A new hero emerged on the BWF World Superseries scene as Chou Tien Chen pulled off a sensational title win at the Yonex French Open 2014 yesterday.
The Chinese Taipei world No.13, facing two match points against China’s Wang Zhengming – a player he had not even taken a game off in two previous matches – found the mental reserves to pluck off an unlikely win in the Men’s Singles final. Chou, down a game and 18-20, made it 20-all and saw Wang save three of his game points. He converted the fourth before establishing a commanding lead in the decider.
However, Wang was not done yet as he scrambled back from 13-18 down to level at 18-all. Chou was not to be denied, for he held his nerve in the climactic stages to win the match 10-21 25-23 21-19 in 75 minutes, the longest match of the day.
While Chou won his first World Superseries title, the Japanese Men’s Doubles pair of Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa once again fell at the final hurdle. The second seeds started well against top seeds Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen, but inexplicably fell apart in the next two games. Boe and Mogensen picked up their first World Superseries title since winning the India Open in April, with a 18-21 21-9 21-7 score.
The Women’s Singles final concluded prematurely as top seed Li Xuerui (China), in her tenth straight final this year, retired in the second game against compatriot Wang Shixian. All England champion Wang led 21-15 8-3 before Li decided to throw in the towel. The victory saw Wang go 5-4 up in her head-to-head against Li.
Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir picked up their third World Superseries title this year, outclassing England’s Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock 21-9 21-16 in the Mixed Doubles final.
The Indonesians were too dominant in the opening game, but the Adcocks recovered in the second and briefly held the lead. From the half-way stage, however, Ahmad and Natsir once again powered ahead, eventually coasting through 21-9 21-16 in 33 minutes.
China’s Yu Yang/Wang Xiaoli too pocketed their third World Superseries title this year. The Women’s Doubles final, between Yu/Wang and compatriots Ma Jin/Tang Yuanting, was a repeat of the All England final. However, unlike the All England, where Ma/Tang were vanquished narrowly, yesterday’s final saw Yu/Wang dominate the contest from start to finish. The match took just 37 minutes to conclude in favour of the No.7 seeds: 21-15 21-9.