Lee downs Chen to take China Open

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

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

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