Kuala Lumpur: Thailand’s World No. 8 Ratchanok Intanon successfully defended her Malaysia Masters title on Sunday as she defeated World No. 6 Carolina Marin of Spain 21-9, 22-20 in the final.
Intanon was totally in control in the first set, taking the game in just 15 minutes.
The Thai player was leading 19-13 in the second set, but Marin showed her fighting spirit to rally from behind and overtook the lead at 20-19. Ratchanok held her nerve to force a deuce, and ended the game with victory when Marin’s return got caught in the net.
“I just tried to stay calm and enjoy the tournament,” said Ratchanok.
“I noticed Marin was having some issues controlling the shuttle, and I took advantage of that,” added Ratchanok.
Intanon has had a spectacular run at the 2019 Malaysia Masters, defeated No. 1 seed Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan in the quarter-final and outlasted 18-year-old home favorite Goh Jin Wei of Malaysia 21-16, 21-16 in the semi-final.
In the mixed doubles, Thailand’s No. 2 seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai came up short as they lost to top seeds Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino of Japan 18-21, 18-21.
Meanwhile, World No. 1 women’s doubles pair Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota of Japan was made to dig deep to grind out an 18-21, 21-16, 21-16 victory against a resilient World No. 4 Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu of Indonesia in 76 minutes.