Badminton: China’s Chen, Hong Kong duo clinch Australian titles
- Updated: May 31, 2015
May 31, 2015: Reigning World Championships winners Chen Long and Carolina Marin secured the singles titles at The Star Australian Open at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre on Sunday.
Chen, 26, picked up his third World Superseries title of the year by beating Viktor Axelsen 21-12, 14-21, 21-18 after the 21-year-old Dane threatened to upstage the Chinese World No. 1, only failing in the closing stages of an engrossing final.
Although Axelsen, third in last year’s World Championships, failed to win his first Superseries title in three finals, his campaign – which included a first-round upset of defending champion Lin Dan – confirmed him as one to watch.
Axelsen was all over Chen in the second game and at times the Chinese looked befuddled by his opponent’s clever placements and range of soft shots, interspersed with a monster smash that regularly found the lines.
With both players evenly placed in the decider, it was a brilliant blocked crosscourt return off a smash that finally gave Chen the edge. The Dane followed up with two errors and a reviewed line call on the final point gave Chen a close victory.
Marin led throughout her final against China’s former No. 1 Wang Shixian, eventually winning 22-20, 21-18, and has matched Chen’s exploits this year, having won the All England, Malaysian Open and now the Australian Open.
The Spaniard was only threatened in the closing stages of the first game, when Wang saved three game points to level at 20-20, before Marin won the next two points and then outplayed her rival in the second.
In other finals, Lee Chun-hei and Chau Hoi-wah celebrated Hong Kong’s first World Superseries victory with a 21-19, 19-21, 21-15 win over Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin of China in the mixed doubles.
Liu Cheng lost both finals he figured in. Korea’s Lee Yong-dae and Yoo Yeon-seong beat Liu and Lu Kai 21-16, 21-17 in the men’s doubles, giving the Koreans their first World Superseries title of the year.
Asian champions Ma Jin and Tang Yuanting of China won their first World Superseries as a pair with a 21-19, 16-21, 22-20 win over compatriots Tang Jinhua and Tian Qing, saving two match points and clinching the trophy by winning four points in a row.
Source: Dev Kumar / BWF World Superseries (bwfworldsuperseries.com); Editing by SportAsia