New Delhi: World number one Lee Chong Wei faced a stiff challenge but in the end stamped his class to prevail over Kenichi Tago of Japan and claim the men's singles title at India Open Super Series badminton tournament.
Chong Wei took an hour and three minutes to overcome his world number nine Japanese opponent 21-15 18-21 21-17 in the summit clash at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.
Earlier, world number six Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand clinched the women's singles title after causing an upset victory over world number four Juliane Schenk of Germany 22-20 21-14 in 45 minutes.
Chong Wei and Tago began on an equal footing before Chong Wei, who was playing his third consecutive final here, surged ahead from 9-all by taking three straight points. The Japanese managed a point in between but the Malaysian again took three successive points to take a 15-10 lead. Chong Wei kept on extending the gap before winning the opening game 21-15.
In the second game, Tago got his act together and straightaway opened up a 3-0 lead. He made it 12-4 in no time to leave the Malaysian grasping for breath.
Chong Wei was not the one to surrender so easily as he won five successive points to make it 9-12. The Japanese was also in no mood to let the advantage slip away. He kept on winning points even as Chong Wei showed his class by coming back again and again.
Serving at 20-15 in the second game, Tago hit it out to give the serve to Chong Wei, who also bagged the next two points to make it 18-20. Tago, however, managed to win a point to take the match to the deciding game.
The third game was a neck-and-neck affair till 7-7 before Chong Wei put in all his experience to take a 13-8 lead. The game involved long rallies and smashes that mostly went in Chong Wei's favour.
At 16-9, Chong Wei suddenly seemed to have lost steam as he gifted his opponent a few points by making unforced errors. Tago capitalized on it and made it 16-17 but Chong Wei showed why he is world number one as he finally bagged the thrilling battle with his powerful smash.


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