Boe & Mogensen overcome long-term bogeymen in a thrilling men’s doubles final
Contrary to expectations of a close contest, Lee Chong Wei raced past Chen Long and turned the clash between the world’s top two players into a no-contest to keep the men’s singles title in the $250,000 Yonex Sunrise India Open badminton here on Sunday.
In a mismatch lasting 55 minutes, Lee Chong Wei enthralled the holiday crowd that had come to see the Malaysian win on what could well be his last appearance in the open event in the Capital since he has hinted at retirement at the end of the year.
The players, who had beaten each other eight times before Sunday, raised possibilities of a memorable battle but that was not to be.
If Chen Long had come to fight, Lee Chong Wei did not let him. He led through the first game and kept his Chinese adversary at bay. In the second, Chen Long looked like getting his rhythm and led eight times at the change of serves. But the defensive skills of Lee Chong Wei stood out as he retrieved several smashes with ease and regained control of the rallies.
The closest Chen Long came to forcing the decider was when leading 16-14. But Lee Chong Wei was in no mood to relent. He won the next five points to push Chen Long to the brink.
Thereafter, the Malaysian won two out of the next three points and claimed the title.
Like the men’s final, the ladies’ title-match also witnessed a repeat of last month’s final at the All England. Second seed Wang Shixian beat her top seeded compatriot Li Xuerui, Olympic champion, 22-20, 21-19.
The 47-minute contest lacked intensity though the crowd was treated to some long rallies.
Xuerui, trailing for the better part of the first game, led 18-16 and later held two game points at 20-18 but could not go any further.
In the second game that saw a far higher percentage of unforced errors from both players, Shixian once again bounced back from 16-18 and converted her second match-point.
Sunday’s was Shixian’s fourth victory in her eight encounters with Xuerui.
The singles winners received $18,750 and the losers, $9500.
In women's doubles, the unranked Chinese Tang Yuanting and Yu Yang upstaged World No.11 Koreans Jung Kyung Eun and Kim Ha Na in an hour.
Kim Ha Na finished second best in the mixed doubles final, too. The Danish pair of Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen beat Kim Ha Na and Sung Hyun Ko in three games.
In a thrilling men’s doubles final, China fell short of adding another title. For the first time in five meetings, the second seeded Danish pair of Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen came out stronger against third seeds Liu Xiaolong and Qiu Zihan.
The results: All finals: Men: 1-Lee Chong Wei (Mas) bt 2-Chen Long (Chn) 21-13, 21-17. Doubles: 2-Mathias Boe & Carsten Mogensen (Den) bt 3-Liu Xiaolong & Qiu Zihan (Chn) 17-21, 21-15, 21-15.
Women: 2-Wang Shixian (Chn) bt 1-Li Xuerui (Chn) 22-20, 21-19. Doubles: Tang Yuanting & Yu Yang (Chn) bt Jung Kyung Eun & Kim Na Na (Kor) 21-10, 13-21, 21-16.
Mixed doubles: 3-Joachim Fischer Nielsen & Christinna Pedersen (Den) bt 4-Ko Sung Hyun & Kim Ha Na (Kor) 21-16, 18-21, 21-18.