Fuzhou: With his flawless performance against the current world No. 1 and an opponent seven years younger than him, former world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei has once and for all silenced his critics by winning the China Open title for the first time on Sunday by defeating Chen Long of China in 50 minutes.
Lee came into the finals full of confidence having vanquished long-time rival Lin Dan of China 17-21, 21-19, 21-19 in 92 minutes in the semi-finals on Saturday, trouncing Lin for the first time on China soil.
Lee made a rapid start to the game and quickly established an 11-6 lead against Chen Long in the opening set of men’s singles final. The Malaysian badminton superstar wasted little time in wrapping up his first set with a cross court smash towards Chen’s left side to seal the first set with 21-15.
Lee’s dominance continued as he stormed into a commanding 16-8 second set lead and barely looked back. Lee was often successful in neutralizing his opponent’s attacks through his signature dive and rescue moves. In addition, he was able to catch his opponent off-guard with his deceptive shots and powerful smashes. Lee was able to frustrate Chen Long with his relentless defense and unparalleled returning, clinching the match point by forcing Chen Long to hit a backhand shot that went out of bounds.
The victory allowed Lee to halt his 4 match losing streak to Chen Long and to secure his second Super Series title this season. Lee has improved his head-to-head record against Chen Long to 10-12 after the China Open victory.
It’s worth noting that Lee Chong Wei’s wife, Wong Mew Choo also won the China Open event in 2007 by defeating Zhang Ning in the semi-finals, and Xie Xingfang (Lin Dan’s wife) in the finals.
Meanwhile, South Koreans men’s doubles pair Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang pulled off an upset in the men’s doubles finals, beating Chinese sixth seeds Chai Biao and Hong Wei 21-13, 21-19 in 37 minutes.
China still flying high at China Open despite disappointments in both men’s singles and men’s doubles.
Tang Yuanting and Yu Yang of China fought back from one set down in the women’s doubles finals to dispatch top seeds Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi from Japan, 18-21, 21-13, 21-12 in 74 minutes.
World No. 1 Chinese pair Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei survived a scare in the mixed doubles finals by beating Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen of Denmark in three grueling sets, winning 21-19, 17-21, 21-19 in 87 minutes.
After her triumph at Denmark Open a month ago, No. 6 seed Li Xuerui of China bagged her second Superseries title of the year on Sunday by defeating No. 1 seed Saina Nehwal of India 21-12, 21-15 in 39 minutes to lift the China Open women’s singles crown.