ALL ENGLAND 2013 Finals – Impressive Chen beats Lee for first title

Chen Long (pictured left) beat long term rival and world number one Lee Chong Wei, in a fantastic display of control, winning his first Yonex All England title by the […]

Chen Long (pictured left) beat long term rival and world number one Lee Chong Wei, in a fantastic display of control, winning his first Yonex title by the score 21-17, 21-18.

By Michael Burke, Badzine Correspondent, live from Birmingham.  Photos: Yohan Nonotte for Badmintonphoto (live).

In a tournament in which Lee Chong Wei (pictured right) has started slowly in every match, the final was to be no different as he took time to adjust to the quality of his opponent.

Far too many errors gave Chen Long an easy time early on, as he took seven unanswered points on the way to an 11-5 lead.

Playing patiently with the occasional application of a big smash, Chen only had to wait for Lee to make one of many uncharacteristic mistakes that have been the mark of his All England performance this year.

As the first game went on, the quality of badminton greatly improved, and with it the long rallies became more even as the Malaysian worked his way back into the game with a run of 6 points.

The world number 1 would have to show more quality to come back, however, as a drop wide to give game point to Chen was followed by a missed net shot for the first game 21-17 in the Chinese players favour.

Chen Long was in no mood early on in the second to allow this however, as he continued to play at a very high level to lead 12-6. Lee fought hard to level at 14-all.

An even game from there on, the composure to attack hard at the right moment gave Chen Long match point at 20-18, which he took at the first opportunity with a Lee Chong Wei error.

“I am very happy to win this tournament, and it has given me a lot of experience to beat a player like Lee Chong Wei here,” Chen Long said afterwards.  “It is very important for my career to win here.”

He commented on the vocal Chinese support in Birmingham: “The crowd here is amazing and I want to thank the Chinese supporters, the international supporters and the English supporters as well.”

In defeat, Lee Chong Wei said: “I gave my best but there were a lot if mistakes in the first set so I am very upset with myself for that. In the match today it was very frustrating because I hit a lot of shots that I knew were impossible for Chen Long to return but he managed to get them back. I lost a lot of confidence in my shots because of this.

“This is not the end though, I know I have lost to him today but I am going to try and try again to beat this player.”

The full results for the day can be found here.

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