SWISS OPEN 2015 Finals – Lu takes two

Two for Lu, this finals day was a perfect one for Lu Kai of China, who scored victories in the mixed doubles and men’s doubles with partners Huang Yaqiong and […]

Two for Lu, this finals day was a perfect one for Lu Kai of China, who scored victories in the mixed doubles and men’s doubles with partners Huang Yaqiong and Cai Yun. It was an all round good day for the Chinese as they took four of the final titles, with only the men’s singles elusive.

By Brandon Redekop, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Sven Heise for Badmintonphoto (live)

The all-Chinese affair of the mixed doubles final was one to behold. It took just over one hour of play to secure the title for Lu Kai / Huang Yaqiong (pictured top). However, it didn’t always look so promising for the pair ranked #8 in the world.

After dropping the first game to Liu Cheng / Bao Yixin 17-21, they climbed back from 10-15 and saved two match points at 18-20 to eventually tie the match at one game apiece. It was then Lu / Huang really found their rhythm to wrap up their fourth Gold title, with the first coming at the Macau Open in late 2013.

Next up on finals day was the tantalising first meeting of Kidambi Srikanth (pictured left) and Viktor Axelsen. Srikanth of India took the all-important first game, but perhaps let his concentration dip in the second game that was taken by the Danish Axelsen.

The high energy and magnificent angles created by these two tall athletes was on full display in the third game as it was tightly contested up until 13-all, at which point the all-out attack from Srikanth was just too much to handle for Axelsen.

This was the third title for Srikanth, the first two coming at the Thailand Grand Prix Gold in 2013 and, of course, the China Superseries last November.

Sun Yu (pictured right) was not to be denied her third Grand Prix Gold crown to go along with the 2012 Macau and 2014 Bitburger. It was a dominating performance from the recently turned 21 year-old, as she forced Thailand’s Busanan Ongbumrungpan to cover every inch of the court, while the Chinese Yu used her excellent court coverage to return every shot with interest. This will surely mean another jump up in the rankings where Sun currently sits at 15.

The women’s doubles looked to be done and dusted early on, when Japan’s pair ranked 28th in the world – Ayane Kurihara / Naru Shinoya dropped the first game by a 15-point margin. However, they proved they were up for the challenge when they gave the Chinese duo of Bao Yixin / Tang Yuanting all they could handle for the rest of the match.

During the second game, a 69 shot rally won by Japan while leading 11-8 gave them the boost to take the game 21-17. A similar 62 shot rally at 13-17 in the third was also won by the Japanese, but this time it wasn’t enough as China closed out the match on their 3rd match point 21-17.

Another very exciting first meeting was made up of the Malaysian pairing of Goh V. Shem / Tan Wee Kiong vs. Lu Kai/Cai Yun (pictured left). The first game could’ve gone either way, but Cai / Lu were the ones who capitalized on their opportunities to take it 21-19. The momentum swayed to Goh / Tan in the second, which they won to force a deciding third game.

It was in the third game with the scoreboard sitting at 17-15 for the Chinese when Cai dove to retrieve the shuttle and Lu Kai seemingly covered the whole court for an eternity while Cai Yun regained his footing until an error was drawn from the Wee Kiong Tan. That was all the pair from China needed to clinch their second title together, the first being the Singapore Super Series in 2014, the second of the day for Lu Kai, and the second title for Cai Yun, who was on the top of the podium with Fu Haifeng 11 years ago.

Final results
XD: Lu Kai / Huang Yaqiong (CHN) [5] beat Liu Cheng / Bao Yixin (CHN) [3]  17-21, 22-20, 21-13
MS: Kidambi Srikanth (IND) [1] beat Viktor Axelsen (DEN) [2]  21-15, 12-21, 21-14
WS: Sun Yu (CHN) [6] beat Busanan Ongbamrungphan (THA) [8]  21-16, 21-12
WD: Bao Yixin / Tang Yuanting (CHN) [5] beat Ayane Kurihara / Naru Shinoya (JPN)  21-6, 17-21, 21-17
MD: Cai Yun / Lu Kai (CHN) [3] beat Goh V. Shem / Tan Wee Kiong (MAS) [6]  21-19, 14-21, 21-17

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