Ratchanok Intanon gave home fans at the Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters cause for celebration by winning the Women’s Singles title on Saturday.
The second-seeded Thai pulled off a three-game win in a tough final over China’s Sun Yu, 21-19 18-21 21-17.
Korean veteran Lee Hyun Il (featured image) continued to amaze by pocketing the Men’s Singles title over Hong Kong’s Hu Yun, 21-18 21-19. China took home two titles through Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei (Women’s Doubles) and Zheng Siwei/Chen Qingchen (Mixed Doubles), while World champions Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia captured the Men’s Doubles crown.
Ageless wonder Lee Hyun Il surged through the draw without dropping a game in six matches, overcoming the likes of Wei Nan (Hong Kong) and Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Thailand) in the quarter-finals and semi-finals before seeing off the challenge of Hu Yun in the final. Hu had survived two difficult rounds, fighting past India’s Sameer Verma in the quarter-finals and Korea’s Son Wan Ho in the semi-finals, both in three games.
The Women’s Singles match was the longest of the five finals. Sun Yu had made the title round without dropping a game, but local favourite Intanon took the early lead and although the Chinese levelled at a game apiece, the Thai powered home in the end after an hour and 27 minutes.
Top seeds Ahsan/Setiawan survived tough tests in their last three matches, against Malaysia’s Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong, Korea’s Shin Baek Choel/Ko Sung Hyun and Korea’s Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang respectively. The Indonesians fought off a first game deficit in the final to eventually cruise to the title over Kim/Kim, 12-21 21-15 21-12.
No Stopping Tian/Zhao
The Women’s Doubles final saw an all-China clash between World champions Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei and Yu Yang/Tang Yuanting. In what turned out to be an absorbing clash, Tang and Yu nearly pulled off a memorable win from two match points down, but Tian/Zhao held off a match point to prevail 11-21 21-12 23-21 in 69 minutes, to repeat their win in the Yonex Sunrise Hong Kong Open final over their compatriots last year.
Earlier, in the semi-finals, Tian/Zhao easily quelled the challenge of Korea’s Jung Kyung Eun/Shin Seung Chan, while Tang/Yu were just as dominant over Malaysia’s Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei.
Easy for Zheng/Chen
China’s Zheng Siwei, BWF’s Most Promising Player of the Year in 2015, continued to showcase his world-beating potential. Having won the Victor Far East Malaysia Masters in January with Li Yinhui, Zheng returned with familiar partner Chen Qingchen and cut the opposition to shreds. The young Chinese shot past the likes of Indonesia’s Edi Subaktiar/Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja, Russia’s Vitalij Durkin/Nina Vislova, Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na and Hong Kong’s Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah on the way to the final, where they were just as imperious against Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying, winning the title 21-17 21-15.