Macau: Women’s singles No. 1 seed Michelle Li of Canada was tested by No. 5 seed Han Yue of China before winning 23-25, 21-17, 21-15 in the final of Macau Open on Sunday.
The top-seeded Canadian squandered five set points in first game, allowing Han to claw back from 15-19 to lead at 20-19. Han then able to push through from there, sealing the first set in 25 minutes.
After Han rallied from 10-15 to take the 16-15 lead in the second, Li stayed cool to deny a repeat of the first game as she halted Han’s momentum with a cross court net shot towards Han’s left hand side. Li went on to win the second set in 23 minutes when Han failed to return a net shot from Li.
Li was in full control in the decider, as Han was looking slow and exhausted. She pushed the Chinese player to all corners and ended the hard-fought final with a cross-court drop shot to complete the third-set in 26 minutes.
The Macau Open was Li’s first BWF World Tour title and her second international title of the second after winning the 2018 Pan Am Championships in April, in Guatemala.
In women’s doubles final, Malaysia’s Vivian Hoo/Yap Cheng Wen who were paired up only two months ago, have made history by becoming the first Malaysian women’s doubles pair to ever win the Macau Open since the tournament was inaugurated in 2006.
The unseeded Malaysian pair eased past Misato Aratama/Akane Watanabe of Japan easily 21-15 in the first set. Hoo/Yap then staged a remarkable comeback by saving four game points, reeling off six consecutive points to claim the second set 22-20.
In yesterday’s semi-final, Hoo/Yap defeated No. 4 seeds and World No. 16 Nami Matsuyama/Chiharu Shida of Japan 21-16, 21-17.
“This was our first time beating a World’s top 20 pair, it’s always difficult to play against women’s doubles pairs from Japan,” said Hoo after the semi-final match.
Meanwhile, Lee Yong Dae/Kim Gi Jung proved they could still return to the top of men’s doubles badminton when they found a late surge in the decider to rip the match away from compatriots Ko Sung Hyun/Shin Baek Cheol, rallying from 6-11, 16-18 to clinch the Macau Open title 17-21, 21-13, 21-19.
The men’s singles final saw Korean’s 38-year-old Lee Hyun-Il strolled past 21-year-old Zhou Zeqi in a surprisingly comfortable win with 21-9, 21-19.
Earlier Sunday, Hong Kong’s No. 1 seeds Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet needed only 32 minutes to outlast No. 2 seeds compatriots Reginald Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah 21-14, 21-15 in the mixed doubles final.