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Zheng and Huang defend mixed doubles title

Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong defended their mixed doubles title with a 21-16 21-11 win over Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino. 

After a close opening exchange, the Chinese duo powered to the first game and never looked back wrapping up the win in 38 minutes.

The pair have secured their third mixed doubles title to go level with Watanabe and Higashino and retained the trophy for the first time.

In the only final to see the first seeds take on the second, the showpiece went true to form.

Huang and Zheng had beaten their opponents 14 times across 19 previous meetings including most recently at the Asian Games last year.

However, Watanabe and Higashino held a narrow lead for much of the opening game, that was until 12-12.

Then Zheng and Huang kicked into gear with six straight points and the pressure kept coming as they forced Watanabe into hitting two shots into the net to take the first game.

For the second, the holders quickly moved into a commanding position and two runs of five points on the spin set them up to close out the final at the second time of asking.

The smiles could not be wiped off Huang and Zheng’s faces as they reflected on the first defence of their title. 

This is a very meaningful win and confirms that we are training in the right direction,” Huang said. 

“I believe we can go further, and we can work towards the next few tournaments as well.  

“I think this week my partner has been working really hard because the shuttle wasn’t the fastest, so he ran around the court a lot and smashed a lot.” 

Zheng added: “I couldn’t be happier, defending the All England Championship, we deserve a big celebration tonight! 

“We will have a big meal tonight in Chinatown at a restaurant, we haven’t decided which one we want to go to, we will think about this later, but for now we will enjoy our feelings.” 

During the trophy presentations, Watanabe and Higashino could be seen talking through some shots. 

They could well have been reliving the point they won to move to 10-7 behind in the second game which will no doubt go down as one of the best rallies of the Championship. 

For the Japanese pair, a chance to face their rivals was welcome even if the result did not go their way. 

“We had the opportunity to play against the Chinese after quite a long break,” Higashino said. 

“Although we lost, we enjoyed playing with them. We’re going to look back and we have lots of issues we can tackle.  

“So, we’re going to deal with that looking forward to the Paris Olympics.” 


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