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Badminton: Santoso stuns Lee in Singapore; Wang wins women’s

Simon Santoso stunned World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei in the Singapore Open final. Photos: AFP.

Simon Santoso stunned World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei 21-15, 21-10 to win the Singapore Open. Photos: AFP.

April 13, 2014: Indonesia’s Simon Santoso announced his return to the top flight with a blistering 21-15, 21-10 demolition of World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei in the Oue Singapore Open men’s singles final.

 

The former World No. 3 – currently ranked No. 52 – completely outclassed Lee, who was the overwhelming favourite following three straight MetLife BWF World Superseries titles, in Malaysia, UK (All England) and India.

 

Despite many fans chanting the Malaysian’s name at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Santoso soared into the lead and never looked back. Appearing confident and relaxed, as he had since working his way through qualifying to the main draw, the 28-year-old underdog unleashed a torrid and relentless attack on his rival, who committed a litany of errors.

 

Even the luck of the net went against Lee as a number of his shots clipped the top and fell back on his side, while Santoso’s trickled over. Lee’s unsuccessful line-call challenges didn’t help.

 

In quick time, Santoso – on his way back following injury – wrapped up the first game, never being overtaken after 7-7. The second game was equally impressive as Santoso continued finding the lines and, brandishing his lethal forehand, pounced on anything slightly high with powerful drives and smashes.

 

Lee was unable to cope and looked completely out-of-sorts and shell shocked, as Santoso’s net forays paid repeated dividends, as did his shots wide to the backcourt, beyond the Malaysian’s forehand.

 

At 12-4 down in the second, Lee managed a six-point run that drew him within two points of Santoso, with spectators urging on the long-time World No. 1. However, it wasn’t to be one of his spectacular comebacks and those were his last points of the evening, as Santoso screamed and shook his fists in celebration after capturing his third World Superseries title.

 

Indonesia also celebrated success in the mixed doubles, as Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir defeated compatriots Riky Widianto and Puspita Richi Dili 21-15, 22-20.

 

Wang Yihan of China retained her women’s singles crown by beating World No. 1 Li Xuerui 21-11, 21-19.

Wang Yihan of China retained her women’s singles crown by beating World No. 1 Li Xuerui 21-11, 21-19.

China won the three other titles, with Wang Yihan retaining her women’s singles crown by beating World No. 1 Li Xuerui in the final. The 26-year-old former World No. 1 – currently No. 3 – won 21-11, 21-19 to earn her 20th World Superseries title.

 

China’s Bao Yixin and Tang Jinhua wrote another chapter in their incredible saga, coming from behind to beat Danish duo of Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl 14-21, 21-19, 21-15 for their ninth women’s doubles title in 11 tournaments. It was their sixth World Superseries triumph and maintained their unbeaten record in finals.

 

In the men’s doubles, Cai Yun celebrated success with a new partner, Lu Kai, as they beat Chinese Taipei’s Lee Sheng-mu and Tsai Chia-hsin. In just their second outing together, the Chinese duo prevailed 21-19, 21-14, with six-footer Lu hammering smashes from the back court as the opposition’s challenge withered.

 

For more information, visit: www.bwfbadminton.org

 

Source: BWF

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