his French Open title with Shi Yuqi. (photo: AFP)
Chen Long (R) celebrates his French Open title with Shi Yuqi. (photo: AFP)

Paris: The Rio Olympic champion Chen Long of China was given a stern test by his teammate world No. 2 Shi Yuqi but still won 21-17, 21-19 in the final on Sunday.

Chen Long held a 4-2 career record against Shi prior to Sunday’s battle, with Shi winning their previous two encounters, inclduing the 2018 All England and 2018 World Championships.

Shi got off to a strong start by winning three points in the first set, before Chen Long reeled off six straigt points and pretty much dominating the set until the end.

Shi Yuqi was playing more proactively and openned up the lead at 6-2 quickly. Chen Long, however remained calm with strong defense to level the score at 8-8. At 19-19, Chen hit a backhand towards Shi’s right baseline to put himself at matchpoint. Chen picked up his first title in 2018 as he launched an overhead smash but Shi’s return was out of bound.

In men’s doules final, World No. 1 pair Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo/Marcus Fernaldi Gideon of Indonesia were surprised by unseeded Han Chengkai/Zhou Haodong of China in a three-sets thriller.

The Indonesian duo was playing their signature badminton of fast speed and strong net control. But Han/Zhou were playing with exceptional defense to bounce back from 18-20 to win the first set 23-21.

Sukamuljo/Gideon easily forced a decider when they trashed the Chinese pair 21-8 in the second game.

Han Chengkai/Zhou Haodong produced brilliant speed and defense, unleashing more attacks towards Marcus Fernaldi Gideon as he seemed to had lost his focus. The Chinese pair kept leading and ultimately beating the World No. 1 21-17 in the decider.

This was Han/Zhou’s second victory against the World No. 1 pair in their third career meeting.


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