Lee downs Chen to take China Open
BEIJING: Former world number one Lee Chong Wei beat current top rank Chen Long to win the China Open yesterday in straight sets, securing his second major title of the season. Lee dismissed China’s Chen in 50 minutes at the Haixia Olympic Sports Centre in the southeastern city of Fuzhou, 21-15, 21-11, denying the top seed his sixth Super Series title of the year.
Lee, currently unseeded after a eight-month doping ban, has had a patchy year that saw him make early exits in Japan, South Korea and Denmark, and had lost to Chen in their last four meetings.
The Malaysian beat longtime rival and fivetime world champion Lin Dan on Saturday to reach the final, in a hard-fought three sets that may silence critics who have questioned Lee’s fitness since he returned to the court. “I’m really happy to have won the China Open on the home court of Lin Dan and Chen Long,” said Lee. “I’ve won many titles, except the China Open. It was very hard to get. Today I just played fast, just kept going.” Meanwhile, in the women’s singles, world number six Li Xuerui of China beat top seed and defending champion Saina Nehwal of India 21-12, 21-15.
Former world number one and Olympic champion Li continued a solid run in Fuzhou after scooping the title in Denmark last month, while Nehwal has recently been plagued by injury and illness.
“I started well, but I wasn’t able to connect the shuttle, it was very strange,” said Nehwal. “Many of my shots went out, and she was anticipating everything.” Chinese players faired well in both the women’s and mixed doubles. China’s Tang Yuanting and Yu Yang beat Japan’s Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi 18-21, 21-13, 21-12. In mixed doubles, Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei of China triumphed over Denmark’s Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen, 21-19, 17-21, 21-19. — AFP
FUZHOU: Li Xuerui (R) of China and Saina Nehwal of India pose with their trophies after their women’s singles final match at the China Open badminton tournament in Fuzhou, east China’s Fujian province yesterday. — AFP
FUZHOU: Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia poses with his trophy after the men’s singles final match against Chen Long of China at the China Open badminton tournament in Fuzhou, east China’s Fujian province yesterday. — AFP