By RAJES PAUL
World No 1 Lee Chong Wei suffered another heartbreak at the hands of China’s Chen Long when he lost 15-21, 18-21 in the men’s singles final of the Denmark Open here yesterday.
And immediately after the loss, Chong Wei declared that the 22-year-old Chen Long has now become a genuine challenger aside from Lin Dan of China for next year’s Olympic Games in London.
Chong Wei had hoped for a revenge after losing to Chen Long in the final of the Japan Open last month but to his surprise, the Chinese turned out to be a much tougher opponent.
While the Malaysian was slower than usual, the Chinese took full control of the match from the start with his excellent court coverage, superiority at the net and solid attacking play.
Undoubtly, top seed Chong Wei had some good tricks up his sleeve but it was Chen Long, who had held all the aces to romp home a convincing winner in straight games.
It was Chong Wei’s 10th final of the year but probably his weakest performances so far.
The Malaysian was disappointed that the world number three Chen Long had prevented him from winning his seventh title twice in a month. Chong Wei had won six titles – the Super Series Masters Finals, Malaysia Open, All-England, India Open, Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold and Indonesia Open this year
“I have to admit that he has turned out to be a tough opponent for me. He is so full of confidence and it has just become tougher to beat him,” said a dejected Chong Wei, who just turned 29th on Friday.
“He had read my game well. He displays better control and makes less mistakes. His game has become more polished.
“Right now, he has become a real challenger for me for the Olympic Games. My rival is no longer Lin Dan alone,” said Chong Wei.
Despite the setback, Chong Wei is ready to make amends at the France Open which begins in Paris on Wednesday.
“My priority is the major event. I will stay focused and try to bounce back from this defeat. Even Lin Dan lost to a unheralded player here in Denmark. So, it is time to put this defeat behind and stay focused in what is more important to me – the Olympic Games next year,” he added.
China, also went back home with two other titles when they maintain their supremacy in the women’s events when Wang Xin and Wang Xiaoli-Yu Yang bagged the singles and doubles titles events respectively.
However, the badminton powerhouse were denied from making a clean sweep when Denmark’s Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen and Lee Yong-dae-Jung Jae-sung emerged as the mixed doubles and men’s doubles champions respectively.
Singles: Chen Long (Chn) bt Lee Chong Wei (Mas) 21-15, 21-18.
Doubles: Lee Yong-dae-Jung jae-sung (Kor) bt Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng (Chn) 21-16, 21-17.
Singles: Wang Xin (Chn) bt Wang Yihan (Chn) 21-14, 23-21.
Doubles: Wang Xiaoli-Yu Yang (Chn) bt Tian Qing-Zhao Yunlei (Chn) 22-20, 21-16.
Mixed doubles: Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen (Den) bt Xu Chen-Ma Jin (Chn) 22-20, 21-16.
Courtesy of The Star