INDONESIA OPEN 2013 Finals – Lee Chong Wei wins his 5th

World number one Lee Chong Wei won the Indonesia Open Superseries Premier men’s singles title for the fifth time in the last seven years, beating Marc Zwiebler of Germany. By […]

World number one Lee Chong Wei won the Premier men’s singles title for the fifth time in the last seven years, beating Marc Zwiebler of Germany.

By Altania Cut Wigri, Badzine Correspondent live in Jakarta.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Lee Chong Wei came into the final of the seventh Indonesia Open of the Superseries era having already won the event four times: in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011.  However, it was also his seventh meeting with the unseeded Marc Zwiebler, a rivalry in which Chong Wei enjoyed a dominant 6-0 advantage.

Although Zwiebler was playing for the first time in the final of the Indonesia Open – or indeed of any Superseries Premier event – he was determined to provide fierce resistance, but the speed of the Chong Wei allowed him to take the first game 21-15.

In the second game, Zwiebler put the pressure on early and got out to a 5-2 lead.  However, Chong Wei managed to catch up had the 11-7 lead by the interval.  The Malaysian favourite finally closed out the match by winning 21-15, 21-14 in 39 minutes.

Zwiebler, who has lost all 7 of his encounters with the world #1 in straight games, confessed that Lee Chong Wei just was too good.

“As expected it was a very hard match.  I gave my 110%, but Chong Wei didn’t show any mercy.  He just was too good and takes chances.  He was always able to control the shuttle throughout the match,” said Zwiebler afterward.

“But I’m not too sad because I tried everything I can.  I can play a little bit better, but not much better.  And I think I would have needed to play much better to win today.  Congratulations to Chong Wei.  But overall, I’m very happy.  I think I’m also a winner.”

Meanwhile, Chong Wei assessed Zwiebler as a good opponent in the championship.  “He is a player who can perform consistently in every tournament,” said Chong Wei.

“I hope I’ll come back to Indonesia next year.  Next, I will focus on the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and, hopefully, I can still play in the 2016 Olympics.”

At the medal ceremony, Lee Chong Wei was seen wearing a T-shirt that read “We love Taufik Hidayat” as a form of support to the Indonesian star, who ended his career in Jakarta this week.  Lee Chong Wei said Taufik Hidayat as one of the players motivated him to be better.

“I’ll never forget Taufik, and the whole world knows who he is because Taufik is one of the best players.  He also made ​​me to be always diligent, because he was my big enemy.  On the court, he is the great enemy, but we are good friends off the court,” Chong Wei said.

Local Heroes take back the title

The home crowd can give big smile after the only Indonesia hope, Muhammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan claimed their first Indonesia Open title and, remarkably, the first for a home men’s doubles pair in 7 years.  The world number 13 pair successfully conquered the second-seeded, Lee Yong Dae / Ko Sung Hyun of Korea, with a score of 21-14, 21-18.

The Indonesians immediately showed their strength with the all-out attacking Korean pair from the outset.  In the second game, world number one Ko/Lee began to give their stiff resistance which was quite burdensome for Ahsan/Setiawan.  Ko/Lee started to find their game and took their first real lead of the match at 15-14, but the condition did not last long.  Slowly but surely, Ahsan/Hendra were able to close this game 21-18.

Lee Yong Dae admitted that he and Ko couldn’t give their best: “We did not play as usual in this match.  Ahsan/Setiawan played very well today.  We promise to be better for the next year.  Support from supporters also affected our game today,” Lee said.

“Today we played pretty well.  We have learned about the Korean pair game with our coach.  We applied the attacking game from the start, but our opponents have good defense and did not go down easily,” said Hendra Setiawan.

His partner, Ahsan added, “In the second game, when we were leading 14-11, Ko/Lee changed their game and took the initiative to attack so they were able to catch up.  Therefore, they become difficult to shut down.  However, we continued to push.”

Ahsan added that he and Setiawan want to dedicate this title to all the people of Indonesia.  “We honestly were actually exhausted but the support of our spectators boosted our spirit,” said Ahsan.

This sweet result for the Indonesians is also relieving Indonesia’s thirst that has been going on for six years.  In one of the traditionally strongest disciplines for the host nation, the last time the men’s doubles championship title stayed at home was in 2006, when Setiawan and Markis Kido lost to Candra Wijaya / Tony Gunawan in the final.  Since then, the Chinese, Koreans, Malaysia and Taiwan had divided the titles among them.

Sweet revenge for Olympic champion

The top-seeded from China, Li Xuerui won her first 2013 individual title, beating the fourth-seeded Juliane Schenk of Germany in a tight rubber game 21-16, 18-21, 21-17.  Schenk had beaten the Olympic champion in their last meeting, at the Denmark Open last autumn.

“I felt that I could play better today although my opponent is also good.  Since the beginning of 2013, my performances have not been very good and last year I also lost in the finals.  That’s why I really wanted to win this time,” Li said.

Meanwhile, Schenk’s achievement is remarkable considering she comes as a professional badminton player, after she and the German badminton federation decided not to work together any more.

“Li Xuerui played a fantastic match,” said Schenk.  “I don’t know what to say anymore.  I have mustered all the skills that I have.

“This has been a really stressful and hard week for me after what’s happened with my federation.  So, I’m still happy for what I achieved here.  This week is full of fairytale and experiences.”

New Partnership shines

Defending champions Wang Xiaoli / Yu Yang failed to score a hat-trick after suffering their first defeat of this year.  Their compatriots Bao Yixin / Cheng Shu became only the third pair ever to beat the world #1’s.

In the first game, Wang/Yu dominated, with consistent offensive rhythm and impenetrable defense.  However, in the second game, they often made their own mistakes, which favoured their opponents, and upon losing that one, their performance declined and Bao/Cheng easily scored point after point to eventually take the third game 21-18.

“We were very tired, so our stamina decreased.  Defeat is reasonable because there are winners and losers in every game,” said Yu Yang.

Meanwhile, Bao Yixin said that they did not have any special strategy: “We just gave our best but this victory does not mean we are stronger than Wang/Yu,” said Bao.  She added that they would save the prize money for future investments, like for buying a house.

ZZ duo complete three titles for China

Olympic champions Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei claimed the title after defeating fourth-seeded Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen of Denmark.  Zhang/Zhao held and ominous lead in the first game, up 17-14, but Fischer Nielsen/Pedersen played patiently and eventually equalized 17-17.  Competition got more thrilling until another tie, at 22-all but Zhang/Zhao finally won it 24-22.

In the second game, it was Danish pair who won in extra points with a 22-20 victory but after 81 minutes, Zhang/Zhao finally officially took the third game and the title.

“We are very happy to win.  The opponents made mistake, but we also made mistakes.  The supporters here are very warm and unique.  Next, we would like to win the Asian Games,” said Zhao Yunlei.

Final results
WD: Bao Yixin / Cheng Shu (CHN) [8] beat Wang Xiaoli / Yu Yang (CHN) [1]  15-21, 21-18, 21-18
MS: Lee Chong Wei (MAS) [1] beat Marc Zwiebler (GER)  21-15, 21-14
WS: Li Xuerui (CHN) [1] beat Juliane Schenk (GER) [4]  21-16, 18-21, 21-17
MD: Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan (INA) beat Ko Sung Hyun / Lee Yong Dae (KOR) [2]  21-14, 21-18
XD: Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei (CHN) [3] beat Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen (DEN) [4]  24-22, 20-22, 21-12

Click here for complete, detailed results

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