Lee Chong Wei was finally beaten at the Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open as Lin Dan claimed the title with an incredible 21-19 21-14 win in the men’s singles final. Lee had not lost in this tournament since 2007 but was unable to put his chances away on Sunday, failing to convert a 19-15 lead in the opening game. The top seed and home favourite somehow contrived to lose the opening game and went on to be defeated in the match, and Dan was delighted to end Lee’s run. “When I arrived here I had two aims – I wanted as many ranking points as possible, and secondly, I had to break the jinx,” he said. “I was often asked why I hadn’t won an Open tournament in South East Asia. A friendly reminder, I did win one of my world titles in Kuala Lumpur.” Meanwhile his Malaysian opponent admitted that he never recovered from the mistakes he made in losing the opening game of the final. “The first game was crucial. I had the lead but made errors and misjudged some of the shots. I lost focus,” said Lee. “Lin Dan played confidently in the second game but I could not lift mine. It’s disappointing to lose but I accept this defeat.” Earlier this week, fourth seed Viktor Axelsen departed the competition in the second round. Meanwhile in the women’s final, Tai Tzu-ying stunned Olympic and World champion Carolina Marin in a 23-25, 22-20, 21-13 epic which lasted 85 minutes.
It is Tai’s fourth straight Superseries title but she was made to work for every single point in an enthralling final between the top two seeds, after PV Sindhu went out in the first round. “I am happy to win, especially in Malaysia where the fans support me. My first few matches were not good but today I started well,” said Tai. “Carolina caught up and she was too fast and strong for me at the end of the first game. I tried to keep calm and focused as the rallies became shorter. My plan was to keep running and force her into mistakes.” In the men’s doubles, Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo were successful again with a 21-14, 14-21, 21-12 win over China’s Fu Haifeng and Zheng Siwei.
The win was their third straight World Superseries title and goes alongside their Yonex All England and Yonex-Sunrise India Open titles from earlier this year while two-time Olympic gold medallist Fu will be happy with his first competitive appearance since winning at the Rio Olympics last summer. Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota claimed their first ever Superseries success in the women’s doubles with a 21-17, 18-21, 21-12 win over China’s Huang Yaqiong and Tang Jinhua. The unseeded pair had already beaten Chen Qingchena and Jia Yifan, and Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi on their way to the final before wrapping up the title in 72 minutes. Finally, top seeds Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen beat their Chinese compatriots and Yonex All England champions Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong 21-15, 21-18 in the mixed doubles final