Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei proved why he is the World No.1 badminton player by thrashing No.2 Chen Long of China in straight games to clinch his third $250,000 India Open Super Series men's singles title in four years here on Sunday. The top seed needed only 55 minutes to better Long 21-13, 21-17 at the Siri Fort Sports Complex. In a repeat of last month's All-England Open final, Lee won to take a 9-8 lead in career meetings.
Earlier, reigning All-England women's singles champion Shixian Wang of China continued her fine run this year to beat compatriot and Olympic champion Li Xuerui to clinch her first title here. The Asian Games gold medallist took 47 minutes to come out on top 22-20, 21-19 in a tough contest.
The top seed was at game point (20-18) but Shixian showed nerves of steel to, first, save both game points and, then, took two more points to bag the game. The second game was also a neck-and-neck affair with the scores level at 18-all but the second seed pulled out three of the next four points to clinch the match and title and level the head-to-head to 4-4.
"We were familiar with each other's game. I had defeated her in the All-England final recently. It feels good to win the title. The crowd was also supporting me. I have to keep myself fit. Last year, I witnessed some ups and downs and wasn't consistent," Shixian said.
In the last match of the day, top seed Lee was in prime form and led from the start. He looked effortless in using his deceptive drops from the back of the court which left his Chinese guessing till the bird landed on court.
The World No.1 returned most of Long's body smashes and took the game quicker than his Chinese opponent had expected. The World No.2, though, upped the ante in the second game then again, on the day, he was no match for his impeccably fit and agile opponent. Though Long made Lee run all over the court, the Malaysian somehow managed to pick almost everything that came his way.
The Chinese second seed was leading 16-14 but the two-time Olympic silver medallist displayed superb skills to bag seven of the next eight points. He took the title when Long's third court shot went out of the court. "I will be back for Thomas Cup. I dedicate this victory to my son who will be one-year-old next week. Next is Singapore Open. If I remain injury free this year, then I might come back for India Open. Thanks to the fans," said Lee.
Final results (in order of play):
Women's doubles: Yuanting Tang/Yang Yu (China) beat Kyung Eun Jung/Ha Na Kim (South Korea) 21-10, 13-21, 21-16
Men's doubles: 2-Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen (Denmark) beat 3-Xiaolong Liu/Zihan Qiu (China) 17-21, 21-15, 21-15
Women's singles: 2-Shixian Wang (China) beat 1-Li Xuerui (China) 22-20, 21-19
Mixed doubles: 3-Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen (Denmark) beat 4-Sung Hyun Ko/Ha Na Kim (South Korea) 21-16, 18-21, 21-18
Men's singles: 1-Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia) beat 2-Chen Long (China) 21-13, 21-17.