Chong Wei wins again

KUALA LUMPUR: After lifting his sixth Malaysian Open Super Series title yesterday, world No. 1 men’s singles shutter Datuk Lee Chong Wei aims to capture the prestigious All-England title next.  

BACK-TO-BACK TITLES: Chong Wei celebrates his victory over Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana in the men’s singles final of the Malaysian Open Badminton Super Series in Kuala Lumpur. — AFP photo

BACK-TO-BACK TITLES: Chong Wei celebrates his victory over Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana in the men’s singles final of the Malaysian Open Badminton Super Series in Kuala Lumpur. — AFP photo

“2010 is a lucky year for me. This is the first time in my professional career that I won back-to-back titles within two weeks in different countries.

“I never expected I could do it this year, maybe due to the 20 and 10,” he said.

Chong Wei, 27, previously won the Malaysian Open Super Series titles in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009.

In the men’s singles final yesterday, Chong Wei, the top seed, beat unseeded Thai Ponsana Boonsak in straight sets 21-13, 21-7 within 37 minutes in front of 5,000 spectators at Putra Stadium, National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil here.

Commenting on the straight sets victory over Boonsak, who is ranked 12th in the world, Chong Wei said he had beaten the Thai in the quarter-finals of the Korean Open in straight sets.

“But Boonsak was different this time. In the first set, he was an attacker.

“After the 11th point, I changed my playing tactic from defense to attacking mode which earned me seven points in a row. In the second set, I also applied the same tactic and it helped me clinch the title,” he said.

For the record, Chong Wei is short of two titles to equal the eight Malaysian Open titles won by Wong Peng Soon — in 1940, 1941, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1953.

On Jan 17, Chong Wei won his first-ever Korean Open title after defeating second-seeded Peter Gade-Christensen of Denmark in straight sets 21-12, 21-11 in Seoul, South Korea.

Last year was the most productive year for Chong Wei when he clinched seven titles namely the Malaysian Open, Swiss Open, Indonesian Open, Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold, Macau Open Grand Prix Gold, Hong Kong Open, and Super Series Masters Finals.

On his plans after the Malaysian Open, Chong Wei said he would focus on his preparations for the All-England and Swiss Open in March.

“I will try to win the All-England and defend the Swiss Open title. My arch-rival Lin Dan of China will pose the biggest challenge. But first, I will take a good rest before resuming training,” he said.

Meanwhile, unseeded Chinese player Wang Xin won the women’s singles title after her opponent Bae Youn Joo of South Korea retired in the rubber set due to an injury in her right leg.

Wang, the world number two, dropped the first set 19-21 but made a comeback to win the second in 21-17 but while leading 14-6 in the rubber set, Bae retired due to the injury. — Bernama

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