Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen and Taiwan’s Tai Tzu Ying have won the men and women’s singles championship honors at 2016 MetLife BWF World Super-series badminton tournament that concluded at Dubai on Sunday. While Axelsen needed to work hard against China’s Tian Houwei, Tai literally outplayed Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun to repeat her 2014 triumph against the same opponent at the same venue. The last day also proved immensely fruitful for China’s doubles specialist Chen Qingchen, who featured in women’s and mixed doubles finals and won them both. The men’s doubles final was won by Malaysia’s Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong as the pair defeated Japan’s Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda.
For the seventh time in his career, Viktor Axelsen of Denmark reached a Super-Series final. On the last six occasions, Axelsen had failed to cross the last hurdle but he reversed the trend in Sunday’s men’s singles at the year-end and prestigious final by defeating China’s Tian Houwei. It was a great fight between Axelsen and Houwei and it lasted for 63 minutes before the Dane finished the winner in three games. Axelsen began impressively in the first game and kept himself ahead of the Chinese after 6-6. Striking the shuttle with confidence and decisiveness, he easily took the game 21-14. In the second game, the Dane was stopped by a resurgent Tian Houwei, who found his range of shots. Houwei allowed Axelsen could only 6 points in the game and mounted to an early lead in the third game. Just when the Chinese looked like running away to victory, Axelsen notched up six consecutive points after trailing 14-16. The Dane’s explosive jump smashes upset Houwei’s rhythm and when the Chinese failed to return a lightening shot by Axelsen, it was all over. The 21-14, 6-12, 21-17 result saw Viktor Axelsen collecting his first Super-series title ever.
In women’s singles final, Taiwan’s Tai Tzu Ying regained her 2014 title with an easy victory over Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun. The Korean looked fatigued after her marathon 76-minute semifinal on Saturday with India’s PV Sindhu. The Indian had forced the decider after two games were level at 21-15, 18-21 but Sung prevailed in the third to notch up the victory. In the opening game of Sunday’s final against Tai, Sung made numerous errors and trailed from the first point onwards. All Tai had to do was to keep the shuttle in play and ride on Sung’s errors. After taking the first game, Tai continued in the same vein in the second. The best Sung could do was to level at 3-3. After that however, the Taiwanese kept coming up with great shots as Sung nearly gave up. Finally, Tai scored an easy 21-14, 21-13 victory in a mere 38 minutes. After her loss, Sung admitted that her semifinal against PV Sindhu had drained her physically making her court movements severely hampered.
In women’s doubles final, China’s Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan fended off the challenge by Japanese world no.1 team of Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi. After losing the first game, the Japanese women staged a smart comeback by taking the second game. In the third game, however, the Chinese women shot ahead after 9-9 and finished the match 21-15,13-21, 21-17 to claim the women’s doubles crown.
Chen Qingchen came back for her second final of the day with her mixed doubles partner Zheng Siwei, The two faced England’s defending champions Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock. The Adcocks had a good tournament but in the final, they couldn’t deliver the same performance against the Chinese. Until midway through the first game, the English pair showed some resistance but afterwards, the Chinese pair dominated the match to finish winners at 21-12, 21-12 in just 30 minutes.
Men’s doubles final at Dubai was easily won by Malaysia’s Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong, who scored a 21-14, 21-19 victory over Japan’s Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda. Goh/Tan played coolly and didn’t allow much leeway to the Japanese. After 9-9 in the first game, the Malaysians ran away without facing any challenge from Kamura/Sonoda. The Japanese pair fought hard in the second with the lead changing hands several times. However after 19-19, Goh/Tan closed the match with a deserved 21-14, 21-19 victory.
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