Tokyo: Two-time champion Lee Chong Wei regained the men's singles title by fending off the challenge from Boonsak Ponsana to win the Japan Open badminton tournament on Sunday.
The Malaysian top seed, the winner in Japan in 2007 and 2010, powered his way through to a 21-18, 21-18 victory over the Thai.
"It was really a good match, but it was tough," said Lee, 29.
"This is my first tournament after the London Olympics. I'm very happy to start with this victory. I can put my disappointment behind me with this title," said Lee, who lost to Lin Dan in the Olympic finals twice in a row.
Lee hit a smash to take the first game, and then neither could take a decisive lead in the second game to be tied at 5-5.
Lee jumped ahead 10-6 showing several disguised overhead drop shots combined with a smash and then took a commanding 20-15 lead.
Boonsak tenaciously saved three match points to trail 18-20, but his jump smash went wide after a long rally on the next point to surrender the 42-minute match.
Lee improved his record against Boonsak to 14 wins against two defeats.