INDIA OPEN 2011 Finals – Strike One for Porntip!

Lee Chong Wei pockets third Super Series title this year while 19-year-old Porntip Buranaprasertsuk is one of four first time titleists. Dev S Sukumar/ DNA. Photos: BWF (live) The inaugural […]

Women's singles champion Porntip Buranaprasertsuk (THA, left) and runner-up Bae Youn Joo (KOR)

Lee Chong Wei pockets third Super Series title this year while 19-year-old Porntip Buranaprasertsuk is one of four first time titleists.

Dev S Sukumar/ DNA. Photos: BWF (live)

The inaugural Super Series could not have asked for better ambassadors to emerge champions at the end of the week. Lee Chong Wei, the world’s best player, and the young, up-and-coming Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand walked away with the singles crowns on a memorable finals day.  Indonesia won the mixed doubles but left it to Japan to take two golds as their men’s doubles pairing prevailed over Indonesia after each nation had a gold-and-silver, in-house final.


Men's singles champion Lee Chong Wei (MAS, right) and runner-up Peter Gade (DEN)

While Chong Wei was expected to win – and he did, after a mild hiccup against old warhorse Peter Gade – it was Porntip who stole the show. With the India Open win, her first Super Series title, the young Thai has served notice. So astonishing were her skills that veteran commentator Gill Clark marked her out as an “exciting talent” who had greatly improved over the past one year.

Her left-handed Korean opponent, Bae Youn Joo, matched her briefly, early on. As the rallies progressed, it was apparent that Porntip, with her superior courtcraft and breathtaking variety of strokes, was pulling Bae back and across the court, placing the shuttle wherever she willed. It had been level until 9, but after that Porntip reduced Bae to a spectator. In the second game, she gave glimpses of her power as well; the 19-year-old seems to be a complete package, able to switch gears with ease, and if she fulfils the promise she has shown with this performance, women’s badminton has an exciting new star in the making.

Porntip has certainly marched forward this year, reaching the semi-final of the Korea Open in January and then the final of the Australian Open Grand Prix Gold.  Now this victory may well catapult her into the world’s top ten in the coming days.


Women's doubles runners-up Fujii/Kakiiwa (JPN) congratulating champions Maeda/Suetsuna (JPN)

Earlier, Lee Chong Wei was asked a few questions by veteran Peter Gade, but he probably knew all the answers long before he took the court. After an easy first-game win for the Malaysian, Gade equalised, and seemed to have the advantage with a 6-2 lead in the third. Then followed a long rally; Gade was forced into the error, and Chong Wei steadily closed in on the title. Towards the end, he was playing at half pace, confident that the Dane had nothing left to offer.

Tantowi Ahmad was the first first-time Super Series title-winner on the day as he and his decorated, veteran partner Lilyana Natsir edged out their compatriots Fran Kurniawan / Pia Zebadiah to take the mixed title.  The last two matches of the day were sure to see a new winner and after Porntip, it was Japan’s Noriyasu Hirata / Hirokatsu Hashimoto who prevailed over young Indonesians Angga Pratama / Ryan Agung Saputra.  Earlier, Japanese veterans Miyuki Maeda / Satoko Suetsuna took their second Super Series title in a long two-game win over team-mates Fujii/Kakiiwa.

Final Results:
MS: Lee Chong Wei (MAS) [1] bt Peter Gade (DEN) [3] 21-12 12-21 21-15
WS: Porntip Buranaprasertsuk (THA) bt Bae Youn Joo (KOR) [3] 21-13 21-16
MD: Noriyasu Hirata / Hirokatsu Hashimoto (JPN) [4] bt Angga Pratama / Ryan Agung Saputra (INA) 21-17 21-9
WD: Miyuki Maeda / Satoko Suetsuna (JPN) [1] bt Mizuki Fujii / Reika Kakiiwa (JPN) [2] 26-24 21-15
XD: Tantowi Ahmad / Lilyana Natsir (INA) [4] bt Fran Kurniawan / Pia Zebadiah (INA) [3] 21-18 23-21

For complete detailed results, CLICK HERE

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