New Delhi: It was fifth time lucky for Wan Ho Shon of South Korea who rallied to overcome world number one, Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in a pulsating men’s singles final of the 2012 Yonex Sunrise India Open Super Series, while second-seed Li Xuerui of China came from behind to beat Germany’s Juliane Schenk in the women’s singles title clash, at the Siri Fort Sports Complex on Sunday.
Having never beaten Lee in four previous encounters, Wan saw off a spirited fightback from the top-seed to seal a well-deserved 21-18, 14-21, 21-19 victory in a little over an hour.
After splitting the first two games, Wan seemed to have the match in his bag when he took an 18-14 lead in the second game, before some great reflexes and brilliant offensive play saw the Malaysian win five points in a row, to be on the verge of his second successive Indian Open crown. However, a couple of failed drop shots, and a forehand jab into the net at the most crucial juncture of the contest gave Wan, who will be turning 24 next month, his maiden Super Series title.
Lee blamed his defeat to a below-par performance on the day, but did not delve too much into how it was going to affect his preparation for the upcoming London Olympics. “I know I lost today but it’s Ok, I still have three months to prepare for the Olympics,” he said.
Wan meanwhile had his own views on what turned out to be the biggest achievement of his career thus far. “I improved my net play which was a problem whenever I played Lee in the past, and I am more confident about it now," he said.
Earlier, Li Xuerui maintained her unbeaten record against Juliane Schenk, seeded sixth in the tournament by registering her fourth win in as many matches against the German. Schenk, who had shocked world number one Wang Shixian of China in the quarter-finals, looked to be on her way to repeating the giant-killing act, by seizing the momentum as a result of some erratic play by Li, to clinch the opening game 21-14. However, Li raised the bar in the following two games, as Schenk failed to keep up the same level of intensity, to win 14-21, 21-17, 21-8 in 47 minutes.
In other results, Kyung Eun Jung and Ha Na Kim of South Korea won the women's doubles final over the Chinese duo of Yixin Bao and Qianxin Zhong 21-17, 21-18; while the second-seeded pair of Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir (Indonesia) successfully defended their mixed doubles crown against Thailand's Saralee Thoungthongkam and Sudket Prapakamol 21-16, 12-21, 21-14. There was better news for the Thais in the men's doubles final, Maneepong Jongjit and Bodin Issara surviving the challenge posed by the number two seeds, Sung Hyun Ko and Yeon Seong Yoo of South Korea to triumph 21-17, 14-21, 21-14.